Grati-Tuesday 19 May 20

Written by AHQ

19 May 2020

Hey all,

Before I hand over to Kylie for the gratitude post just a few words on another subject.  At the beginning of March I told you that our lovely Sandy from the Coffs Harbour Sewing Team had been diagnosed with a brain tumour. 

Last week I called for blocks for Sandy’s quilt. We have had a huge response and have received the promise of so many blocks that we have to close the books on that one. If you have not put your name down to contribute to Sandy’s quilt then I am afraid that it is too late. We need to wait for the blocks to arrive and then get stuck into putting it together. 

Sandy is thankfully out of hospital and is now receiving home palliative care with her family. I am told that she is grateful and appreciating all the love she is receiving through messages etc.  If you would like to send her a card or a note they are going up on her wall and she enjoys them every day.  I know she would love to hear from you. I could not even try to guess how many quilts Sandy has made and masterminded through the Coffs Harbour Sewing Team but it must be in the 1000’s. Please dont be bashful, if you would like to send her your good wishes then I know she would love to hear from you. 

Her postal address is 

Sandy Corry
9 Wendouree Court 
North Boambee Valley NSW 2450

and now over to Kylie…

Hi Team

It’s Tuesday again, and you know what that means!

 Time for some lovely letters of thanks that cover all of the emotions. They make you laugh; burst with pride; shed a tear or two and make you want to send our wonderful recipients – and their families back home, the biggest of hugs.  I tell you, “copped it in the feels” this week big time.

Grab a cupper find a comfy spot and in your own time; read on.  



Sorry for the late reply I received the quilt you had made earlier this year. We got super busy whilst in Iraq and never got a chance to reply. I have since gotten home after doing my 14 days mandatory quarantine in a hotel.  My daughter loves her quilt as much as she loves her line up of rabbits and it is a part of her nightly routine to have her bed laid out.

I actually grew up in FNQ as a kid and moved around a bit due to my step dad being a Cop. I don’t have any immediate family in the services but my Uncle was the one who got me into he idea of signing up to the Army, he is a infantry reservist. 

Life has been crazy since we deployed we had the bush fires that we watched from Iraq and the COVID situation that we watched unfold and came back to. 

Thank you for the lovely quilt and I would love to stay in touch.


Dear Judy,

Thank you so much for my quilt. I appreciate the time and effort you and the Aussie Hero Quilt team have put in to make such a special gift. I am the only member of my family to join Defence in Australia. My Grandfather was a merchant seaman in the Netherlands prior to moving to Australia. I joined the Navy in 2007 and am now the Operations Officer in HMAS Toowoomba.

As you mentioned, we are very connected in Toowoomba; we have always had email services, but for the first time we also have WIFI throughout the ship. It allows us to call home via face time and get online to catch up on news and happenings around the world. I have my wife and three daughters (7, 6 and 2) at home and it’s been great talking to them every other day. They are also staying at home in quarantine although the girls may go back to school in the coming weeks.

We’ve not had shore leave since February which is when COVID restrictions started hitting the Middle East. From then we’ve been confined to the ship and it’s been quite difficult to plan our mission around border and quarantine restrictions.

I hope this email finds you well and that the lifting of restrictions goes well for everyone back home. Seeing how Australia has come together as a nation and reduced the effects of the pandemic makes me proud to be Australian. We truly live in a great country.

Kind regards,


Dear Sue,

 Thank you so very much for the Hero Quilt that you handcrafted to my specific design it is greatly appreciated and very thoughtful of you all to put the effort in to making my day that much better.

 The weather has been very sporadic over the last 6 months from 30 degree days to negative 14. We receive a fair amount of snow this time around It’s a shame I didn’t have my quilt to keep me warm at night, however, it is far too nice to be used as a normal blanket and will be hung on my wall at home with pride.

  A little about myself. I am 29 years old and enlisted as a Vehicle Mechanic in  2008 when I was just 17.  The role I am currently deployed in  has lots  of roles and responsibilities it keeps me extremely busy abut it does make my days go by quickly. I am now at the tail end of my deployment , I am definitely looking forward to returning home to my partner and my pets.

 Once again thank you for all your support that you are providing for our serving members, It really means a lot to have lovely ladies like yourself who take the time out of their days to make custom quilts for us like yours supporting us whilst we are away from out loved ones.

  Yours sincerely


Dear Suzann,

I am just writing to say a big thank you to you for the laundry bag and goodies in the box. I really appreciate the effort you have gone to with it by placing on my initials, Australian flag and my sub-unit emblem. Our bags are easily identifiable and stand out in the laundry!!

I hope you and your family are doing well considering the current environment and hope that things can return to some level of normality soon. Also, I’m glad to hear there has been some rain for all those experiencing the drought.

Once again, thank you for the time and effort spent on the laundry bag. We all appreciate them, along with the quilts and indefinitely reminds us that people back home are supporting us and thankful for what we do here, even though we may not know them.

Many Thanks,


Hi Cath,

It is so lovely to e-meet you, and it is an honour to be a recipient of your beautiful quilt!

First thing – the quilt you have designed and put so much love and care into is absolutely stunning. I fell in love with it as soon as I removed it from the box, and I couldn’t help but race around the Wardroom (the mess I live in) and show everyone your amazing handiwork.

I love the anchor and golden rope, and I especially love the pop of purple, red and blue! I could not have imagined a better quilt to brighten my cabin and my day. I’m not sure thank you will ever be enough, but from the bottom of my heart – Thank you Cath!

It’s also been so lovely reading your letter! As I’m sure you can imagine we don’t get to meet new people very often out here, nor do our lives change very much from the day-to-day, so reading about yourself, your little fur-family and your hobbies has been a welcomed and refreshing change.

I’m sorry to hear about your roses through the heat and drought, but I do hope as autumn and winter are in full swing they get a little more of the water they thirst for – but hopefully not too much. My mum likes roses too, she lives in SA with my dad. They also have a front garden full of roses and she also likes to savour a bunch for inside as often as possible. I believe the ones she has growing now are pink and yellow. She’s had red and white previously too.

So as you can probably guess, I grew up in SA . I was born and raised there and hadn’t really left that much until I joined the Navy in 2012. My mother and father still live in our family home and are still working.  In 2012 I initially joined as a sailor and was posted  on HMA Ships Sydney and Armidale. Then in 2015 I decided to challenge my career further and commissioned to the rank of Midshipmen and went to university, now posted HMAS Toowoomba. I have also served in HMA Ships Choules, Canberra and Stuart.

I have a younger brother – younger but taller – who is also in the military and is currently serving  in the NT with the RAAF. We’re the only military people in the family.

I have deployed operationally to Operation RESOLUTE and SAVILLE on numerous occasions, but this is my first time to the Middle East and COVID-19 is making sure it is a deployment to remember!

While HMAS Toowoomba is based out of WA, I actually live in NSW . My partner is also in the Navy and she is currently at home with our miniature dachshund. He is absolutely adorable, but the sassiest thing with the loudest bark you will ever meet!  My partner and I have been together for about 3 years now and I’m excited to finally come home to the East coast. We’re even getting married next year – so much planning!

Your holidays and experiences at the Aussie Hero Quilt get-togethers sound so exciting! I was living vicariously through you while reading all about them. I bet you’re eager to go on another holiday when all the COVID restrictions lift! Are they having another Aussie Hero Quilts function at the end of this year? I will look to attend if so, and if it is on the East coast as I would love to meet the incredible people responsible for the amazing support provided to us through these quilts and laundry bags.

I also thank you for all your dedication to educating the next generation of Australians! I can’t imagine it would be easy teaching teenagers (I don’t think I could do it), and your efforts today will shape a better Australia tomorrow – so thank you.

Again Cath, thank you so much for the master piece you have created. It has brought, warmth, happiness, colour, love, and home all the way to the Middle East – you’re the true Aussie Hero.


Good morning Hilary,
Thank you so much for my lovely laundry bag, it is so nice to have a touch of girly charm added to my day 🙂
The work all of you ladies do is much appreciated and you all boost our morale so much.
This is my third deployment to the middle east and I’m sure you know all about it from reading your story. It is wonderful to have some things from home and to hear about your history with the military.
Kind regards,


Dear Janelle & Craig

My husband received a wonderful (orange & black) laundry bag that you made. Brian has been in the Army for 47 years & was to retire in December, but they gave him an age extension due to his position within the Engineers in NSW.  He is now working with  the induction of Military personnel (All 3 services) into COVID19Assist. A Padre liaised with Jan-Maree to obtain a large number of bags which are being distributed to personnel when they are inducted.

He chose your bag as it had a large portion of orange, which is my favorite color. It is VERY much appreciated & will become a valued item in our household.

Thank you for your (& everyone else) contribution. Brian tells me that the soldiers are very happy to choose their own bags & enjoy the thought.



Hi Janet!
I’m so excited to let you know that I received my quilt and laundry bag yesterday during our mail run.
I can’t tell you how much I love them! They are so incredible and you are so very talented. I couldn’t stop showing them off to everyone and they all loved them too! My friend on the ship got a Harry potter design as well but she belongs to Slytherin house haha. She received her laundry bag yesterday and is just waiting on her quilt now.
I’m so glad you are loving living rural now. It will definitely be a nice slower place to retire for the both of you. I hope that you will be able to see your family again soon once the world starts to settle back to ‘normal’.
Just want to say a massive thank you for your tireless efforts in producing these wonderful quilts and laundry bags. It is appreciated so much more than you could ever know and something I will be able to keep and treasure forever!
Please find attached a very happy me with my goodies.
Kind regards,


Hello Jen,
Firstly I would like to say a huge thank you for my amazing quilt. I love it so much, You are very talented.
 I have served in the Navy for almost 11 years. I grew up and lived for 18 years in northern NSW. I joined the Navy about 8 months after finishing high school.
I am now based in WA and have fell in love with the place.
I have been engaged for 3 years now and next year will finally get some time ashore to get married which I am already excited and nervous about ha ha.
I have attached a photo of my two dogs which the design request was from. I also attached a photo when I first opened my parcel. I sent the photo to my partner back home and she absolutely loved it as well. We are madly in love with dogs and our dream is to own a dog retreat and save all the puppies we can ha ha.
20 Years of nursing is a long time thank you very much for everything as I’m sure you would of made sacrifices along the way as well so thank you.
I hope you are enjoying your retirement as best as possible. You deserve it.
I can’t thank you enough and every other member of Aussie Hero Quilts yes the times do get tough up here but when we have fantastic support like what you and the other members it does take your mind away from matters at hand and make you smile so thank you very much for what you do and I hope you keep it up.
Words can’t explain how grateful I am Jen I absolutely love my Quilt and it will always have a special place in my house for it.
Take care and keep up the great work.
Kind regards


Good morning Anne,
I just got your parcel and I would like to thank you for my quilt it looks amazing good choice with the colours too. When I get time I will take a photo and send it into Aussie hero Quilts on face book. I hope you and your family are well through this Covid 19 pandemic. Yes you are right we are unable to go ashore when we get into port but on the bright side saving money.
Bit about myself, I joined the Navy in 2010 and in the same year got married, I now have two beautiful daughters aged 6 and 3. Originally from New Zealand, but moved to Australia in 1997 to be closer to family that had already made the move over the pond. I enjoy my family time with my wife and daughters when I’m home and I like to spearfish and go camping when I can. Thank you again for the quilt it makes time away from home that little bit easier.
Kind Regards


Hello Aase,
I am pleased to let you know that I received the quilt and laundry bag you made today along with the little note you sent. Thank you so much, I love them. All the sailors on board HMAS Toowoomba have been receiving quilts and bags from the lovely people of Aussie hero quilts and they really make a big difference.
I very much appreciate the time and effort you have put into making these for me and I think they both look great. When I get chance, I will see if I can take a photo of me with the quilt and email it to you (It will be a different email address from me, as we can’t send photos on our work addresses, which is this one). 
I hope you are doing well in lovely Tasmania, I have been there only once, but absolutely loved it. Although I think that the weather will be starting to get quite cold and wet there at the moment. Hope you have some nice warm blankets for yourself as well J
Like your husband, I used to be in the Air Force as well. I spent eight years in the Air Force before swapping over to the Navy and have now been in the Navy for almost 12 years. I also spent a bit of time up in the Pilbara, living in a place called Fitzroy Crossing. I was living there in 1998, but that was before I joined the Defence Force. I have never been to Denmark, but would love to go one day. Hopefully I will get the chance to go back to Europe soon and go to some of the places I haven’t been to yet, like Denmark, Scotland, Belgium, Finland and Sweden. All the cold places….
Once again, thank you so much for your lovely gift. There is plenty of smiling faces on board our ship from all the great quilts and laundry bags that people have been receiving. We love them and hope that Aussie Hero Quilts will keep up their generous and wonderful idea.
Very best wishes,

Hi Cath,
Firstly, thanks so much for the laundry bag you’ve made for me – it is very much appreciated. I did very much welcome all the goodies you put in with it too – so thank you for that! I was wondering how you might capture the mountains around here, and that was a great way of expressing them. They have snow on them at the moment, as our seasons are reversed from Australia. As you go into winter, we will be approaching summer.
We got a bit of snow in winter and the temperature drops to around -10 during the nights. We are quite high up here, about 2,000m high, or a little bit higher than Colorado. In summer the temperature gets up in the high 30s, so it really is a city of extremes. The city was built for about 1m people, but there are about 6m living here so it’s quite overcrowded and there is a lot pollution, As you can imagine, there is quite a bit of disease and unemployment is very, very high so a lot of crime as well.
Thanks for sharing a little bit about yourself. I’ve got an English Staffy, who is staying at my home in Sydney. He is a very loving dog but hopeless to train. My wife and I were married in April last year, but I had to deploy in July so we weren’t able to spend a whole lot of time together. We now have a baby girl who was born in January. I was able to get some leave back to Australia so I was there when she was born and I could spend about 3 days with her before I came back here.
I’m very much looking forward to getting to know her when I get back. Our dog  seems to quite like her if my wife is holding her, he will walk past and give her  a lick on the foot as he walks by, which makes her laugh. My wife is from Overseas and doesn’t have any family in Sydney. Her father came to visit and she was hoping to go back to home to see her family but the Coronavirus restrictions have meant she isn’t able to travel so she is quite lonely.
As for me, my father served in Darwin and New Guinea in WW2 with the army, and my grandfather served in the Australian infantry during WW1. He went ashore at Gallipoli on 25 April and then served on the Western Front. He was shot there and invalided back to Australia – during the trip he met his wife, who was a nurse from Scotland working on the Hospital ship. I am actually a reservist and have taken a contract to do this deployment. In my day job I actually work with companies fixing broken processes.
Anyway, thank you so much for the laundry bag and taking the time to write to me. I hope you are well and staying safe with all the challenges in Australia over the last few months.
Best regards,


Hi Rita,

             I was one of the lucky recipients of one of your laundry bags in conjunction with Aussie Hero Quilts. I am writing this letter to you in appreciation for the effort and support you have shown toward us in making quilts and laundry bags. In my 26 years in the RAAF, I have never received such a token gesture of generosity, it has been received with humility. After reading your letter about your family and their history, especially the members that have served, I thought it was only just that I write back and personally thank you.

                I have been employed by the RAAF for 26 years, enlisting from my home town in SA in 1994. I have been a tradesman since the age of 16 becoming a qualified Fitter and Turner after doing an apprenticeship with General Motors. After leaving General Motors, I have worked in various trades from Fitting and Turning, Sheetmetal to a Fitter/Mechanic at a local council in SA . After 6 years at the council, SA  acquired the contract to build the Collins Submarines which gave me the thought of maybe joining the Navy. When I went into recruiting and spoke to Navy staff about jobs available, nothing really suited, so tried the Air Force. They had openings for Aircraft Structural Fitters, basically glorified Sheet Metal workers. I applied, was accepted and the rest is history. Funny thing is, the bag I received is brown with rivets on it, rivets being a primary mechanical fastener in my trade.

                We are currently deployed with an Army Joint Task Force to assist NSW Police with COVID 19. for 28 days. Today is day 20 of those 28 days with an option to do another 28 days at the end of this deployment. Part of COVID 19 Assist is to work in conjunction with NSW Sydney and Newcastle hotels providing on the ground support with quarantine operations.. Australian residents returning from overseas are now required to be transported straight from ports and airports to hotels for a 14 day quarantine period. We assist police with inducting, processing and delivering food and care packages to the guests during their 14 day quarantine.
Again, thank you for making my laundry bag and the effort in making others quilts and laundry bags.

PS – being a Structural Fitter, I’m not bad with a screw driver and a hammer


Dear Lynn,
I received my quilt!! I am sorry it has taken me so long to reply, I am usually one that likes to send handwritten letters however with COVID and our post system on board I was afraid the letter would never turn up. So, I thought it would be best to send a letter via email.
I am originally from a small country town in NSW. My Mum and Dad still live near there  and I have two brothers and three beautiful nieces and nephews. I joined the Navy 11 years ago. I have deployed to various places around the world, with a range of different Operational missions and exercises, spending the majority of my time at sea. I have served on HMA Ships Perth, Parramatta, Warramunga (twice) and now Toowoomba. I have met some of the most amazing people and had some of the greatest experiences; however, as with everything in life it does not come without its sacrifices and challenges.
I only recently moved to WA in the last 18 month but lived the previous 5 years in NSW.
Thank you for my beautiful African animal quilt it is just perfect and is nearly as big as my doona on my rack, so it fits perfectly. There is not enough words in the dictionary to express my gratitude, these little gifts when we are away make all the difference. We have been stuck on board for quiet sometime now, and mail day is like Christmas. It has been a tough deployment for all this year and this wonderful organisation brings smiles to all our faces.
We all get so excited watching the Facebook page trying to pick our quilts, to getting the email that says it is on its way. To then it finally arriving in the mail run so we can show it off to everyone!
I definitely do like all animals. With the Black Panther or Jaguar being my favourite. So I was stoked when I saw the quilt. I have been studying an Advanced Diploma in Zoology, which I am looking forward to finishing. One day I would like to volunteer at the Jaguar sanctuary in Argentina.
Thank you again for the lovely work you do, I hope you are faring well with all the chaos the world has been thrust into and are staying safe.
All the best,


Dear Bridget,
I hope this email finds you well.
Firstly, thank you so much for the fantastic quilt it has really made such a difference to my room.
It is also amazing that the group have produced this massive number of quilts and laundry bags in support of our troops.
I am also married with two children, based in the ACT. My son has just turned 18 and is enlisting in the army, expecting to start mid this year. My daughter is 15 and looking forward to getting back to school after this period of online instruction whilst in lockdown.
This isolation is impacting so many people in different ways, I am sorry to hear that the shutdown has been affecting your children in terms of employment, hopefully it will turn around soon.
I also spent a while working out what I wanted to do after I left school and in hindsight it was time well spent.
Once again, thanks you so much for the quilt I am so happy with it and the COVID patch is great.
Best regards,


G’day Jean,
I received the laundry bag you made today and I love it! I put it to use immediately and it looks great hanging up in my room! 
I love travelling and have done a lot of it around Australia with work, but have seen some cool parts of the world in my personal time as well, my favourite place so far has been Peru, as I love the people and I love the scenery. Unfortunately I have not been to Africa but I plan to see it next year! 
Anyway, I thank you so much for the laundry bag, I love it and I love the dingo and wombat that you put on it! Thanks so much for taking the time to make it for me, I appreciate it a lot.
Kind regards,


Dear Susan,
I am the recipient of your wonderful, creative and fabulous laundry bag. Thank you for your time in creating a wonderful and memorable laundry bag for the Australian Defence Force – Royal Australian Navy.
I also was very touched by your letter. I forgot the feeling of receiving a letter that is written with heart and warmth. It brought tears to my eyes. I am so very grateful to you and your family.
I immigrated from the United States of America and received my Australian citizenship. I felt the call of duty to my new country and left my civilian job . Joining the Australian Defence Force in my mid-40s was not easy and there were many times when I wanted to return to the civilian sector. However, my desire to serve my country outweighed those challenges that I faced.
I do not have family in Australia. My mother passed away in 2017 and my father resides in the USA. I love living in Australia. This is really the lucky country. I love the people, the communities and the Australian spirit. I am single with no children, but I jokingly tell family and friends that I am married to my country, career and faith and I serve this nation with all my heart.
Thank you for your gift and your kind words. I am truly touched by your gift and words.


Hi Beverly,
I recently received a wonderful laundry bag that you made for me.  I had asked for a bag in the Trolls Movie Theme and what you have sent through fits the bill perfectly, I love it! Thank you very much for taking the time to create this wonderful item, I am most appreciative of your care and support.
I am currently serving on HMAS Toowoomba in the Middle East Region. It’s been a very rewarding job, and up here has been some of my best and most challenging flying I have done in my career so far. I have included a picture of myself with the laundry bag in front of the aircraft.
I have a family back at home that are living in NSW. I have one daughter who will turn four just before I return. Her favorite movie is Trolls (at least it was when I left!), hence the theme for my bag.
Beverly, thank you again for taking the time to create this for me, it is something I will treasure for some time.
Kind Regards,


Dear Clarissa,
I hope this email finds you well. Thank you very much for this wonderful surprise and all your thoughts and wishes. Your laundry bag is a wonderful gesture and it provides a wonderful personalised as well as homely feel while away from home.
At times it feels that we are operating out here in the shadows of Australian day to day life’s without purpose, the work that you do supporting us out here has incredible weight and makes all of us feel remembered and important.
I live in NSW with my beautiful fiancé who is also a Navy member. I am an  Officer on-board HMAS Toowoomba. My job on-board is to manage the materiel state of the Ship.  
My fiancé and I met during our Navy initial training period in 2016 and we are getting married next year. My fiancé is in the Navy and has deployed a number of time previously and is getting ready to deploy at the moment. Over the last three years we have spent more time apart than together, however we make the most of our time together. We look forward to posting to FNQ together next year during which time we are expecting to stay ashore together for a little while.
When we are both co-located we enjoy rock climbing, bush walking and water skiing on a regular basis.
Thank you very much again for your lovely surprise and thoughts.  
Kind Regards


Good morning Rita (aka Alpha mom),

        I have just been reading your letter with admiration of both the rich military history  and the holiday destinations you have to visit family.
Your life seems quite exciting compared to mine. I was born and bred in  NSW and joined the Navy in 1990. During this time I have completed several Middle East deployments as well as numerous other non-warlike deployments.
I am currently working in one of the Covid 19 Headquarters and will be here for the duration of the restrictions. It is hard to describe the reaction of people when they received the LB’s. The closest I could come would be likening it to small children on Christmas Day.
Once again thank you for the LB and the lovely letter, I picked the LB out for the colours. Your Granddaughter has great taste.
The efforts you ladies go to are truly appreciated by the troops.
I will send you a photo on Monday as I am in transit.
Best wishes to you and the family. Stay safe.


Dear April,
I would like to sincerely thank you for the quilt you made for me as a part of your support to the Aussie Hero Quilts Program. I was thrilled to received it the other day.
I am also not sure if I mentioned the significance of the three aircraft when I completed the spreadsheet request. I have served for over 30 years in the RAAF and I have operationally deployed with the three of them. As this is probably my final deployment as I draw closer to retiring T though they would be a great symbol of my career. I thought that when I had requested them I may of pushed my luck a little far as I knew they would be difficult.
However you have captured them perfectly.
After reading where your address was I was curious where it was was so I searched it on the map. I found it amusing that out of all the people that could have made me the quilt you do and you only live one suburb from my mum. She is in nearby. She is a very proud defence Mum and will be chuffed when I tell her that it was made in FNQ. No I am not from there but that is where my Mum settled.
Again, thank you so very much for all the effort you have out into my quilt. I also want to thank you on behalf of everyone here for you continued support to the members of the ADF. It means a great deal.
Yours Sincerely,

Hope you are all going well and still safe and well.


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