Grati-Tuesday 28 April 2020

Written by AHQ

28 April 2020

Hi Everyone, 

How was your ANZAC Day? My family and I participated in Light Up the Dawn driveway service and our whole street came together (appropriately distanced!) in the pre-dawn candlelight.

We stood in silent reflection listing to the hauntingly beautiful Last Post as it played over the loudspeaker via ABC Radio. Then as if on cue, the sun appeared in the most glorious fashion during the minute silence. Reveille sounded and the candles went out, the service ended with the lone piper pipping the Lament.

It was the most simplistic, emotionally moving ANZAC Day I have attended and it will stay with me always. I hope your day was special for you too. 


G’day again Ellen,

I hope you’re keeping well and that you were able to commemorate Anzac Day in your own way today. 
In the meantime, a little about myself. I’m deployed with RAAF as part of a aircraft detachment. This is the third time I’ve visited the Middle East on deployment. I live in  NSW with my Kelpie, Rusty, who’s on a stay-cation with some friends while I’m over here. I’m originally from Adelaide, however my family spread pretty wide. I have one brother, who’s recently left the Air Force, in  NSW  with me. My other brother lives in Canberra with his wife, both also in the military. And my folks live down in on the Victorian Surf Coast. Dad spent around 36 years in the Air Force. So there’s a little bit of military history there, along with my mums Father, who was a veteran of WWII. 
Once again, I can’t express how much your quilt means to me. The thought that people are willing to donate their time and money to this cause brings a smile to all our faces. 
I’ve included a couple of photos for you. Unfortunately I couldn’t get the whole quilt in, as I’m just not tall enough!
Thanks again Ellen, I look forward to sharing more correspondence with you. 



with much excitement I received my amazing quilt from Judy D in the mail a couple a days ago, and thought ANZAC Day no better a day to pass on my sincere thanks and gratitude for the amazing quilt,  the detail and thought gone into the quilt is wonderful and something I, and my family will treasure,  being from Adelaide too,  a special connection with Judy,  who on my return from deployment I’ll plan a personal thank you.  

Thank you again to AHQ,  and thank you again to Judy


Dear Wendy, 

I am currently deployed to the Middle East as part of Force Support Element 11 on OP Accordion. 

Firstly, I want to thank you for all the time and effort you have put in for Aussie Hero Quilts and the selfless act of creating the individual works or art for our service men and women. 

Well after a few detours around the country and different areas, my quilt finally arrived and I can honestly say I was well impressed of what you and your family (Lynn/Arthur) created for me. 

At first I thought I may have been a little too detailed with my request but a few people reassured me that it would be fine. What you, Lyn and Arthur have created for me is AMAZING! I was stoked at what you were able to do for me. This will be thoroughly enjoyed snuggled with the family on the lounge once I am home. 

My family consist of my wife  and 3 children ages, 16, 4 and nearly one. We also have 2 dogs Bandit and Woolfie and Dusty the cat. We are a very busy family with many sports and extra activities to keep us busy.  

Your road trip sounded like it was a good trip. My family and I like to do some camping every now and then when time permits (We had arranged for a camping trip this Easter once I was home…..not anymore thanks to COVID-19). The place in which you mentioned, when I was a young boy my family used to travel up and around Tenterfield and Tamworth through to Queensland to visit our extended family. 

Once again, I thank you all for what you do for our troops, it does not go unnoticed and I know every one of us is thankful for every quilt and laundry bag created. 

Take care and thank you. 

Kind regards, 
Dear Sheena,
I am writing to thank you for the beautiful quilt that you spent your valuable time making for me.  It perfectly represents the colours of my Regiment and the time that I spent on OPERATION OKRA in Iraq.
It is unfortunate times that we live in where you cannot engage in your love of travelling.  Hopefully the back end of this year provides you with the opportunity to do so.  I hope you and your family are staying safe in the circumstances we find ourselves in.  If your son is a winemaker then I am sure to have tasted the product of his work!  My friends and I often used to travel down the Limestone Coast for a spot of sun and wine. 
Serving in Iraq was an honour and a privilege and along with helping Kangaroo Island as part of OPERATION BUSHFIRE ASSIST 19/20, has been a highlight of my decade of service.  Thank you for the support that you have provided not just for me, but no doubt, countless other serving members when they are far from home.  You are the reason we serve. 

Good Morning Jen,

I am writing you this email to say a massive thank you for the quilt you made for me! It turned out better than I ever imagined. Everyone here who has seen the quilt has commented on how well made it is. 
I found it funny that a local clothing store lady would end up making me a quilt, as I am posted to at a Defence Establishment in Sydney  and regularly travel to to see you guys. 
I live in Sydney with my partner, have no kids or pets at the moment, because it’s too difficult with all the travelling I do for work. My partner and I take holidays to Thailand whenever we can as well  so it would be unfair to place pets in a kennel or as friends to mind them often. One day when I post to somewhere a little less hectic, I may get a dog again. 
My boss already sent our quilt photo to Jan-Maree which has since been put up on the facebook page, but I have attached it for you here to hopefully enjoy! We wanted to do something cool for you guys, seeing as you volunteer your time to make these awesome quilts for us. Sorry the quality isn’t the best, it’s a snapshot taken from a GoPro video.
Anyway, I hope you and your family are safe, and I look forward to meeting you in person after I get home. 
Stay safe, oh and thanks for the Tim Tams you sent. My boss and I devoured them in about 5 minutes haha. 


Hello Beverley 
The quilt and laundry bag you made for me is brilliant and I’m very impressed by the end results. It is something that I will cherish as a unique reflection of my deployed experience. The bonus treats were also a nice surprise. You might be interested to know the parcel got here via HMAS Toowoomba’s helicopter as underslung cargo due to current COVID-19 restrictions. There’s a photo at this link.
Thank you for your kind letter, it’s great to learn a bit more about the person behind the quilt. You sound like you must be having a not so quite retirement looking after so many animals! From teaching primary school children, raising countless animals and now as an Aussie Hero Quilter, you are clearly an active contributor who gives a lot back to the community. The world needs more people like you! 
As a bit more info for you, I am currently  deployed under OP Manitou as an embedded staff in the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF). The CMF is a multinational naval partnership that has the main focus areas are defeating terrorism, preventing piracy, encouraging regional cooperation, and promoting a safe maritime environment. 
An example of the work CMF does is in this link relating to a recent narcotics seizure by HMAS Toowoomba. 
Thanks again and I wish you all the best. I hope you are also taking the time to look after yourself and are staying safe at this time. You are a true hero, please never forget that! 
Kind regards 


Good afternoon Anne and Allan, 

I have just received your wonderful laundry bag! (thanks for the sneaky Tim Tams) 

I can’t believe the work that has gone into it and could you please pass on my thanks to Inge for the crest. 

My role on board the ship is an Aircrewman. We have a MH-60R “Romeo” helicopter on board and it’s my job to work the all the sensors in the back to help develop a picture of what’s happening in the area surrounding the ship. 

Too much stuff to edit out and not really needed in the post  

I live in NSW well my house and family are there. I moved over to WA in June last year while the family remained in NSW for school and work. 

My wife and I have lived in NSW for 10 years. We have two children,  6 and one who is turning four in May. 

My wife  works in a child care centre which one of the kids goes to and the other started year 1 this year, though it’s been quite disrupted with the COVID lockdown. I think she’s the only kid who’s disappointed that she can’t go to school. She definitely didn’t get that trait from her Dad. We have an 8 year old Boarder Collie named Ziggy at home who is getting a lot more attention now the kids are home. 

Both my wife and I grew up just up the road from where we live now. We met a couple of months before I joined the Navy. As a Navy wife yourself is can be quite the difficult job but she is going great guns. 

After reading your letter its funny the connections we both share to the military and golf. 

With you both being in the Navy and Allan working in support of the 135th Assault Helicopter Company. 

I am a member of a Golf Club. I love playing golf but when I found out I was moving to WA I didn’t need a full years membership at my local course but they didn’t offer any half year rates. The Pro suggested I become a member of  a home club to keep my handicap and continue playing. My intention was to drive home on completion of this posting with my Dad and my son and drop in to have a round. Not sure how that’s going to play out now with all the restrictions in place. 

I was back home for Christmas this year and ventured down the coast for our annual holiday. My father in law and I drove up the coast for a round of golf and noticed it was a bit smoky due to the fires about but weren’t too concerned. The following day was new year’s eve which is also my daughters birthday, I woke to a text message saying if you live in Mogo it was too late to leave. 

During the night the fire had traveled quite a distance east and we awoke to towers of thick smoke. We had planned to go to Mogo zoo for her birthday so breaking the news to her that we couldn’t go broke her heart.
But the RFS managed to save majority of the town and the zoo. 

We were stuck down the coast for a couple of days due to road closures but made it home safe and sound. 

I hope you and Allan are keeping well during the COVID lockdowns. I can only image what it’s like at home at the moment. 

Anne you and your quilting group are doing a wonderful job and the smiles around the ship when someone opens a package brightens everyone’s day. 

Keep up the great work, Enjoy the slices, scones and laughter. Once again thank you.   



Dear Tamsin 

Thank you so much for the beautiful laundry bag you have made for me, I love it! The special goodies included were also very much appreciated. A little taste of home while deployed makes the long days a little easier. 

To see my laundry bag was made by someone from Tassie was also warming as I am also a Tassie girl, although I come from the South East coast. 

I’m so sorry to hear about your house but I think what  you are doing for the deployed members is absolutely amazing. 

My mum is also an avid quilter so perhaps I’ll show her your work and she might also jump on the bandwagon. 

So far I have done almost 10 years in the navy and this is my first major overseas deployment. It’s been a long and trying time with everything going on in the world so an unexpected care package with Aussie goodie was so welcome. Mail day has become an exciting time for the deployment now with our port visits restricted, for our safety of course, so to receive my bag really brightened my day. 

Thank you again for the wonderful work you do and support you are providing us. 

Kind regards 


Good Morning Beverly,
Thank you so much, I received your AMAZING Laundry Bag yesterday!
I also received your letter, it was lovely to see that your passion is able to provide such joy!
A little bit about me,  I have been married for 3 years now (January 2017), with 2 children (9 and 2), I met my wife in January 2012, and started dating not long after that, I joined the RAN in June 2015  I Completed my Basic (initial employment) training on 22nd April 2016, followed by an Operational deployment in support of OP Resolute, and have been posted to HMAS Toowoomba since February 2017.
During my time on board HMAS Toowoomba I have completed a circumnavigation of Australia, completed multiple Multi-National exercise’s around Australia, deployed throughout the South East Asia region, visited Hawaii for RIMPAC in 2018, and now an OP Manitou deployment as well.
Thank you again for your Amazing Laundry Bag, I am sure it will see much use for the remainder of this deployment.
Kind regards

Good morning Kylie,
Thank you so much for taking the time to craft me such a wonderful laundry bag. It came out better than I would have ever imagined. I hope you and your family are doing well in this time of uncertainty and frustration with all that is happening back in Australia.
Many thanks and the kindest of regards

Good morning Diane,
Firstly, thank you so much for making such an amazing laundry bag!!! I am so grateful for the time and effort you took to make it. When the mail arrived on our ship today and I opened up my package, I was very impressed to see the laundry bag and the great job you did. You have no idea how much of a morale boost it was to get the laundry bag. It is now hanging in pride of place in my cabin as you can see in the photo attached. I live in a six berth cabin and my bunk is the top one. There are two more bunks about two metres across from my bunk and two more about one metre from the head of my bunk, so there is no chance for social distancing on a warship J
Unfortunately, much like back in Australia, we don’t have much to look forward on this deployment because of the restrictions placed on us because of the Corona Virus. Normally ships deploying on Op Manitou get to experience some amazing port visits but unfortunately for us, all the countries over this way have closed their borders. So we are very limited to where we can pull alongside and when we do we are lucky if we get to step on the wharf adjacent to our ship. So at the moment, mail is one of few luxuries we have to look forward to.
Thank you once again for such an amazing laundry bag, I am so grateful for it.
I hope this email finds you well.
Kind regards,


Thank you for the amazing quilt that you made and sent to me. It just arrived which is the perfect time for ANZAC day. Your generosity with your time and thoughts is appreciated more than you could know.
Thanks again.


Dear Ellen,

  This is just a quick note to say my husband, currently deployed with the RAAF, sent me a photo of the beautiful quilt you made for him. I was truly moved by such a generous gift. We will miss him tomorrow and I don’t think the Christmas care package I sent will arrive on time so it brings me comfort to know he has received such a meaningful gift from you. 

Thank you and merry Christmas to you and your whole family


Afternoon Kaye,
I received your wonderful laundry bag the day before last, we received some stores via helicopter to the ship. As you can imagine it takes a while and given recent circumstance a little longer than usually expected. But none the less I have it now and I very much appreciate the effort you went to and the treats you supplied.
These packages are really the highlights of our deployments, especially since we are unable to head ashore for respite in these trying times. My family and friends are doing well and I hope the same for yours. Things seem to have gotten a lot better back in Australia and I hope for your sake and everyone else’s we can return to some sense of normality before long.
All the best and thank you once again.

Afternoon Pennie,
Thank you very much for your beautiful quilt. It is what I had imagined and much more, you put a lot of effort and time into it and it really shows. I have sent photos to family and friends and my mother especially who is an avid quilter and she is very impressed. Your take on the Game Of Thrones idea is really nice and It seems far too nice for anything but a place on a wall in my house.
Things are definitely trying here too and we are being constantly interrupted by the changing nature of current events. We are over half way through our current deployment and are hoping in the months to come some sense of normality returns to Australia. It will be a weird thing to of in some ways missed such a historic event, our deployment continues; however as you would expect we are unable to leave the ship but for a small lap around a quarantine zone on a wharf. We would much rather this than any risk of putting ourselves or anyone else at risk of course.
We are in many ways very lucky to be effectively be in quarantine at sea with a very large family.
You must be incredibly busy and the whole of Australia is very lucky to have people like yourself working in the healthcare industry. I hope you’re finding time for some respite amongst  the madness.
I hope you have had an enjoyable ANZAC day, and hopefully have some time off this weekend. Thank you again very much for your time and effort and It is very much appreciated by myself and I am sure everyone you have taken the time to do this for in the past and future.

Gday Bridget,

I’ve just received my quilt and laundry bag that you so beautifully made for me. I’m beyond grateful for the time and effort you must have put in to make them both.

Thank you for capturing what I wanted so perfectly. I’ve been away from home now for nearly 2 months and I’m missing my pups a terrible amount. This quilt will make me feel a little bit more at home during my time away.

I’ll be sure to send through a photo of me and the quilt soon.

Thanks again!


Till next time, stay safe; keep sewing and keep spreading the word.

Take care,


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