Grati-Tuesday 16 Feb 16

Written by AHQ

16 February 2016

The crew of HMAS Darwin has just received their first batch of mail for the deployment and some of our goodies were included in the bags brought on board.  Before anything else, here is a special message from the Chaplain….

I wish I could explain to you ( though I know you have heard it all before) the excitement around the ship at the arrival of quilts and laundry bags. One officer, who is a great guy, who works incredibly hard on board, and has  young family at home,  grabbed me yesterday afternoon. ” Come and see what I got”. There was a beautiful laundry bag with anchors all over it in Navy blue with his initials.  If that was not enough the maker had sown in a Superman symbol because she was sure this officer was a super hero. He is,  and it was nice that he was rewarded. Then in the box was two packets of Tim Tams and various assorted goodies. What’s more as he, and others who received quilts and laundry bags, then shared their delight with others on board  enthusiasm spreads across the whole ship. Morale is a fragile thing but when you see it visibly  lifted by the love of people ashore it is very special. As the Chaplain aboard  can I again warmly  and soundly thank all who support Aussie Quilts and deployed members of the ADF  with kindness, generosity and love. 

Thanks  Chap Richard 

Ahhh again, I bet you, like me, would just once like to be a fly on the wall when a bunch of our quilts and laundry bags arrive at their locations… just to see that unguarded response…. not going to happen, but so, so nice to read accounts like this and to know that we are spreading the love and letting our troops know that we care and appreciate them.
Hello Lynn,

I am taking a moment to say thank you to both yourself and Lisa N.
Personally I think the quilt is the best one I have seen… so thanks for your ability to “pick up” my vibes from over here.   Well done sensational… Go Crows!

The photo is of my room and my gear ready to go. I often travel with my body armour and helmet, which you can see on the bed head.  So after my travels it is great to open my door and be greeted by your work.

Once again thank you for your service to us.

Regards and Peace be with you. 


Hello Fran

I’d like to say a very big thank you for the quilt you made for me. It’s very nice and I liked the sailboats you had made and sewn onto the quilt along with the printed sail boat backing and colours. My ex mother in law also use to teach quilting and I’ll ask her if she can add some of my medal ribbons to my quilt once I arrive back home.

My idea was to place the quilt in my boat, however my partner, Louise said it was far too nice for the boys to lay under while we sailed, I had sent her some pictures of it, so I guess its up to her where it gets placed in the house 🙂 

Louise had tagged me in a Face Book post from the Aussie Hero Quilt page with I guess you holding up the quilt before it was sent. Once again I must say thank you, the quilts and laundry bags made by you and your fellow quilters are very much appreciated by those who receive them, I know mine will be treasured within the household for years to come.


I’m an infantry soldier based out of Perth. I received one of your laundry bags whilst I recently deployed to Malaysia. I didn’t have a laundry bag as I deployed at short notice over the Christmas leave period so I was away from my children who I love very much. But I was also very happy to be with my soldiers. Your laundry bag came in very handy for obvious reasons whilst away, also when I saw it I would smile due to all the colours. Seeing all the colours was great as the colours reminded me of my children and home.
I’m back home now and back at work but wanted to take the time out and thankyou for supporting all the troops with your time and effort by making quilts and laundry bags. I know the troops love them and they are truly appreciated. I know mine I will use for many years to come, as whenever I go away I will take it with me as it’s unique.
Thankyou again I hope the Darwin weather has started to cool down as that “build up” can be relentless. I remember my time there.
Thankyou and best wishes.

Hi Pennie

Thank you so much for the laundry bag. All the colours and fabrics pretty much sum up my normal life back at home.  It just had its first test run and works a treat. 

I don’t think my work over here make me any more of a hero compared to yourself. Being an emergency nurse you can make a difference everyday saving the Ives of others.

We have just ticked over the half way mark in our deployment. Very much so looking forward to coming home.
My role over here is as avionics technician. I work on the fighter jets that are currently deployed away at the moment. I have been doing this for 10 years now. Very interesting job, everyday is different.
Thank you again Pennie for the wonderful bag. Keep up the little sewing habit as you call it. Your really good at it.
Kindest of regards

Hi Su,

I just wanted to say thank you for the laundry bag that I received recently. It’s awesome and very much appreciated.

Thank you also for your support of our troops over here. It certainly means a lot and I can vouch for that.

Definitely looking forward to getting home and seeing my family as it’s been a while now.

Again, thank you for your support.

Dear Julie Ann,

Just a short note to follow-up on my email and say thank you for the fantastic laundry bag.  It remains on my wall as a reminder of home.  As I think I said, my Mum is a great quilter as is my wife, so I have always lived around such things. I have never understood but I have always lived around quilts! So it is great to have something that I closely associate with home.

I am just coming up on half way now and with some leave to look forward to, I am sure it will go fast,

Once again, thank you for your warmth and kindness. All the best……

Dear Louise,
First of all I would like to apologise for the late response after receiving your Aussie Hero quilt.
As you can imagine we are fairly busy on deployment and especially as my job is part of the Operations department we are always on the go. I did have a few moments in which I may have been able to send a quick email but I wanted to do it properly so I could express my true appreciation.
You would be pleased to know that your quilt arrived just in time for Christmas day. It was my first Christmas away from home and my large family so as you could imagine it was a difficult one. The arrival of your quilt and message definitely made the day feel a bit more like home.
This is not my first long deployment of over 6 months but it is the first Middle Eastern operation where we don’t have the opportunity to pull into an Australian port or may not have the same rights being a female as I have in previous deployments. It has definitely been an experience and an eye opener.
I really do love and appreciate the time and effort you have put into the quilt. It will forever be a reminder of my first major deployment. Every time I go to sea I have a list of more sentimental things that I bring with me for times that it may be a little harder to stay positive. I have a small memento for each of my family members, a guitar that I have had with me since my very first sea posting engraved with every port it has been with me, and without a doubt this quilt is now apart of this sentimental list.
These quilts make more of a difference than you may know. I am not sure if you have ever been on deployment or have known someone that has, but it can be a real struggle at times mentally and physically and a huge pressure on relationships back home. To receive a gift like this from a complete stranger is something that without a doubt can make a difference to someone’s perspective or their drive to keep going.
I am not sure if this is your first quilt you have provided to Aussie Heroes but I would only hope that you continue so you can make that difference to someone else as you did for me. I will forever cherish this quilt.
Thank you so much,


Dear Peter and Marg

Just a short note to thankyou for your wonderful quilt.  I know I will keep it for years to come and think about the complete strangers who took time out to support us over here.
I see the guys’ faces when they open the care packages that contain the Laundry Bags and Quilts and it makes their day having received these gifts from complete strangers knowing that they are thought of back home.

I would also like to thank Leith for supplying the money to obtain the materials to make the quilts.   My plan when I get back is to get out of town for a week or so and just look at green for a change as sand just doesn’t cut it without a beach.

Again thankyou for your thoughtful gift.


Hello Joan & Rob,

Greetings from the MER.

I received the laundry bags you sent today, thank you both very much, they are terrific, I love the variety of designs.

I received another 12 bags yesterday from a lovely lady and her son so I have a nice little collection of them at the moment.

My plan is to make all the laundry bags available to anybody who would like one at the next milestone occasion, as I did previously leading up to Christmas. My strategy is to set up a table at the entrance to the Camp Baird Mess and hand the bags out to those who don’t have one.

Rest assured both laundry bags and quilts are a huge hit here, appreciated by all who receive them, just as your son did when he was serving in the MER. Upon entering a laundry at Camp Baird one of the first things you will notice is that sitting upon almost every washing machine and clothes dryer is a Laundry Bag from Aussie Hero’s, they are very popular and very useful.

I always make a point of taking notice of the various patterns and designs on the bags, some are certainly very interesting.

Once again a huge heart felt thank you, know that every Australian Service member who receives an item from the Army known as Aussie Hero Quilts and Laundry Bags appreciates your generosity and efforts greatly.

Thank you for your support and such thoughtfulness.


Hello Jan-Maree, 

I would just like to let you know that the quilt made by Kim A arrived safe and sound. 

I would like to extend my many thanks to yourself and your organisation, the quilt is great and could I not be happier with it. 

It is always a good day here when your packages arrive. The team does get excited to see how each others quilts and bags turned out (Mine is a favourite so far). 

Thank you once again and I hope you are aware of how much everyone over here does appreciate what you do. 

Kind Regards, 


Hi Julie-ann,

Thank you so much for making the Laundry bag. I received it today (11 Feb 16) and based on your letter, it has taken about 5 – 6 weeks to travel here. I am a person who appreciates detail and I love the stitching, the thick rope, and the design. You should be very proud of yourself as I am sure you are (congratulations on hitting 400 made bags).
I see you live in XXXxx. I lived in XXXX for 6 years. My wife  has family that largely resides in XXXXX and we visit often. I can remember Pack march training on XXXX too (that was a painful time).  I am getting all nostalgic now haha.
My son just turned 21 months old last week and he’ll be two by the time I return home. They grow so fast and I’m sure you’re enjoying watching another generation (your grandson) grow before your eyes. I know what you mean about the uncertainly of children and new people as I our son glues himself to my wife’s leg when strangers are around. Eventually they learn.
Thanks again for the gift, I have already put it to use and see it hanging in my room everyday. Whilst I appreciate the kind words about my service to country, you should know that your service to your husband is just as inspiring to me. The love and loyalty you display in family has far greater influence on our country than you can imagine. Thank you so much for that.
All the best in the future (and for the next 400 bags made),
Kind Regards,


Hi Kaye

We received 50 bags of mail after being at sea for over seven weeks, I was so surprised to receive your parcel with the most beautiful laundry bag and extra creature comforts that will make my life a little bit easier.

I would like to say thank you so much, when I opened your parcel I started to cry thinking that someone I did not know had made such a thoughtful gift for a complete stranger, your kindness is very much heartfelt.

One again thank you so much for my thoughtful gifts, my laundry bag is already hanging up in my small cabin I share with two others and I had been searching the ship for a book to read!

All the very best 


Good Morning Robyn,

Thank you so much for my package and especially my laundry bag! I love it.
I couldn’t have asked for a better day to receive your package than Australia Day, especially on a day I would normally be spending with friends and family, it definitely made me feel appreciated back home. 
I hope you and your border collie Banjo are doing well and the weather has cooled.
I hope this email reaches you and thankyou again for the kind words and support, it means alot.


Dear Robyn,

I have just opened the package containing the incredible quilt you have sewn together.  I am in awe at the detail, the design and quality of work. For a micro second I entertained the idea of hanging it on a wall at home like a tapestry… but my plan is to gift it to my wife and kids because I will feel more secure knowing they are warm and safe while I am away. Thank you for contributing towards that. 

You are very talented and once again, I want to express how grateful I am for your time, energy, costs and support that put together such a wonderful quilt.  The contribution to morale that this makes to me and other soldiers, lucky enough to receive a gift, is truly significant.  I hope you understand that and feel personally proud of your efforts.

Please also pass on my thanks to your sister Bev for the embroidery which is also amazing.

All the best, I am proud to serve a nation with citizens like you and your family,

Kind Regards, 

For a quilt top made by Linda P, quilted by Stephanie T and bound by Maree W

I would like to thank you for the great work your organization has done and I’m very happy with the quilt received. I have had numerous positive remarks about the quilts other people have received and it has helped us through this deployment. Your efforts help us get through a difficult time away from family but it’s worth it in end. 


        I am writing to thank you so much for my laundry bag and quilt that arrived yesterday. They are both amazing. I cannot really believe it is the first quilt you have ever made as it is wonderful. The more I look at them both the more I see in them. They are indeed art! I was showing some of my fellow officers and they were amazed.- they loved the ” proud to serve”. 

We have been gone nearly 7 weeks and it is so encouraging to receive such kindness. I have been working closely with Jan- Maree on this project really since I joined the ship in October last year. I am fully aware of the program. I thought I fully understood it all. But I don’t think the emotional  impact of  quilts arriving really hit me until they arrived for me yesterday and for many of my ship mates. 

        Thanks again . 


And now a little extra….


I some of you don’t have Facebook and many probably don’t see the posts from our Peace Keepers deployed with the United Nations so here is a bit of an update on what some of our Peace Keepers have been up to.  Operation Paladin is our Peace Keepers in Israel and Operation Mazurka are our Peace Keepers in the Sinai in Egypt.

ADF personnel serving in the Middle East on Operation Paladin (Australia’s contribution to the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation) and Operation Mazurka (Multinational Force Observers) recently gathered in the town of Be’er Sheva, Israel to commemorate the 98th anniversary of the Battle of Beersheba.
Commander of Australian personnel on Operation Paladin, said it was an honour to be in Be’er Sheva to represent the ADF at the ceremonies and to remember the Commonwealth Soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
Australian personnel have been serving on UN missions in Israel, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt since 1956 – 2016 is the 60th year of Australia’s continuous contribution to UNTSO.

Till next time……………..keep spreading the word and happy stitching!
Jan-Maree  xx

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