Grati- Tuesday 12 September 17

Written by AHQ

12 September 2017

First up tonight a few responses from HMAS Darwin regarding their new laundry bags….

Dear Carol,

I just wanted to thank you for the lovely laundry bag I received yesterday as a member of HMAS Darwin’s decommissioning crew, on her final operational deployment into South-East Asia.

This is an exciting trip for me as it is my first time overseas with the Navy, after joining in the beginning of 2016 as a Marine Engineer Officer after graduating from the University of Queensland in 2015 with a Bachelor of Mechanical and Materials Engineering.
Once again, thanks for the Laundry Bag, I will definitely be taking it with me to my next ship or future posting as a reminder of this trip.

Yours Aye,

Hello Jan-Maree,

I just wanted to write you an email to thank you for my HMAS Darwin laundry bag. This will be something that I will treasure for a lifetime, it will remind me of my time on board, almost 3 years, and of all the adventures and experiences I have had in the Navy as a whole. I am discharging from the military at the end of this year to spend more time at home with my family. I have a wife and 4 children, all boys ranging from 10 to almost 2.
The time and effort you all put into the quilts and laundry bags is greatly appreciated, and adds a touch of home to our sometimes distant and lengthy deployments. I can’t thank you enough.

 Yours Sincerely,


Recently the entire ships company of HMAS Darwin were presented with our laundry bags.  I was privileged to receive the one made by yourself


I was lucky enough to receive a quilt and laundry bag during the ship’s last deployment to the Persian Gulf 

Again, the work that went into making my laundry bag is very much appreciated

I had not heard of AHQ until Chaplain Quadrio asked if anyone would like to receive a themed quilt.  I asked for and received a Doctor Who quilt and bag

It is exceptionally thoughtful of you to make these for total strangers.  Your contribution to the community is appreciated, and my laundry bag is amazing.  

It was great to read your small note about what yourself and children are doing
I wish them, and yourself, all the best that the world has to offer

Again, thankyou for the laundry bag

Hi Joan,

You made a Laundry bag for me on 12 July 17 and I received it on Tuesday at sea in HMAS DARWIN. I have been in the New Zealand Navy for 12 years and have been on exchange in Australia since May 2016. I came over here to complete the Australian Principal Warfare Officer course which is a 12 month course run in Sydney at HMAS WATSON where I specialised as a Torpedo and Anti Submarine Warfare Officer (TASO). I posted to Darwin in June this year and will serve in her until she decommissions at the end of the year. I live in Auckland New Zealand with my wife of 1 month Rachel. Unfortunately Rachel had to stay in New Zealand for work so I have been living in Sydney without her these past 15 months which has been really hard, but we are nearly at the end and I’m looking forward to heading home in December.

Darwin certainly isn’t a luxury cruise ship, but we find ways to make it feel like home. I’ve bought a cheerfully coloured Duvet cover and put up a bunch of photos around my cabin to remind me of home, so that makes the place a bit more homely.

I really appreciate the effort you went into to make a Laundry bag for me. I think it’s great that you have taken the time to support those of us who serve in the defence force, and it means a lot to us to know that people like you are thinking of us and believe in what we are doing on your behalf. Unfortunately we don’t have an organisation like Aussie Hero Quilts in New Zealand, but I think it’s a great idea.

Thank you again for your support and a lovely Laundry bag. My one actually has a map on it which includes New Zealand and a sheep, so that’s nice.


Dear Jean,

Firstly I would like take the time to tell you a little bit about myself. I come from a small country town in Central West NSW .  I have spent most of my life in the region, including time in Bathurst, NSW completing a double Bachelors degree in Criminal Justice and Policing before joining the Navy two years ago. HMAS Darwin is my second ship, I spent a few months on board HMAS Newcastle before she deployed to the Middle East, and now have the pleasure of being on board HMAS Darwin for her decommisioning deployment to South East Asia.

Secondly, I wish to sincerely thank you for the time and effort you placed into making the laundry bag which I recieved. I never would have thought something so small would bring so much joy and happiness to many people. I hope you and your colleagues at Aussie Hero Quilts realise just how much these gestures of kindness and goodwill mean to all of us on board (218 crew all recieved a bag). Additionally, I will keep this bag close to me for as long as possible, as it means quite a lot to me being part of the crew on a decommissioning ship.
Again, thankyou sincerly for your efforts and kindness.



Many thanks for the laundry bag. I really appreciate the effort you have put into this bag, nice touch with the gum nuts.

I see we have a couple of things also in common, I have a 1951 customised Ford Ute, have a few grand kids, one on the way next year, and a lovely border collie, Lollie.

Everyone on HMAS Darwin really appreciates the gifts and work you all do, keep it up.

Kind Regards,


Good Evening, I am writing to thank you very much for the laundry bag I received today, the Darwin crest and years of service will be a good memento of my time in this fine ship for years to come.

I am the Operations Officer (known as OPSO) in HMAS Darwin and have been posted here for 18 months. As the OPSO I am responsible to the Commanding Officer to maintain the combat readiness of the Operations Room, which is where all our Radar/ Sonar feeds are displayed, and manage the Combat Systems Operator department who are the Sailor who man the consoles. To reach the position of OPSO I have had to achieve my specialisation of becoming a Principal Warfare Officer – Surface Warfare (PWO-SW). A very general job description of a PWO-SW is we are in charge of the Surface and Sub Surface warfare battle of the ship or as is the case now on our deployment the whole task group Surface and Sub Surface battle.

I apologise if none of that makes any sense, we spend so much time around other navy people we forget how to explain stuff like this in a way that makes sense.

Thanks again for the laundry bag, or as we say in the Navy VMT, (very many thanks)



Good Morning Jo,

I am writing this email to thank you for the wonderful laundry bag that i received from you. These laundry bags are not only very practical but a great boost to morale when we receive them. It is nice to know that someone is thinking about us while we are away from home. I will get plenty of use out of it and it will also be treasured memento of my time onboard HMAS Darwin in her final year. Again thankyou, what you have done for me and my fellow sailors is greatly appreciated and I hope you continue to enjoy it.


And from other happy recipients….
For a quilt made by Donna J

I’m ecstatic with how brilliant the quilt is. My Fiance and I love it and we are planning on having it on display at our wedding with all the Australian and Canadian guests. We will be sure to thank Donna Jay for her wonderful efforts as well. Thank you so much.  we will definitely try to get a pic on on the big day with it



Thank you for the laundry bag it is great. It has and will see allot of use and I can tell that the previous number you have created has made you an exceptional crafts lady at her trade.

Receiving the laundry bag was a nice surprise. As are most care packages that we receive while we are away.

I actually come from Newcastle so I have been to Coffs Harbour once or twice and agree that it is a lovely place.

Once again thank you for the laundry bag.


Good afternoon Beth,

I am e-mailing to let you know that I have received the Cowboys&Maroons NRL themed quilt that you crafted for me. I absolutely love the quilt! The design is perfect and spot on to what I was thinking. My work colleagues also say thanks for the TimTams that were shared around from your package 🙂

I’m nearing the end of my deployment now, with only a few weeks left until I return home. It’s been a good deployment (my first in fact, as well as my first time overseas!). As good as this deployment is, I am definitely keen to go home, and the days feel like they are at times getting longer and longer. It is why I’m so grateful to receive this quilt from you, as it’s a reminder that there’s people back home who are thinking of us, whether they be family, friends or even strangers.

Thank you for the quilt (and the Timtams!).

Yours sincerely,


Dear Lydia,

Thank you so very very much for my quilt it is absolutely perfect.  I felt a bit embarrassed to ask for a gift from you lovely ladies but I sure am glad I did.  It is something I will keep forever!

I am glad that you got me to make a quilt for being a medical family.  I am a FLTLT Nursing Officer for the RAAF. But to add to that I am as reservist from Melbourne and have worked in Emergency/critical care for 12 years.   

I am so honoured that I get to use my skills to serve my country.   It is so humbling that people at home think about us and are able to contribute by making us individual gifts, I am truly grateful. 

Thanks again and we will be home soon.


Dear Rita C

I just received the beautiful quilt you made along with all the other goodies. I’ve already shared all the sweets with the coalition partners I’m working with.

Thank you so much for my beautiful quilt, it is absolutely perfect and exactly what we had hoped for, it has brightened up my bedspace as you can see from the before and after photos. It will make a great heirloom and my daughter, (5 yo) will absolutely love it. She turns six soon and unfortunately I’ll still be deployed, which upset her a lot before I left. This is my sixth deployment, and 3rd time to the Middle East Region, so hopefully I won’t have to go away again soon after I get back.

Thank you as well for your lovely letter and the information about your family. I come from a strong service family as well, as I was born in South Africa, all of my male relatives (uncles, cousins, brothers) have either served in the South African, UK, Australian Army/Navy/Air Force/Police forces (my dad is British).
Anyway, thank you so much for your package, I hope you and your family are well and are able to get this ok.





Hi Rita,

I need to start by apologising for how long this has taken for me to write. I got my quilt and laundry bag a while ago now and I have been pretty slack in not replying to your lovely letter. Ironically, I am currently sitting on a bus driving to Dubai to fly home. Writing back to you was something I really wanted to take the time to do properly, which probably contributed to my procrastination.

I love the quilt and laundry bag! Thank-you SO much!

Both of them look amazing. I can’t believe how good the 1SQN crest looks in the stitching and the massive Phoenix and ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ on the quilt looks amazing. Thanks again.

I distinctly remember the day your package arrived. It turned up along with 4 or 5 others for some of the other aircrew. We had just walked back in from a pretty long mission and everyone was really tired. Whenever packages arrive, everyone immediately starts searching to see if they got something – on this occasion we all did! No one was really expecting anything so we were all quite intrigued to see what it was. It was like watching kids on Christmas as we opened up our packages to find what little treasures had been created for us. Everyone was blown away by how good they looked and there was a real buzz as we showed each other what we got based on the theme we asked for. The mood was instantly lifted. I have to say though – mine was the best 😉

I lived in Adelaide for 4 years from 2007-10 and loved it. I was flying in the AP-3C Orion based out of Edinburgh. My wife and I lived in Unley and we thoroughly enjoyed everything about Adelaide. The wine, the markets, the sport, the festivals, the good food. Thinking about our lifestyle then it’s no surprise that we didn’t have kids yet – maybe thats why we enjoyed it so much?? 🙂

We have 2 sons, they turn 5 and 3 in October. I am crazy excited about getting home to see them, and my wife of course. I have done 2 deployments before (while I was on the Orion) both of them about 3 months long. This one was 4 1/2 months long and was SO much harder. I’m sure that is because of the boys, it just feels so much worse when you’re not only leaving your spouse at home, but you kids too. They have been great to be honest, I don’t think they’ve missed me too much at all which is nice. It is definitely pretty rough on my wife though, having to be a single mum for that whole time – she’s the one who deserves a medal!

We absolutely loved the Barossa when we lived in Adelaide. To be fair though, we loved Maclaren Vale and The Clare too. It’s an amazing place to be when you have so much awesome wine so close. Given that we were just south of the city, we would often duck down to D’arenberg for a cheeky Sunday lunch…. those were the days. Probably wouldn’t be quite as serene now with our 2 little terrors 😉

Well, thank-you once again for the amazing work you do in bringing a little bit of joy to those of us over here. I sincerely hope that your husband has fully recovered from his illness and remains that way.

Yours truly,

G’Day Raeleen,

I’d like to thank you for the fantastic Aussie Quilt that you created for me.
It is just amazing!!

The 1 Squadron crest and Hornets at the top look just superb.
It has pride of place on my bed when not in use, and it makes my whole room so much more homely.

The work you and the team do in providing a touch of Australia and care to our people over here is really appreciated.
We spend a lot of time away, and I know from speaking to my team that they all appreciate it immensely.

Thanks again for such an amazing gift.



Sue F,
         Thank you so much for your quilt and laundry bag, they are both beautiful and I have them displayed proudly on my bunk in the mess for all to see.  I will not lie, your son will be doing things a lot tougher if he is deployed, than I am just don’t tell him that I said that.  I appreciate the effort it would have taken to complete both quilt and laundry bag again thank you so much.

Yours Aye,

Hello Robyn, my name is XXXXX, however my friends call me Tex. I would just like to write you an email thanking you very much for the Ford laundry bag you made for deployed Australian Serviceman and women.

I am an Infantry Section Commander in the Army posted to 2RAR based at Lavarack in Townsville, North Queensland currently deployed to Malaysia for three months. I would just like you to know that it was a great surprise and a much needed gift to receive because no one in my section thought to bring any laundry bags including myself. I would also like to thank you for the work you do as an Aussie farmer, coming from an outback farm in western Queensland before the army I can absolutely appreciate the trials and tribulations of farming our great land but also the massive amount of hard work and sacrifice it takes to keep a farm going and so again thankyou very much.

Very sincerely, from my self and my section thankyou. 

Dear Bridget

This short email is to pass on my thanks for the fantastic quilt you and Ann made for me. The Boxing Kangaroo theme was fantastic and I’m very grateful that you made it for me. In fact, it was so good that my young nephew has chosen to ‘look after it’ from me whilst I am between houses. 

I can only tell you how much the deployed personnel look forward to receiving a quilt. While I was in Afghanistan, I saw a number of personnel receive a quilt and the response was always the same – a mix of gratitude that someone cared enough to go to so much work along with being extremely impressed with the very high quality and creativity that goes in to all the quilts and laundry bags. 

I know that this short email in no way makes up for the many hours of work that you put in to making this quilt but please accept my deepest thanks anyway. I am very humbled by your generosity.

Thanks again

Hi Helen,
Thankyou so much for the laundry bag I think its beautiful and very well made. I want you to know how appreciated your gifts are to us on the ship, you and the women from Aussie quilt make a lot of sailors very happy. Its truly a beautiful gesture. 

If the picture is where you live that’s looks amazing you must be very happy there!
Please thank your husband Garry for his service for me 🙂
All the best and thanks again for the bag! If you have any questions about sea life please ask!


Hi Kate,
I have just received the quilt you made as member of the Aussie Hero Quilt team.
Firstly, I want to say a HUGE thank you! It is absolutely perfect and is far beyond my expectations! It is a high quality quilt that I am privileged to own for the rest of my life.
This is my first operational deployment and your quilt and letter will certainly be one that will bring back fond memories of this experience.
At little about who I am and what I do. I’m currently deployed with the Mulitnational Force Observers in the Sinai peninsula, Egypt.  Our role is to enforce peace between Egypt and Israel, which is the most successful military operation in the last half century. My role is to coordinate the daily movement and operations of approximately 2500 personnel (US, UK, Canadian, Fijian, Columbian, Norwegian and many more).

I will be returning to my fiancé and family in November.
Thank you once again for your incredible work, it truly means a lot to me and the team I am deployed with.


Hi Debbie,
I wanted to thank you so much for the laundry bag that you made up. I’m sure XXXX tells you this but it’s amazing how much a little gift made with love brightens up your day when you are here.
It becomes very easy to become disconnected from what’s going on at home when you are so busy and engrossed in work so when you come back to your room with a package at the door is awesome.
Stoked with the design too, pretty proud of the Mo I’ve grown over here, it’ll be a shame to shave it off when I have to reintegrate with society. Also, laundry bags are real handy, not just here but when I go away on trips back in Aus.
So thanks again, and hopefully we’ll cross paths at some stage so I can thank you in person.

Kind Regards,

A great collection of thank you messages.   

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

Jan-Maree  xx

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