Grati-Tuesday 4 Dec 18

Written by AHQ

4 December 2018

Well our latest batch of laundry bags has been received gratefully by the current Rifle Company in Butterworth and a number of the recipients have written to say thank you.  It sounds like our laundry bags are just what they need over there at the moment. 


G’day Pennie,

I was lucky enough to receive your laundry bag. As soon as I saw a Star Wars one I jumped on it straight away – And I must say, awesome work with it! I’m currently in Butterworth, Malaysia until March next year and I boy is it a different climate to that of Perth which I’m used to. The extra heat and humidity brings a lot more sweat which means a lot more laundry so this is great. It’s really nice that is has that personal touch too – that someone actually made this, but I must say though, as an Emergency nurse, your work is also greatly admired and valued and I almost feel like I should be making you a bag haha.

Anyway, Thanks again, it really does mean a lot, 


Good morning to the Fantastic Aussie Hero Quilts Team,
I have just returned from PNG on HMAS Adelaide and am delighted to have the opportunity to thank you for my laundry bag.
It is a beautiful gift and much appreciated. I chose one with country Australia images which helped me think of home. Even though we weren’t away very long, it was still nice to have a bit of Aussie landscape with me. The bags we all chose looked colourful and bright in our cabin.
Thank you for your time, skill, imagination, support and efforts.
Kind regards,

Good Afternoon Jennifer,

I am writing to say a big thank you to both yourself and your amazing team for sending me such an amazing quilt.

Aussie Heroes do such an fantastic job and I thank you greatly for everything you are doing. I would also like to thank Sandy C for everything she has done and the studio provided. It really meant a lot last week receiving your beautiful parcel and thank you for the lovely letter and the chocolates (I think I had that for breakfast a few mornings ha-ha)

I joined the Air Force in 1999 straight out of High School and joined up as an Avionic Technician in the Royal Australian Air Force, which is essentially an Electrician on the Aircraft. I got to Sergeant in 2009 and then the Air Force put me through University and I studied Electrical Engineering under a scholarship. I graduated University the end of 2013 and have been doing Engineering ever since.

I hope this email finds you well, and once again, thank you so much for all your support an kind words. I will be home in a few months and cant wait to see my two children and partner. My son is 10 and my daughter is 3.5 years old. They are coping ok, but my daughter doesn’t like getting on the phone so I just get a heap of photos sent through.

Once again, thank you and we very much love the kind words and support all you ladies provide to our Defence members.

Yours Sincerely,

Hello Jean,

Thank you for making my day.  This has brought a smile to me to know there are such wonderful people out there that will do wonderful and selfless acts
for members of the Defence force.  
I will treasure this. I don’t think I want to put my smelly clothes in it. 
Thank you again for your kind gift.
Dear Robyn,
Thank you very much for the laundry bag! I am currently deployed to Malaysia and have been using a pillow case for my laundry so you gift was well received. I chose this bag because my three young boys (3 years, 2 years and 4 months) are going to love the frogs on it.
Your property sounds lovely. My wife and I would also like to get a small property with a few animals in the next few years.
Yourself and the Maitland Patchwork Quilters will be happy to know that laundry bags you have thoughtfully sewn are all being put to good use.  It has been nice to have some colours other than green in our laundry and accommodation!
Kindest Regards,
               I recently received the quilt you made for me and I wanted to take the opportunity to pass along my deepest thanks. The quilt is an absolute work of art and you should be extremely proud of your work. I am much honoured to have received such a lovely gift, and it has pride of place in my room. I like to sketch portraits, which can take quite a bit of work to get right, so I know that this quilt would have involved many, many, many hours of research, preparation and work. The Ducati is magnificent, and the colours and designs on the quilt are bright and perfectly arranged. Absolutely perfect in all respects.
Thank you again for the quilt.

Good morning Ruth,

                                         I just want to take this opportunity to let you know that I received the Laundry bag that you created.
The bag not only brightened my day but also the day of my 11yo son.
A week prior to me deploying we had to put our little dog down at 16 years of age and we were both devastated.
When I mentioned to him the Laundry bags and quilts he asked me to request one with the theme of dogs.
To that end I requested his initials in the hope of cheering him up a little.
I have done numerous Operational deployments and can tell you that everybody gets pretty excited when these items arrive.
It is a wonderful thing you ladies are doing and I just wanted to pass on thanks and appreciation from both my son and I.
Wishing you and your family a wonderful Christmas.

Hi Anne

Thank you for my quilt.  I love it.  It will definitely brighten up my room.   I am not doing it as tough as some others.  Your package arrived with the laundry bag.  They are my first parcels since I’ve been here.  So thank you for putting a smile on my face.  I appreciate your effort.  I have 2 daughters, 5 & 3 years old.  I miss them so much.  I’ll be seeing them in  at Xmas, I can’t wait.  Anyway, thank you for doing what you do for all of us over here.


Good Morning Philomena, 
I would first like to start off saying thank you and the quilters for your support with the Aussie Hero Quilts and the Invictus Games, unfortunately during my service I did not go on a deployment but i have heard from those that have, that these quilts make a huge difference and help to keep moral high during their deployment. 
I apologies for the delay in getting back to your letters, this past few months have been very hectic but these letters have been in the back of my mind since receiving my quilt and laundry bag. 
I would also like to thank Arthur, Keryn, Rhonda, Cherie and the late Val Richardson for all their work in embroidering my laundry bag and quilt. Incorporating the state of Victoria’s state flower, state bird and state animal where a great touch and much appreciated. I do also believe that the Platypus is a fascinating animal and they are very cute. I was intrigued in how you where able to add the volleyball and net to the laundry bag, it must have required a lot of skill and time.  
It sounds like the community of quilters are amazing people and i think the work they are doing is fantastic. 
The 2018 Sydney Invictus games was a fantastic and eye opening event that i was privileged enough to be a part of, it was an experience i will never forget. I am sure the rest of my team feel the same way. 
I would again like to thank you and the others who spent enormous amounts of your time and effort in making not just mine but 71 other laundry bags and quilts for Team Australia. If you would please be able to thank the others who worked on my quilt and laundry bag on my behalf that would be fantastic. 
Please keep up the good work, as it really goes a long way and means a lot to us. 
Attached is a photo of me and two other competitors holding up their laundry bags.

Kind regards,


Hello Jean,

Greetings from Afghanistan and many thanks for the Laundry Bag which finally made it to me yesterday. I hope you don’t mind the email, but mailing a letter from here is no guarantee it will get to Australia soon.  As one of only a handful of Australians serving with the US Army 101st Airborne Division we are somewhat isolated from the normal Australian amenities. The laundry bag was far too good to use for laundry so I have hung it on the wall of my office where it has been admired by many around the headquarters. I have refrained from placing the St Kilda logo face out due to the atrocious season they had but as always there is next year.
I am now entering the last phase of my tour and have found Afghanistan to be a spectacular country of snowcapped mountains and ancient mudbrick villages. We always travel by helicopter so have managed to see quite a lot of the country. 
I am here for Christmas and the New Year which will be the first time away from family but that is the way it goes. Once again, thank you for creating the laundry bag which again I feel is more a piece of art.

All the best to your family for Christmas and the New Year. 

Dear Pennie,

I am a Sapper currently deployed overseas in Malaysia with the Australian Army.

I am writing to thank you for your laundry bag. It makes a good addition to my accommodation as I am a very big Dr Who fan. All of the soldiers here are very grateful for the work you and many others do, it means a lot.

I would also like to thank you for the work you do as an emergency nurse. It must be a hard and very emotional job at times so thank you.


I got your letter in the laundry bag you made. It’s beautiful and very handy. I felt the application in the bag you made and I’m grateful for it. 

I’m in Malaysia with the Rifle Company Butterworth (RCB 124). We arrived yesterday to do 3 months jungle training. It’s going to be hard but it will help develop our skills and make us all better at our job. It makes it worthwhile knowing there is someone back home who appreciates what we’re doing.

I’ve spent sometime in hospital this year. Nothing serious but I really appreciate the care that the nurses gave me. I imagine that emergency would be heart wrenching at times and you would need to disconnect from what you are dealing with. And that could take a toll on you as well. Take care of yourself.

I’m grateful for the gift you made. It is bringing colour into my room and making doing my washing easier. 
Warm Regards


Hello Jan-Maree Ball

I am a private in the Australian Defence Force and recently been deployed to Malaysia for RCB 124. Today I was given one of your laundry bags. I would like to thank you for the time, effort and thought you have put into your organisation. This small token of gratitude is greatly appreciated.


Good afternoon Pennie,

I would just like to personally thank you for the laundry bag that I received whilst on deployment to Malaysia. It is definitely a refreshing change to have such a vibrant piece of work in an environment which is predominantly green!

All of the soldiers that are currently deployed to Malaysia were so excited to receive their own unique personalised laundry bag, it is a token that we will cherish long after our time in Malaysia has passed.
As Platoon Commander of 2 Platoon, Rifle Company Butterworth 124, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you and all of the other hard working men and women who have been involved in this project for bringing a smile to a whole Company’s worth of soldiers currently overseas in Malaysia.
Yours faithfully,
Hi Robyn ,
You will be pleased to know that one of your laundry bags has made its way to Butterworth, Malaysia. 
Thank you for this really touching gift and just in time for our Christmas over hear. 
Little bit about me – I’m 22 years old and a member of the Royal Australia Transport Corp. I’m currently on a short 3 month rotation in Malaysia. 
Thank you once again for your lovely gift, it is definitely something that I will be keeping for many years to come.  
Good Afternoon!
I’m emailing you because myself and Jxx are two army medics in Malaysia supporting Rifle Company Butterworth who have received a beautiful laundry bag each from your wonderful organization.  We are here for three months, both of us are full time soldiers who worked together in Darwin. Jxx is still at Robertson Barracks in Darwin and I am now based out of RAAF Edinburgh in Adelaide. We spend so many days away from home tokens like this are so appreciated! We will endeavour to get a good picture this week to send to you. Thanks again and Merry Christmas!
Kind Regards,

Hello Kathy.
I’m currently the Operations Officer working over at the 2nd/30th Training Group at Butterworth in Malaysia.  I’m writing to thank you for the laundry bags that you sent over here to us, and have finally made it into our hands.  I thought I’d give you a little background about us first.
There are currently 118 people deployed on this rotation to Rifle Company Butterworth, which runs 4 times per year, for 3 months at a time and has now been going for 124 rotations.  3 of the rotations per year are for regular Army battalions, and the Christmas rotation each year is filled by the reserve.  I’m not sure if you know exactly what we get up to over here, so here’s a quick summary of who we are and the activities that are conducted.
Out of the 118 people here, around 20 are regular Army, and the rest are Army Reservists.  The majority of this rotation come from either QLD (in and around Brisbane and the Gold Coast) or from Perth, however we do have representation from all around Australia here on this trip.
The reservists sign up for a period of what’s known as “Continuous full time service”, in which they essentially join the regular Army for a fixed period, to do a specific task or job. To give you an idea of the diversity of their backgrounds, we’ve got everyone from recent high school graduates, university students, police officers, lawyers, nurses through to engineers, ex-regulars, labourers, electricians, etc. You name it, we’ve probably got it here.  They range in age from those who’ve just turned 18 and it’s their first significant time away from their parents, through to 58 year old’s who still love their jungle training and mentoring the younger generation.
We do a lot of international engagement while we’re here, working on this occasion with the Malaysians of course, but Brunei and Singapore as well.  We do our best to share training ideas and practice interoperability with these nations since they are our close allies in the southeast Asian region, and ensure that their view of Australia and the Australian people in general is of the very highest  regard.
Training over here allows our men and women to experience a far more challenging environment in the jungle here compared with the type of terrain we have at home.  They get to experience torrential rain, abhorrent humidity, leeches, centipedes, scorpions and other jungle delights that builds their character and resilience, and prepares them well if we were ever called upon in our nations hour of need.
Thank you for your generosity, time and effort that you and your friends and colleagues put into making the bags and quilts for our members serving overseas. AHQ made a large quilt with all of the unit patches last time I was here on rotation around 3 years ago for RCB112.  It still hangs proudly on the wall here in the 2nd/30th Training Group Headquarters, and brings back fond memories of my previous experience here and the time and effort that would’ve been put into creating that on our behalf. A couple of other soldiers who were here with me last time also saw it and were happy to see it again, and share stories with their new colleagues about their time here. It’s contributed to a piece of their history.
Your work continues to make a difference to the morale of our soldiers that are deployed both over here and around the world.
Again, thank you very much for continuing to make a contribution to the welfare of our soldiers, it is greatly appreciated.
All the best for you and your family over Christmas and the New Year.
Kindest regards

Hi Anne,

I received your laundry bag and reckon it’s fantastic. I was one of the first up to the pile of bags and sifted through about 120 of them and chose yours because it was the best.

I am currently on Rifle Company Butterworth rotation 124. We are here at RMAF Butterworth in Malaysia for 3 months doing some training. It’s very hot and humid just walking around base and we haven’t even got into the jungle yet!

Anyway thank you for what you are doing, all the guys really appreciate all the laundry bags that everyone is making for us, they are awesome and a good souvenir that we will take home with us and use forever.

Here’s a photo of me with it.

Greetings Anne,

Just sending a quick email to say thank you for the gift of laundry bag. I was fortunate to receive the flash bag.

A little bit about me. I am currently serving in the Army Reserves on deployment in Malaysia. My normal work is managing a communications business in Toowoomba just up the hill from you in a manner of speaking.

Earlier this year I was deployed on Operation Resolute working with Border Force and the Navy protecting the shores in the northern parts of Australia.

I previously served full time between 1978 and 1990. I currently have two of my four children in the Defence Force the eldest in the Airforce and the second youngest lad in the Army. Both are currently based in Adelaide, however the eldest lad is being posted to Amberley and heads north in a couple of weeks. As you can appreciate we are very happy to have him and his family heading our way.

Both my father and grandfather have served in the Army, with my grandfather seeing action in WW2 in PNG and Bougainville.

Thanking you with a greatful heart. God’s richest blessings to you and your family.


Hi Robyn 
I received one of your laundry bags today, its already come in handy as i’m in Butterworth, Malaysia and its raining really heavy every day (monsoon season), the laundry bag I brought was way too small, so yours has been great, i’m not too much into elephants but my mum absolutely loves them so i’m sure it will have many years of use when I get it to her.
You letter was dated the 23 July which also happens to be my birthday, unusual coincidence!
Anyway your gift is much appreciated, being away from home for long periods is always difficult and it great to receive gifts from Australia.

I hope this email finds you well and thanks again
I was glad to choose a laundry bag designed and made by yourself. 
I really appreciate the time and effort you put into making this. I was only thinking a day or two beforehand that I was in need of one, so it couldn’t have come at a better time. 
I enjoyed reading your note knowing that you really appreciate previous and current serving members and show that through this gesture. 
Keep up the work and I’m sure others will greatly appreciate your time and effort as well.
Kind regards,
Good morning Sue,
I received the washing bag that you handmade for Aussie Heroes.
I would just like to say a big thank you for taking the time and effort to make this and send it across to us! We understand you do not receive any funds to make these bags so thank you very much for all the work you do.
I am 21 years old and have been in the army almost 3 years as an admin clerk. This is my first deployment overseas. I live in Perth with my partner and my dog, who like your cats is also very spoilt.
Please continue to do the amazing work that you do for Aussie Heroes. Receiving a handmade gift from back home has meant a lot to myself and the other 117 people currently deployed in Malaysia.
Thank you,
Good morning Ashleigh,
I am writing to thank you for the laundry bag you made! I was on OPERATION  APEC 18 ASSSIT on HMAS ADELAIDE recently and received your beautiful bag. I am a operating theatre nurse, who has been in Defence now for over ten years. It’s really heart warming to receive such a gift, for which I thank you.
Good luck with your studies and your travelling.  I lived in Japan, Tokyo for seven years a long time ago and have travelled around a few places too. Enjoy your adventures.  Once again thank you for dedicating your time to Aussie Hero Quilts, the delight on everyone’s eyes when they see these beautiful items is wonderful.
Merry Christmas 

Hi Sue,
I was the very grateful recipient of the laundry bag you so wonderfully sewed up for me!
I was on HMAS Canberra during the period Aug-Sep 18 whilst we were conducting flight trials and a deployment to New Caledonia when I received your bag. It was tough being away, as I have a wife and 18 month old son. It meant a great deal to know that there were people at home, such as yourself, who cared enough to make us feel like we were supported!
I’m an Aerospace Engineer for the Fleet Air Arm in Nowra, NSW (based at HMAS Albatross most of the time). I normally go to sea maybe once or twice a year.
Thank you for the work you do to make us feel like we’re at home, and please keep it up for the sake of my fellow sailors, soldiers and airmen/women!
Kind regards,
Hi Su,
I received the laundry bag with the happy faces on it.  He’s a picture of me with it.

Hi Ruth,
I wanted to write to say thank you for the beautiful laundry bag that I received last Friday. It really is gorgeous. I got such a surprise when I saw my dog on the front of it!  How did you even know about her?
I told my mum about it and sent her the pictures and she was really impressed and grateful that you would be so kind as to send me the gifts.  
I am going to frame this when I get back to Australia  – I haven’t decided which side will face front yet because both are special.  Maybe I could do both sides?
Thank you again for taking the time to make such a beautiful gift ( and thanks also for the lotion – you can’t have too much out here!)
With gratitude and respect.


For Kathy W
I hope you and your husband, children and grandchildren are well. I hope you all enjoy your Christmas holidays, and glad you enjoyed your recent outback trip.
The flying doctors and being a nurse I have great respect for, 2 great careers and I thank you for them and your husbands service in the Royal Flying Doctor service. 
A little about myself I’m 29, I was a butcher by trade from 18-24 until I joined the army as a rifleman, I’m currently deployed on a training deployment to Rifle Company Butterworth in Malaysia and conducting jungle war-fighting training until March next year. This is my second back to back deployment this year, having done a 7 month operational deployment doing domestic border protection earlier this year. Thank you for the Laundry bag you made, I ran over to it as fast as I could and chose it because it has birds on it. It’s come in handy because it’s so hot and humid over here and I’m doing so much washing every day or two, the laundry bag I had prior was very small but this one is huge and much better.

Appreciate the email about you and your family and the laundry bag, have a safe and happy Christmas. 
Till next time… keep spreading the word and happy stitching!
Jan-Maree xx 

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