Grati-Tuesday 29 May 18

Written by AHQ

5 June 2018

Well I am a bit behind with my gratitude posts.  Time to catch up.. 

Grab a cuppa and have a read.

The latest Rifle Company Butterworth received their laundry bags today and I am told were very enthusiastic about them.   Well done all. 


Hello Bev

Thank you so much for the quilt. I absolutely love it and it’s exactly what I had in mind when I requested one.

Thanks also for the note. Your family has certainly done this country proud with all the Service provided.
I have no history of family service. I was born in Sri Lanka, and emigrated when I was five years old with my family. I studied oceanography at Sydney University and ran into a primary school teacher of mine who said the Navy would use my degree and that was it. I hit 30 years at the end of May, something that I never thought of when I joined up, but in all honesty I can say I have enjoyed pretty much every minute of my career.

This is me looking pretty pleased with my quilt.

Once again, thanks you so much for this beautiful quilt. All the best in your Grey Nomad adventures. Stay safe

Fair Winds 


permission to publish photo Anne Horner 

Hey Anne, 

Where do I start, thank you so very much for the time and effort you took into my gorgeous quilt. The colours and theme is just so me!!! it brought a massive smile to my face.

I honestly can not believe how talented you are. I remember back in year 10 when I studied Textiles and how much time it took me to make a half decent bag (that my teacher was definitely too kind with her markings or she felt bad for me) so I can really appreciate everything you did to make this quilt. 

I loved the touch with my name on the backside of the quilt, it was a cute suprise. I pointed it out to my roommate and she loved it too. 

Back home I have my own little seashells collection on my tv unit. I collect a few everytime I go to the beach. So these ones will be a special addition to my collection. And thank the grandchildren for their part too. 

I loved hearing a bit about you and your background. I’m absolutely glad I got a letter with my quilt. I wouldn’t have it any other way. By the way I have visited Tasmania a couple of times and it’s amazing. What a place to live. 

A bit about myself, I enlisted when I was 18 years old, wanting an experience I knew the army could provide. The skills I have learnt will stay with me for my whole life. I am employed as a RAAOC member – Supply Chain specialists (logistics) and by Jan 19 I will be on my 4th year. My main role within the element is supply personal in the Pharmacy, working alongside with the pharmacist.
Certainly not doing it as tough as our boys but getting the job down so it’s just that bit easier for them. 

My Father is currently serving and has been my whole life. I can definitely say growing up with Army around my life definitely impacted my decision to join. Another fun fact my Brother is serving also. My whole family is spread across Australia. Dad is in Melbourne, my brother is in Adelaide and my mum and other little brother in Wodonga VIC. Myself, well I’m based in sunny Townsville ( I LOVE the tropics) we spent most of our time in Darwin growing up. 

Thank you so much again Anne. It couldn’t have came at a more perfect time as it’s my 22nd Birthday tomorrow (it’s like you knew ahaha )


Good Evening Jean,

Just writing to say how grateful I am for receiving my Aussie Heroes laundry bag.

I received it about 3 weeks ago whilst in Port.

I am a Marine Technician ( Electrician ) currently deployed on-board HMAS Warramunga on Operation Manitou in the Middle East and have been for the past 7.5 months. I have about a while to go until I arrive back in Sydney.

I live in the Northern Suburbs of Sydney just on the other side of the harbour bridge with my partner who is a nurse and very much looking forward to me coming home. When I’m not working I love the beach and I love snowboarding.

I cannot even start to imagine how much time it takes to make these quilts and laundry bags. The effort and hours that must go into these is beyond words. It is something that defiantly makes being away that little more easier.

Thanks again!

Dear Lyn,

Thank you very much for the quilt you’ve sent over, and the post cards with it, funny enough I’m from XXXX which is roughly a hour and a half from Palm Cove and is quite easily my favourite beach in Cairns. If your ever there again pop into the ‘Chill cafe’ on the corner as soon as you drive in to the esplanade at Palm Cove, they do a wicked breakfast.. The quilt was great addition to my quite bland room and always reminded me of home.
Id like to get down to South Australia one day, Ive heard nothing but good words about it plus I wouldn’t mind getting out and tasting some of them great SA wines I’ve heard about.

Its a humbling feeling knowing that we have people like yourself back in Aus that go so far out of there way to support our troops, everybody I’ve talked to that have received a quilt is proud to show it off. So thank you again for everything you have done and continue to do, I’m proud to see the Aussie spirit has made its way over here.
Have a safe and enjoyable year, 


Hello Jean Bennett,

I received the laundry bag you made and sent to me I must say you made me so happy and proud. I know this letter of thanks is a little late in getting back to you however I want you to understand that all your effort and time used to create that Masterpiece is truly appreciated.  Receiving anything from Australia is very uplifting but receiving the bag from you was very overwhelming and uplifting for the following reasons. I am from Coffs Harbour and my mother and niece still live in Coffs, Coffs is home for me. Your interest and awareness in Africa is humbling because I was born in a small country in West Africa called Sierra Leone.  

I relocated to Australia in 2007 and I lived in Coffs up until 2012 when I left to enlist in the RAAF. I used to play soccer for Coffs Tigers and then Coffs United; yes I played against Boambee a couple of times. Receiving the package from you made it even more special because it felt like a gift from home and you designed it with my favourite colour and sport, I will ALWAYS cherish it.

I am a CISCON and my role is to support all RAAF assets and personnel with IT support and expertise, we are just half way in our deployment, I should be home in a few months I can’t wait. I really miss home. But the sacrifice we make is even more worthwhile when we receive gifts like yours.    

Whilst it is hard being away from family and friends, especially over holidays and family occasions, living in temperatures in excess of 45 degrees desert heat everyday can be demanding, but your thoughts, gifts and prayers you sent me makes it every bit worthwhile, and I cannot thank you enough and I am proud to serve. On behalf of my mates and I, we want to thank you for uplifting our spirits, never underestimate the amount of joy your sacrifice brings to us we thank you and appreciate you.

I hope one day our paths will cross in Coffs Harbour and I will get the opportunity to show my gratitude in person but for now I just want to say thank you so much and I appreciate your sacrifice.  

Hi Pennie

I received the fantastic laundry bag you made for me.  Thank you so very much.  I love it!  I wasn’t sure how my science theme may have been incorporated but it couldn’t have turned out any better.

It is hung up in my room now and definitely adds colour.  I showed my kids via skype and my son asked if he could have it.  So it was a hit with everyone.

You can let your husband know that here we have to do a bit of everything – microbiology, biochemistry, serology, haematology and most importantly blood banking.  I enjoy all aspects of pathology, keeps it interesting.

I am located in Afghanistan and have been kept busy each day.  Mail is definitely a highlight when it arrives, thank you also for adding in some Aussie lollies, they are always appreciated.

All of you at Aussie Hero Quilts do an amazing job and add that little extra something special to our lives when we are deployed.  Thank you for all the support and work you do for the ADF we all appreciate it.
 Keep up the amazing work!

Hi Sandy

I’d like to thank you for your hero quilt that you and your team put together. Its been a long six months and I finally get to go home in a few weeks. The weather is really heating up getting extremely hot. You bead with sweat just walking to the toilet block.

Everyone appreciates the small things that you and many others around Australia do for men and woman serving in the Middle East region.

Many thanks

Dear Cathie,

I thank you very much for the personalised quilt you sent me, and you have my highest
commendations for the quality of your work; both my peers and I were in awe.
All of us deployed personnel think very highly of volunteers such as yourself for the work you
undertake and the sacrifices you make for people you don’t know. Both of us are volunteers and our
work is equally important.

I am a massive dog fan also! Although not to the extent of you and Ron perhaps. My partner and I
have agreed to buy a dog in the near future and have settled on a Labrador Retriever.
It also seems your competitions provides you with just as much travelling around as I.
I wish you and Ron good luck in your upcoming competitions and my best wishes to the rest of your family too.

Once again, thank you. Your gifts have a very high impact on morale for deployed personnel and I
will be recommending some of my family and friends to join this cause.

Kind Regards,

Hi Janet,

I have just done the first load of washing with my new laundry bag, and I love it!!!
I don’t know how you managed to get the materials to make gherkins, but you did and absolutely nailed it!  I couldn’t be happier with it.

We have a running joke in my squadron that every time someone says anything inaccurate (your husband would have called it duff-gen) they ‘throw a gherkin’.
A person who spins the most colourful stories is ‘launching gherkins’ and being an instructor, by default I am called ‘chief gherkin farmer’.
So you can imagine how much enjoyment and jealousy my new laundry bag has brought to my detachment and I over here.

As your husband would know the people who deserve the most credit for military service are the spouses and family.  So to you and your husband
I really appreciate the 40.5 years you have given! (I only have 25 more to equal you ;))
My fiancé is also a registered nurse working in ED.  Hearing about the crazy stories and the insane people that she has had to deal with whilst I am deployed has led me to the believe  that nurses are the real heroes and deserve the awards and medals more than I do.

I will take the chocolates, Anzac biscuits and minties on my next flight to share with the crew.
I will send some photos of me with my laundry bag once the media people clear them.

Kind regards,

G’Day Jean,

I would like to express my gratitude for your time and effort you have sacrificed in making my laundry bag.  It is a humbling feeling receiving such a great personalised gift from someone back home who I have never met.  Your laundry bag is exceptional and I love it.  You put a smile on my face and I really appreciate your thoughts and well wishes.

Coffs Harbour is a wonderful place in AUS, and I have visited it many times for baseball, touch football tournaments and holidays.  Hoey Moey, Big Banana and your beaches are some of my favourite spots to visit.  I too love to travel and have visited many countries.  I have ridden a fare few elephants on my travels through South East Asia, but I have the desire to holiday in Africa to see them in their natural environment.  I would like to see as much of the world, and experience as many cultures as I can.  Lucky enough in my job I sometimes get to do that for free.

I am currently deployed on OP MAZRKA, Sinai Egypt with the Australian Army.  I’m working in the Multinational Force Observer (MFO) as a physical training instructor (PTI).  I am responsible for managing the gymnasium, pool, obstacle course and beach lifeguards.  My day to day job is delivering physical training to several nations.  (USA, Fiji, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Columbia, Italy and Uruguay).  I ensure our soldiers in the MFO remain strong, agile and have the endurance to perform their roles.  The gymnasium/beach is an important facility for the soldiers to train, unwind and to maintain their health and well being.

I’m originally from Wollongong NSW, and am a coastal boy at heart, I’m a mad St George NRL fan, play tough football and am a big family man.  I’ve been in the Army for 15 years and love serving.  I serve for my family, friends and fellow soldiers, but now I have another reason, and that is for you.  Selfless acts of generosity and compassion are great qualities the Army values, and Jean, you have a big heart and definitely possess these.

Thank you for all that you do and for your support of all our troops.

Good morning Caroline L

How I would like to thank you so very much is undescribable. The quilt you made me is probably one of the best gifts I have ever received. I really do hope one day I get to experience the Boston Celtics in action.
I’m so happy you got the opportunity to represent Aussie Quilts at HQJOC for ANZAC day, that surely would have been a memorable experience, though you may have been intimidated I’m sure everyone was looking back at you knowing that you are the real hero, to go out of your way to hand make quilts for Australian service men and women is truly admirable. I was lucky enough to represent the ADF in Jordan for ANZAC day where I was apart of the dawn service catafalque party. It was probably the highlight of my career, the service was held at the Citadel (where Hercules was) . I was fortunate to also get to see Petra the next day with two of my work colleagues

I had a laugh when reading your card because I actually did find a bit of dog hair on my quilt, which made it extra special to know that you probably had your dogs along side you when making the quilt.

Thank you to you Ma’am and all the family for your support from the other side of the world. I hope this email finds you all well and healthy.

Lots of Love, 


Hi Anne

I wanted to send a quick message to say thank you for the Aussie Heroes laundry bag.  I have just returned home to Brisbane after completing the Chaplains course and it was a really lovely thing to receive the bag during the

I grew up on a farm at Oakey so to have a bag with Aussie animals on it is perfect for me.  

Thanks again and the work you are doing with the bags is a great ministry and a huge blessing to our serving defence force members.


Hello Sue,

Sorry it has taken a little while for me to write back to you. I have been away from my normal place of work for a bit and haven’t had the chance.
Thank you so much for my Qld State of Origin laundry bag! I love it! It has certainly been a talking point with some other members of the camp threatening to either steal it because they want one or destroy it because they go for NSW. In both cases they are just jealous I think.
It is great to receive such a lovely gift and I imagine you are much like my own mother who is 54 but also has 3 children; myself along with a younger brother and sister.
Me, I am 31 having joined the Air Force straight from school. I am married and have two young children; a girl who is 3 and thinks she is Emma Wiggle, and a boy who is 18m and has started to walk while I have been away. I miss them dearly and am about half way through my trip now. We are lucky that we have email, Skype and Facebook to keep in touch and that I am very grateful for.
Thank you so much for your support through Aussie Hero quilts. We love the uniqueness of the gifts and to know someone spent the time to make something for us individually really is amazing. It makes being away from home that little bit easier. 

Hi Cheryl C,

Thank you thank you thank you!! From the bottom of my heart for my beautiful quilt! It is absolutely perfect and so so beautiful – I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!!!!!!!
I’ve put a little note in the post for you so hopefully it gets there soon, but I’m sure you can imagine how slow the post is out here sometimes 🙂

Thank you again, you have made one happy girl in the Middle East.

Hi Cheryl C!!

THANKYOU SO MUCH FOR THE QUILT I LOVE IT!!! I can’t believe it was your first, great job.

I’m 20 years old my Dad and Mum are also in the Army. I can 100% relate to your son in knowing how lonely it can get. Actually my dad just passed through for a couple of days so I got to see him which was great, my dads pretty much my best friend I’m super sad to see him go. I actually received the quilt the day after he left which was actually really comforting.

Thankyou again for the quilt all of us really enjoy receiving them, it definitely boosts morale. I attached a pic with myself and the quilt.

Kind Regards


Dear Lyn,

I am writing you to inform that your lovely quilt has indeed made it halfway across the world to me now, and I could not be happier with it!  It arrived in our last port, being Dubai, and I finally have the time to sit down and draft up a proper thank you reply.

We have had an extremely long and successful trip away so far. We sailed from our home port (being Sydney) in October 2017, and we will arrive back home soonish. It will end up being a 9 month deployment to the day, being over 200 days away from home and loved ones with only a 16 day respite period in between (in which I went to Portugal).

To say that I am excited to return home after a 9 month trip is a gross understatement, it’s been the longest of my career of almost 16 years. Close second was the trip in 2010 which was a 7 month deployment across to Hawaii, up to North East Asia and returning via India. While I really don’t have anyone at home that I am returning to at this stage, I will be returning home to my 3 motorcycles that are patiently waiting for me haha!

I hope this email finds you well Lyn. Thank you again for your huge effort that went into making my quilt, it has taken pride of place on my bed onboard the ship and is the subject of much envy with respect to the motorcycle pattern!

Kind regards,

Hi Jan-Maree,

Definitely happy for you to share it! The email I wrote Cheryl was a fair bit shorter than the letter that I put in the post – although it was quite difficult to properly put into words how happy that quilt and the laundry bag from Sal, made me!

AHQ is a fantastic initiative, thank you for the cheer and joy that you bring to our lives. The care that your team shows for us, strangers essentially, is just phenomenal.

My father and my grandfather both served and there was no one to send them beautiful quilts but you and your team do display such generosity and kindness in your quilts and laundry bags, it’s absolutely beyond words.

As I said to Cheryl in my letter, at 22 this is probably not where I saw myself (now I can’t imagine being anywhere else) but something as simple as a quilt with the same pink tones as my childhood room at my parent’s house really does make me feel a little closer to home!

I love serving my country and I love my quilt.

Thank you again for everything that you and your team do! 


Hi Rita,

I have just received my quilt in the mail and all I can say is WOW thank you very much!

I enjoyed reading your letter and can relate on many levels being a fellow South Australian/ Brit myself. I was born in Yorkshire and emigrated with my family when I was 13 to  just south of Adelaide and joined the RAAF at 19 as a Communications Electronics Technician, I am currently posted to RAAF Edinburgh.

This is my second deployment so far in my short career, its rough being away from loved ones but its all worth it in the end.

Anyway its time for bed over here, I will send a photo of myself with your amazing handy work in the coming days.

Once again thank you very much.

Kind regards,

Good Evening Gail,

Thank you once again for your wonderful laundry bag! I love the bag and am certainly very fortunate to have had you create another masterpiece representing my time in Afghanistan that also perfectly complements my quilt.

Thank you again for your continued support of our troops. It means a lot to us all with you and all your fellow quilters having such a positive effect on all our morale whilst deployed.


Good Morning Jenny,

Your laundry bag arrived this afternoon as a nice surprise to the end of the week. As usual with all the quilters who participate in Aussie Hero program it is very much appreciated.

This is my third trip overseas in the last six years and I look forward to my quilt and bag which I will keep as treasured memories from my deployment.

Bit about me, I have been in the Air Force for the last 37 years and discharged last year but have been asked to come back as a Reservist and deploy again.  I am married and have three adult children.

 Dear Anne R,

First of all I would to thank you for your thoughtful and amazing quilt!
 I am currently serving in the Middle East Area of Operations. I’m 35 years old, originally from Geelong in Victoria and I enlisted in the Australian Army almost 7 years ago. I am a member of the Royal Australian Signals Corps.

I have had some amazing experiences whilst over here and I am looking forward to getting home to my family later this year. I am honoured to be an ADF member and to be able write back to you today. I wanted you to know how much I appreciate all the care and effort you’ve gone to. This is my second deployment to the Middle East but the first time I have received a quilt. I really enjoyed reading your letter and reading you and your husbands thoughts on what the colours and design symbolise, I see both sky and ocean. Receiving your quilt was a real morale boost for me and will be a treasured memento for my time I have served on operations and will stay with me where ever I am posted to throughout Australia. The generosity shown by you and the Australian public has been outstanding and it really makes me feel proud knowing the community back home is so supportive of us.

When I have some spare time I will send you some photos of me and your quilt in the Middle East.
I hope that you have a wonderful 2018 and thank you once again for all your support.
Yours truly,

Good afternoon Pennie,
I am writing to tell you that I have received my Aussie Hero’s quilt and my snacks. I absolutely loved my quilt and the effort that was put into it and it has made my trip.

I am a 23 year old female currently serving on HMAS Warramunga in the Middle East on a nine month deployment and am due to come home in about a month and can’t wait.  I am originally from Gympie in Queensland although now live in Sydney.  I like my job in the Navy although sometimes I really miss my family and friends. I am a Maritime Support Operations Sailor so I do hospitality type stuff on the ship and am the Captain’s personal assistant which I enjoy although my days are getting pretty mundane as we have been at sea for quite some time now.

My next port is Dubai and I can’t wait as there is meant be heaps to do and it will be nice to have a break from sea for a few days. 

All the best.

Good afternoon Anne,

I wanted to send you a quick note to say thank you very much for my quilt; it arrived through the post today. The design was exactly what I was after. I can see and feel the attention to detail that has gone into making the quilt and I really appreciate the hard work. I will crank down my air conditioning a couple of notches tonight so that I can use it. I am extremely grateful and touched that you have put so much effort to make my day / week / remainder of my tour. 

I also really appreciate your lovely letter. I will reply tomorrow, but post can take four weeks to get back to Australia (I think the postie walks it back). The tea and TimTams were also superb. My close knit team of coalition officers looks forward to our weekly morning tea based around TimTams. I was down to my last packet, so we now have next week taken care of!

I will try and send you a picture of me (smiling/squinting) and my quilt as a small token of my appreciation.

Best Wishes

G’Day Anne,

Just a quick note to say thank you very much for the quilt and laundry bag.  It definitely was a surprise to get a quilt from Howlong, my wife comes from Lockhart and I come from Wagga Wagga.
Mel tells me that Lockhart play Howlong in the Hume League football.

We have moved around a bit and now find ourselves posted to Sydney.  We have been there for the last 6 years.  It is very busy so I enjoy getting back down to the Riverine and taking a break down there.

I have just returned home from my 6thdeployment to the Middle East, it has been a good one.  We have 2 small children so this deployment has been a bit harder than the others, but it has been pretty good.

I received your quilt about 3 days before I came home so it was perfect timing!

Anyway, I must go.
Thanks again for your quilt, it was very much appreciated.

Thank-you so much for organising such an amazing quilt that has been made by the incredibly talented Ellen N. I will follow up with Ellen personally and I’m extremely humbled for the work and generosity of you all. Thanks for brightening up my deployment and especially my room. Thanks again


Hello Jan-Marie, just wanted to let you know that I have received my quilt and laundry bag… they are fantastic and exactly what I expected… I want thank you and your team for such a lift in moral.   I showed a bunch of the guys that I work with over here (mostly from other nations) and they thought it was a fantastic idea and some are taking the idea home with them… again thank you so very much and believe me it is so much of honour receiving such a wonderful gift from a bunch of great Australians.


Good morning Jan-Maree and Lynn,

I am happy to report that my quilt arrived this week at my deployed location.

I’d like to express my sincere thanks for the quality of the quilt and the colour choices. They are spot on and it now has a nice place on my bed.

AHQ’s is doing an exceptional job of providing this service to deployed members and I’m sure I can speak on every members behalf when I say ‘thank you’. I know how much thought and passion goes into these (as my mum has started helping with AHQ’s as well) so to see the finished product was great.
Lastly, keep up the good work. It does make a difference to morale and knowing that people back home can do such great work – just for us.

Dear Pennie,

I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude for the laundry bag you so kindly sent.  It was incredibly thoughtful and very well received.

I am part of Number 3 Security Forces Squadron of the Royal Australian Air Force who has deployed on Operation Mazurka to the Sinai.
We are here as part of the Multinational Forces and Observers (MFO), the mission of the MFO is to supervise the implementation of the security provisions of the Egyptian-Israeli Treaty of Peace and employ best efforts to prevent any violation of its terms.
Twelve nations (Australia, Canada, Colombia, the Czech Republic, the Republic of the Fiji Islands, France, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, the United Kingdom, the United States and Uruguay) contribute personnel to make up the MFO’s Force with the Australian contingent comprising of 27 personnel.

Being so far from home in an environment such as this, every little bit of support from home is highly appreciated.  The bright colours of the laundry bag gives my room a bit of colour, as you can imagine the rooms are rather dull, and my laundry can no longer be mistaken for anyone else’s.

It is humbling receiving such a beautiful gift from someone I don’t even know.  So once again, thank you.

Kind regards,

Dear Hilary T

Thank you for the support you provide to Australian Service Men and Women. It is greatly appreciated.  The laundry bag was beautiful, thank you, as are all the items received by deployed personnel.  Thank you again for your support. It really does mean a lot. 

Hello Sandy and Trevor,

Thankyou for the great laundry bag, it was lovely to receive something with so much care and effort put into it. 

I’ve had a look on Google at the Barossa Valley, it looks much more peaceful and quiet than Kogarah in Sydney where I’m from! 

Myself and the rest of Charlie Company from the 1st Battalion Royal Australian Regiment were in Malaysia when we received the laungry bags. We were there as Rifle Company Butterworth 121 and were all very grateful to have some letters and gifts from home whilst we were doing our training excercises there. 

Thank you for the time and effort you both put into this very thoughtful gift. It saw much use over the three months I was away from home and will still be used now we’re all back.


Hi Cathie (and family), Thankyou so very much for my amazing quilt. It is absolutely perfect, and I am amazed that you took such a broad brief about poppies and created something that is so beautiful. Everyone I have shown it to here has commented on how lovely it is.

I have been trying to send through a photo of myself and the quilt here, but have been having some email issues, so I thought I would send you this email to thank you, and send those photos when I eventually resolve the email issues.

Thankyou also for the lovely photo of yourself and your family. I have that pinned up on the wall in my office. It was lovely to see your extended family, and hear about your retriever trials. I hope your grandchildren will be happy that this particular quilt is now being lovingly cared for by an an airwoman, (rather than a soldier)

Please also thank Denise for sponsoring this quilt. It was very kind of her to make a donation to this worthy cause, and I am very thankful for her sponsorship. Please pass my regards on to her, and let her know that I am sorry for her loss.

Thankyou again for the work you do to support all of us.

All the best,

Good Morning Joan,

I’m just writing to thank you for your contributions to the RCB program and would like to also personally thank you for the amazing sewing work and art designs you’ve incorporated into the washing bags that you provided for the soldiers.  I have personally used my bag on several occasions now and it definitely makes it easier to find my washing in a crowded laundry.

From your letter I understand that your family has a large history in the defence and I’d like to thank them for their service as well. I am also truly sorry for them having to have been in some of the worst conflicts of the modern world.  I can understand wholeheartedly why your father was your hero as well.

I hope you have enjoyed and are still enjoying  the Gold Coast. I am also a Queenslander and come from a small town on the Fraser Coast. You made a good decision to move to Queensland as it is a beautiful state, however  I understand if you missed Melbourne/Victoria as it is just as beautiful as Queensland. (albeit a lot colder). I hope this email finds you well and that you are enjoying a lovely Queensland day. I’ll make sure I put the blank card to good use as well.


Dear Joan,

I am currently posted to Malaysia for 3 months as part of the Rifle Company Butterworth, based at RMAF Butterworth, near Penang.

I just wish to express my thanks on receiving the laundry bag that you made for deployed Australian soldiers.

I have put it to good use, as the climate here is quite humid as you can imagine.

Thankyou again,

Hi Anne, 

I received your laundry bag yesterday, thank you for giving up your time to make it. It has already been put to use and it will now be my primary laundry bag from now on. It adds much needed color to the cold grey of our accommodation. 
I will be visiting Georgetown in the coming weeks and hope to see as much as I can of Penang island, and based on what your letter said I’m looking forward to Penang very much. 
Thanks again for your wonderful laundry bag. 
Dear Jenny W 

Thank you so so so much for my Laundry Bag. It is perfect! Definitely too lovely to put smelly clothes in. I was actually having a crappy night shift (the worst I have had since being here) and when I got back to my room in the morning your package was there waiting for me. It made my day!
It was as if the night vanished and everything was good again.

I also had a laugh when I seen your name on the box. I think it just makes my laundry bag even more special.

Wow! That is a lot of sewing especially with you working full time . What you do along with all the other Quilters for Aussie Heroes is amazing. It really means so much to all deployed members. We all appreciate it so very much.

I did hear about the cricket, I’m not much of a fan of test matches (to my partner’s dismay) but I do enjoy the Big Bash League. I bought tickets for my partner to go see Thunder play Strikers at the Thunders home ground in January this year. It was the first BBL game I had actually gone to, we sat on the sand they have there. It was awesome.

Again thank you for the laundry bag.
BTW the Tim Tams were an awesome gift. Thank you.

Hello Chris,

First of all, thank you so much for your letter that accompanied the laundry bag in the post. Reading your letter makes me appreciate what a wonderful life we lead in Australia and why the ADF are committed in preserving our way of life in the war against terrorism, whether in Afghanistan or Iraq. I am thankful and grateful that people like yourself have faith in our quest to preserve our values. 

Your family sounds very much like mine…5 sons (1 x married and rest with partners) and 2 x grandchildren. We also have been heavily involved with junior sports all along and weekend fund raising activities to help support our club. I feel certain these are common activities families all participate in to support our local junior clubs. Washing cars, telephone book deliveries, bbq sausage selling at Bunnings etc…

I am coming to an end of my military career having just returned from the Middle Eastern Region. I have served on 4 deployments totalling just under 18 months overseas and I must say I am proud to have served our country in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflict. Interestingly, my son also served in the Army in Afghanistan (before me) at a place called Tarin Kowt. Going to that location was quite weird knowing he was there before me. Of course we are very close sharing our experience whilst overseas.

Again, I wish to thank you and your family for your support. All the very best!

Kindest regards,

Hello Bridget!

Up front – a great BIG thank you for the outstanding quilt you made for my 50th birthday but more relevant the 32 years that I have spent serving our great Army and Nation.

I have known Jan-Maree for some time because she is a friend of my Navy wife. She is of course a leader of your incredible team that does so much work to take care of our deployed military personnel. I was very impressed by what I knew but was even more amazed at the numbers of quilts and laundry bags that you have dispatched since 2012 – what a great legacy to have.

Without doubt, my quilt is the best one ever though. You have got the colours perfect – red and blue with gold stars extra – the crests are magnificent in red (thanks Kerri B) and the EOD Technician badge is priceless – it’s what makes me feel like I have done my best for Army and Australia. I especially like the quote about Sappers – even infantrymen need heroes! Got a lot of conversation out of that on the night the quilt was unveiled!

Thank you also for your letter – I am grateful that you have made quilts for me and others on top of the work that you do at home with your daughter and son (and poodle!). I hope the job is going well for your daughter and that tourism works out as a job path and that your son is still enjoying his mechanical trade. My wife and I have 4 children aged from 16 to 11. They are all at high school, but the eldest boy is keen on Army, but my wife wants him to join the Navy (she is Navy like her late father of course).

I continue to serve in the reserve Army. There are lot of service personnel out there with quilts so I will strike up a conversation and compare photos!

I hope that you continue to work with your team to make quilts for those serving overseas and that you continue to enjoy bringing all of us so much joy and patriotism as you reinforce our links back to the people of Australia. I can really never thank you all so much, but I really hope you know how proud you make us feel and how proud we are of you.

Please stay in touch and let me know if there is ever anything that I can do for you in the future.

Gratefully and sincerely

To Cath

Firstly I wanted to say a big thank you, your Laundry Bag was not expected when I first came into Country, but lovely to receive.

I have been in the Australian Regular Army for over 22 years.
I feel very honoured and privileged to have served my Country for so long.
I am currently deployed to the Middle East Region as the Logistics Planner for the Australian Headquarters.
I was born and bred in a small town in the Latrobe Valley in Victoria.
I have 2 beautiful children; 10 and 7 and a wonderful husband Matthew, who is currently at home caring for our gorgeous children.
We also have a dog named Kaylee; she is a Bordoodle (Miniature Poodle X Border Collie) and she is a gorgeous, affectionate, loving, active 2 year old.

I am six Generations Army 

I loved reading about your family and life in general, I am a people person and love hearing about the history, experiences and lives of others.  This is my first and last 6 month deployment as I have been a Mum for the last 10 years raising the kids.  I have stayed full-time Army, but my husband is away for 8-9 months every year and one of us had to take a back seat, so that was me.  No regrets though as I have raised, so far, 2 very loving independent gorgeous Children.  I also figure that the Army will not be on my death bed when I die, but hopefully I will be surrounded by my family.  I have spent the last 2 years doing Uni part-time and at the end of last year applied for my Teacher Registration….. So yes I am a Primary School Teacher and that is something that I think I may want to do when I retire.

Anyway, back to the Laundry Bag. The colours and design are very much on point for me. Being military I like order and clean lines and it definitely fits that perfectly.
I love the cool….. colours and they make me smile when I look at it.  Funny enough, I actually do not like swimming in the Ocean, but love to look at it and listen to it and the colours always blow my mind as they are ever changing.
I have been meaning to get one of my family to send me over a relaxation CD of Ocean Sounds.  It would be really handy to have considering we live in a communal environment and I am a light sleeper.  It sounds like a great idea to get your students to contribute to the design and manufacture of future bags; and I am sure they will get a kick out of receiving correspondence from members of the Australian Defence Force to say Thank you. 

In closing thank you again for caring enough to design and make my laundry bag 
Kind Regards


To Anne D,

I had the wonderful pleasure of receiving your beautiful laundry bag. I would just like to thank you personally for the gift, i understand it would have taken a lot and time and effort, and you would be pleased to hear that it is getting put to good use, as the bag that I brought over had a tear in it! Once again, thank you very much for the bag and support. 

Phew! Such a lot.

Well done making it to the end. 

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

Jan-Maree xx 

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1 Comment

  1. Sue Niven

    Wow, What a lot of messages! Lovely to read. Perfect way to start the day.


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