Grati-Tuesday 10 Dec 19

Written by AHQ

10 December 2019

Hey all, 
Take a few minutes out of your crazy day to read some o these messages.  They make my day, I hoep they make yours. 


Dear Beverly,

I had the pleasure of receiving the laundry bag you made me earlier this week. Suffice to say, I love it. I can tell a great deal of care has gone into creating it and I am sure it will serve me well over many years. I have no doubt your sewing skills have brought a great deal of joy into the world over the years.

Aussie Hero Quilts is exceptionally well known by members of the ADF; particularly those who have served overseas. The quilts and laundry bags people receive are treasured items that usually end up accompanying ADF members every time they are away from home with work. They are the talismans that remind us of home and bring a smile to our faces in what can occasionally be difficult times. Please know that your efforts, and the efforts of the organisation you represent, are greatly appreciated.

It seems only fair that I tell you a little bit about myself after the introduction you sent me. I am an Aeronautical Engineer in the Royal Australian Air Force. 

On this deployment I am leading a team of aircraft mechanics, so it would seem we actually have a little bit in common in that regard. You’ll be pleased to know they have been working hard over here. In my, albeit limited, experience I have found that technicians love nothing more than to do a good job when it comes to aircraft maintenance.

Most of my team have already received quilts and laundry bags on this deployment. We are impressed how quickly your organisation is able to make them and send them over to us. Considering that each one is unique it is incredible. My team have each excitedly shown off what they received to everyone else here and to their families back home. I cannot emphasise enough how much these gifts are appreciated. I sent my mother a photo of the laundry bag you made me and she commented that she would love to be able to sew as well as you can. My mother is also from a migrant family so I suspect the two of you might get along if you met.

I wish you and your family a lovely Christmas and a happy New Year.

Warm regards,


Hi Sandra,

I have received my amazing quilt from you and I just want to say Thank you!!!! So much!!!!!! I love the bright colours of the flowers and then the background material is kinda like the ocean, which I find appropriate. 

Brief bit about myself……..

I’m an Able Seaman onboard HMAS Glenelg. I’m a chef and have been in the navy 6 years as of the 3rd of February 2020. 

I completed my initial training and then my chefs training down at HMAS Cerberus. I was then sent to Cairns to do three Months on HMAS Benalla. It’s a small hydrographic surveying vessel. We spent most of our time in and around the Great Barrier Reef. It was my first experience on any navy boat and I had an amazing time. 

At the end of that trip I moved to Sydney and worked at HMAS Watson. I cooked in the Galleys on base there for 10 months before Posting onboard HMAS Newcastle at the end of 2015. 

I was onboard Newcastle for two and a half years. Whilst onboard I completed an around Australia trip with a few Naval exercises (such as KAKADU) at various ports and then in the July of 2017 I was part of the crew that did the last 6 Month Gulf Deployment onboard a FFG class warship. That was fun. We went to 8 different countries, Madagascar being one of them. 

I finished on Newcastle in the April of 2018 and then worked at the main galley at HMAS Kuttabul. I was only there for five months, before I volunteered for a posting to Darwin. I was in Darwin no more than two weeks before I went to sea on HMAS Childers in a relief position. I filled a few relief position on various Patrol Boats in Cairns and Darwin before Posting onto HMAS Glenelg in the January of of this year. 

In a few weeks I’ll be going on my Leading Seaman Promotion Course and then next year in January I’ll be joining HMAS Pirie as the Leading Seaman Cook. I’m nervous and excited. 

Anyway, Thank you so much for my quilt. It’ll be amazing at night, Patrol boats get so cold at night even working up in Darwin. 


I received this photo of one of Sue N’s happy recipients too. 

I also received this photo but I dont know who the recipient is so I can’t work out who the quilter is so if you recognise your quilt please let me know. 


Last week CAPT Phill Henry, RAN was in Brisbane for work and had pleasure of presenting an Aussie Hero Quilt to retired Commander Darren N, a work mate and terrific friend of his. Darren is currently battling cancer, and all our thoughts are with him and his family.


Good Morning Sylvia, Carolann, Heather and Ellen,

I am pleased to inform you I received the specially made quilt from you a couple of days ago.

Thanks very much for that it’s very nice and it adds some colour to my pretty plain room! Also those Tim Tam Slams are amazing! I’ve tried a few Tim Tams before but never those, they are so good!

I hope you like the picture of our E7A Wedgetail aircraft and our myself with the quilt. We are located in Australia’s main operational base in the Middle East. The aircraft is a modified Boeing 737 and is used for Battlespace Management and has advanced Intelligence gathering, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Capabilities.

Note all of our male members are currently growing beards and have donated $100 each to charity for the privilege, we are normally clean cut and not allowed to grow beards in accordance with the Air Force Dress Manual.

About me, I’m 46 and have been in the Air Force for 18 years, one of the older members of our team. I live in the XXXXX area, which is a great spot with access to great beaches and the Hunter Valley wineries. I have a spouse and two teenage boys at home, they are going well and I am able to video chat with them regularly which is great. We only moved to the area in January after previous postings in Wagga Wagga, Darwin, Katherine (NT also) and Amberley (Ipswich area QLD). I am going to be away from the family at Christmas time, which will be hard for us all, but I guess I’ve been pretty lucky as this will be the first time in my career that I’ve been away from my immediate family at Christmas time.

Anyway the weather has been quite nice here recently with Max temps of around 28 degrees, which is beautiful considering when I arrived in September the temperature was consistently 48 degrees and they tell me it had already started to cool down by then!

Thanks again,


G’day Lynn S, 
Thank you so much for the amazing quilt! The work that has been put into this really shows how much you care and support the ADF and it definitely brightened my day, and my room.
I am a Ground Support Equipment Technician, basically a Heavy diesel mechanic, and I work on a variety of equipment that supports aircraft operations including; Tow Motors, Air con carts, power carts and Airfield Fire Trucks. I have a wife, and two beautiful children, 5 and 6 months. I’ve been in the RAAF for 6 years now and this is my first rotation and the longest time being away from my family.

It has been a real challenge and at times very stressful, but the day I received this quilt I was so happy and it really brought my spirits up, I am a big Marvel fan but so is my daughter so it was a big reminder of something I share with her back home and really helped me cope with being away. I don’t think I’ll be able to hold onto it much longer as I’m sure it will become hers when I get home hahaha.

Thank you again, the work you ladies do is nothing short of amazing, I have attached a photo of myself with the quilt and all the equipment I maintain.


Hi Rita,

Thank you so much for my laundry bag, I absolutely love it. And I really appreciate all of the other little goodies. 

I have been a fire fighter in the RAAF for four years.  My whole family is in the Army, and I thought I might make the trend change from green to blue! 

You have such a big connection to defence, and it is so heart warming that you put in such an effort to make our time away so much better. 

I think the smile on my face says it all.

Thanks again Rita!


Good afternoon,

I would like to thank you very much for the laundry bags that you have made for HMAS Hobart and especially the one which I chose.

We have just come back from nearly three months away in North East Asia and Cairns, QLD was our first Australian port back last Sunday. It’s great to be nearly home.

I chose the laundry bag that had the wine bottles and grapes on the Tweed Heads/Coolangatta tea towel and the nice bright colours on the other side.
I love the design and the colour and also the fact that I grew up around Tweed Heads/Coolangatta and do love a glass of wine or two!

Every time I use it, I will think of your organisation and you helping to bring a smile and some appreciation to our troops.

Thank you once again for the wonderful work you do for our men and women of the Navy, Army and Air Force, and you should also be very proud of your daughter’s service in the RAAF all these years.

It takes a special type of person to service in the military and also a special type of family to support them carry out their service.

Kind regards,

Hi Helen!

I am writing to you from HMAS Hobart, somewhere off the East coast of Australia.
I just received the laundry bag you so kindly made and I have hung it up in my cabin. Receiving these bags from Aussie Heroes was a truly generous Christmas Gift.
I am one of the Weapons Electrical Engineer Officers on board and together with my department, ensure that Hobart is able to defend Australia and her interests.
Thank you very much for making these bags, the crew appreciates them more than you can imagine.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday and a very Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Best Regards,

Dear Helen,

Thank you so much for the lovely laundry bag that I received from you on HMAS Hobart.

It makes the deployment so much more special to have received a gift that you have put in a lot of hard work, effort and time into.

This was my first deployment and made it a whole lot better after receiving the bag.

Thank you once again for the lovely gift and thank you for all your hard work in which you undertake to ensure that the deployed personnel receive something special and unique.

Kind regards,

Hey Joy,

You’ve recently sent me a quilt and laundry bag.

I wanted to write this email to say thank you so much, you’ve done a fabulous job. I really do appreciate what you’ve made for me. It was a nice moral lift.

The quilt has arrived in perfect timing, the weather over here is just starting to get pretty cold, the other day it was down to minus six.

Thank you again Joy, the quilt and laundry bag will not go unused.

Kind Regards 



I am the recipient of your Collingwood Aussie Hero Quilt designer Laundry Bag.

I wanted to extend to you my gratitude for it, I am a huge Collingwood supporter. When I heard there was a Collingwood bag I made my way down to the Ship’s office to only to find it missing. It turns out  that the Captain had saved it for me, for which I was very appreciative. My two young boys are going to be very jealous!

I am the Navigating Officer in HMAS Hobart. We have just completed a 3 month deployment around Asia, stopping in Japan and Korea with two other Australian Ships. Hobart is one of the Navy’s newest Ships and we were all proud to show our partner nations what she could do.   We get home tomorrow morning and I will take the next 5 weeks off to be with my family. I cannot wait, it’s been a very busy year.

Thank you for your letter, we are all very grateful to receive them. I especially liked hearing of your Year 8 class that now also sew the bags and particularly of their letters. I think it’s very important for kids to understand what the military does for our nation and that would certainly get them thinking about it.

Merry Christmas to you and your family, and a Happy New Year.

Dear Lesley,
I was incredibly impressed with the laundry bag you crafted for me. I am very glad that you enjoyed creating the RAEME crest and the Aussie flag so that I will always have a touch of home and pride embedded into the laundry bag.

That is excellent to hear that your son is a serving member, and in fact continues to serve. It is quite likely that I have crossed paths and had an opportunity to serve with him in some facet or another. I wish you all the best in tending to your cattle and enjoying the fresh air of Glenlee. I can only imagine how thankful your family must be for your volunteer work for service men and women. Additionally, and somewhat of a coincidence that you manage a steel business, when I grew up as part of a fabrication business and transitioned into engineering in the ADF after short periods as a boily labourer.

You mentioned that you wished this bag to serve as a reminder of home and those who are proud of me; you have succeeded. Tokens of support from home such as this are worth more than any purchased gift.

So thank you once again for the time, effort, finance, and all the love that has gone into this gift. Rest assured that it will be treasured for as long as it shall last.

Yours sincerely,

Dear Arthur,
A little late but better late than never. Thank you for the beautiful quilt you made for me. I absolutely love it. Impressive work for someone who hasn’t been quilting for long.

My tour over here is nearly over and to say I’m excited to get back home is an understatement! I have my husband and 4 yr-old daughter awaiting my return as well as my Mum, Dad and four sisters who have this week saved our farmhouse on the mid-north coast of NSW from those terrible fires. I can’t wait to get home to them!

Receiving this quilt was an exciting afternoon and it’s been on my bed every day since. It’s a little bit of home and to me that’s very special and very much appreciated. Once again, thank you.

Dear Sandy,
I was extremely pleased to receive my Hero Quilt from your team in Coffs Harbour. I am overly thankful that you have taken the time to support Jan-Maree’s organisation and provide me what could quite possibly be the best memento from my career in the ADF so far.

Your dedication not only to those who serve, but to the support network that I am sure you provide to members of your local community to bond and create absolute art is an absolute testament to the Australian culture of mateship and teamwork. I was highly impressed with the patchwork quality, and the detail provided in the JTF HQ patch sewn into my quilt. The only down side is I am torn between whether or not I should frame this masterpiece so that I may awe in it over the years, or ensure that it will forever have a place on the end of my bed until my partner inevitably covers it with various throw pillows.

A special thanks to the quilting team including yourself, Jennifer W, Chris T and Kath M. I do however apologise for a typed letter and not handwritten, although I believe that my poor cursive may fail in comparison to your magnificent gift.

Thank you once again for the time, effort, finance and all the love that has gone into this gift. Rest assured it will be treasured for as long as it shall last.
Yours sincerely, 

Dear Lyn,
I am writing to send you my sincere thanks for the amazing quilt and laundry bag that I received recently and added to my bed space to make it more homely. My appreciation is overwhelming, I have been genuinely moved and comforted by the articles. It’s really an amazing experience to get something like this from home as it provides a little bit more comfort in what can sometimes be an isolating environment.

Thank you also for your lovely letter, there is so much in there that I can also relate to, although I’m not much of a dancer sorry, you both sound like you really enjoy rock ’n’ roll and line dancing. I’ve been keeping fit doing some yoga, Tabatha workouts, and running. The US Army ran a shadow 10-miler run which myself and my colleagues took up the challenge and actually completed the 16km – it’s the longest run I have ever completed but was really rewarding.

My parents are grey nomads and also enjoy travelling around Australia. They have just sold the family home in Ballarat, Victoria, and are moving to Grafton, NSW. They have also just completed a trip to the West Coast, stopping in SA for some fresh catches of whiting. They travelled on and completed a good section of the Canning Stock Route before heading home. We have a lot of family in Mildura and I remember growing up wandering through the orange orchards in the searing heat and then jumping into the pool. The Murray River region is beautiful, tough and fickle. Working a farm is demanding; we have lived on a farm for most of my childhood raising sheep, cattle, mangoes and avocadoes. We rely so heavily on the weather but I feel we are also lucky in Australia to have such a diverse environment to enjoy.

My favourite reminders of home are the Australian wildflowers, in particular the Bottlebrush, but I also love the uniqueness of Kangaroo Paw in Northern Australia. I was posted to Darwin for a few years and spent many weekends camping in Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks, sincerely just enjoying the flora and fauna of the Far North. I met my now husband back then and one of our memorable journeys was when we travelled through to Brisbane and Sydney – camping and just enjoying being on the road. We will no doubt morph into grey nomads in the future, following in the footsteps of amazing people like you, your husband and my parents.

We have four small children at home, aged 3–10 years old, who have had their own challenges, magnified whilst I’ve been away. My husband has taken some long service leave to be at home with them so we are lucky for this opportunity. I’m a little sad to have missed birthdays, significant achievements and events but I am looking forward to hearing about these when I get home. I will be home for Christmas so that is something to be thankful for and I am excited for our family gathering.

I will be forever grateful for this opportunity to deploy as an Army Nurse, caring for my ill and injured colleagues and will remember fondly your generosity and amazing talent. This quilt will stay with me forever. Have a merry 2019, stay strong and travel safe on your journeys around our amazing country.
My kindest regards,

Dear Robyn and Michael

I’m from the east coast. I’m currently in the army overseas at the moment and I am the very grateful recipient of your incredibly made laundry bag!

It was quite the surprise receiving it, but it turns out I actually needed a new one so it was perfect timing so thank you very much. It means a lot to know people are thinking of us over here. I loved your letter also, I’ve never been to west Australia I’m hoping the army takes me there one day. I have not been to kangaroo island also.
I’d just like to thank you and your group again for the amazing work you do, it’s a huge morale boost for those away. I apologize for the late reply, it’s been pretty full on here. If we don’t get to chat anytime soon, I’d like to wish you and your partner early merry Christmas happy new year and safe holidays!


Hi Jenny, 

I am the very fortunate recipient of your lovely sewing.

I am writing to say thank you for taking your time to create something so valuable and have it sent to us on the other side of the world. 

It means so much to my peers and I that the Australian public supports and looks fondly upon us. Especially when those who went before us were not treated as well. We were all caught smiling when the laundry bags and other quilts were bought in! 

Again, thank you so much for your kind efforts and thoughts. It means the world to all of us here. 

Merry Christmas and kind regards, 


Hi Rita
Thank you very much, I just received your LB and package it is fantastic, thank you very much. It is everything I hoped for and depicts my life to a T.  

About Me: I am coming up to 40 years’ service (time fly’s when you are enjoying yourself) in January, I joined as an apprentice at 16. Always loved aircraft and wanted to travel (but not pay for it myself ha ha) so the Airforce looked to fill both those criteria. 

So I Joined as an Aircraft maintainer and worked on Mirages, HS748, C130 Hercules, King airs and FA18 Hornets. Since joining I have been posted to Wagga, Newcastle (3 times), East sale, Darwin, Townsville and Perth. 

Been to the States, all over the Pacific and this is my 3rd tour (done Iraq, Afghanistan and now here.)  I am married for 32Y and have 3 grown (if they ever grow up) Kids. 

Thanks you again for your time and effort, rest assured all work is appreciated very much and helps take the edge off being so far from home and loved ones.

Yours sincerely

Till next time… keep spreading the word and happy stitching!

Jan-Maree xx 

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