Grati-Tuesday 9th July 2024

Written by AHQ

9 July 2024


Happy Tuesday Friends!

I hope everyone is travelling well as we move into the second half of the year.  I work in finance so my last couple of months have been crazy. I am very much enjoying the slow easy pace now.  Even managed to get two quilts completed over the weekend!

We have another lot of beautiful messages from far and wide and some awesome images, so grab a cuppa, sit back and relax while you soak up some well deserved gratitude. 

Dear Ms Toni F,


I am currently deployed on OP ASLAN in South Sudan and a few days ago I had the privilege to receive your wonderful gift of an Aussie Hero Quilts Laundry Bag!


I am truly impressed with the quality, design and finishing touches you have put into my laundry bag. I had imagined what my laundry bag could look like, but your craftsmanship definitely exceeded my imagination. I am proud to be the owner and it will continue to provide me many years of joyful ownership.


I have attached a photo of your laundry bag with me on the airport ramp at Juba airport, where I perform an Aviation Safety role in the United Nations. UN Helicopters perform an essential role in South Sudan, particularly in the wet season as many dirt roads turn into mudholes, and vehicles are unable to distribute the food and other aid to those who need it. The lack of investment into South Sudan infrastructure is one of the main reasons why South Sudan split from Sudan in 2011. The helicopter behind me in the photo is operated by a company called ‘Ukrainian Helicopters’, all of the crew are Ukrainian men and it’s been unique working with them, especially with the backdrop of the war in Ukraine going on.


I also liked reading your letter, and couldn’t help notice how some of the locations you mentioned I had also been to. In 2015-2018 I was working with the Navy, and I lived in an apartment in St Leonards, right next to Crows Nest. In fact as a young kid growing up in WA, I distinctly remember the TV program ‘Hey Hey It’s Saturday’ being filmed in Crows Nest, or at least that is where they requested any letter submissions for competitions to be sent. In 2017 my daughter was born in Royal North Shore Hospital, so I guess I too will also have a very strong attachment to Crows Nest. Prior to deploying here I was working at RAAF Base Williamtown in Newcastle, perhaps we crossed paths as you went on your fabric hunt!


I have to confess your laundry bag is still too new for laundry services at the moment, and it brings me more joy adorning the very bleak metal walls in by cabin. I hope this email provides you a fraction of the joy your laundry bag has provided me, and from my heart I am very appreciative and honoured to have a Laundry Bag sown by Ms Toni F.


A big thank you to all the artisans within Aussie Hero Quilts, your gifts bring us much enduring joy throughout our careers.


Kind regards



Hello Beverly U,
Just wanted to extend my thanks for your craftsmanship and care that went in to making the Quilt and Laundry bag!
That was my first overseas deployment (OP Lilia Solomon Islands) since being in the Army so the two pieces you made will serve as a lovely reminder.
Thanks again!

Dear Emma G, 
I hope this email finds you well. I am reaching out to you, as I was one of the fortunate recipients of your amazing laundry bags. First and foremost, let me express my sincere gratitude for the time you took to construct my LB, as well as the lovely letter that accompanied it. 
The motto of Aussie Hero Quilts, “We care about the people, not the politics or the mission” really resonated with me, as the political landscape of the world seems to be rapidly shifting at the moment. Therefore, it is incredibly humbling to know that there are people dedicating their personal time to craft such meaningful items for ADF personnel whilst overseas. 
Moreover, it is absolutely not a problem that your daughter decided to give the LB a hug with her yoghurt hands, as I am sure it will endure much worse during field exercises and operations! 
Finally, allow me to thank you again for your time and effort spent making this LB for me, it is whole heartedly appreciated. Please see attached a couple of photographs of myself with the LB, as well as my best mate who was very curious to see what it was I had received. 

Warm Regards, 

Good morning Ruth S,


I received the laundry bag that you made for me! Thank you so much! It is so beautiful. I love it. Thank you for taking the time to make this for me, it is really special. The decorated hand written note was so sweet too. This really made my day and I will treasure it. I love that you put a map of NZ inside it. Now when I miss my home county I can look at that.


Thank you!

Dear Angie T,

 Thank you very much for the laundry bag. I love the detail that you have put into it, you’ve managed to capture the traits of my current role extremely well.

 I’ll start with a little about myself. I am first generation Australian, both my parents are from Switzerland and migrated to Australia in 1988. I am child 3 of 4 (2x Girls 2x Boys) and we grew up in North WA. 

 I did all my schooling in North WA and attended Tafe once a week during year 12. During that year, Defence did a promotional visit to the local High School in hopes to get people who had no plans after school to enlist, they were successful with me. I tried joining as soon as I could after completing year 12, however I had broken my wrist during a Tae-kwon-do challenge where we were seeing who could kick the highest, sad to say, I did not win the challenge. My friends mum was a nurse at the local hospital and was at the gym at the time of my accident, she ended up driving me to the hospital so I could receive my X-rays and get a cast put on. After 6 weeks of recovery the cast was due to come off! finally, I still remember the relief from all the itching. As soon as the cast came off, the nurse and I noticed that the break did not heal straight (doctor under training only applied 2 layers of plaster instead of 6). Unfortunately that meant I had to have my wrist surgically re-broken to straighten the wrist; fortunately there were 2 doctors up from Perth the exact week I needed them there to do the procedure (another round of 6 weeks in a cast for recovery needed).

All of this happened while I already had my medical appointment booked with Defence in Darwin. When I went to Darwin for all my pre-entry testing, including medical appointment (with the 2nd cast on) they told me I should come back in 12 months so they could see how well my arm would heal. 

During the 12 months of waiting around, I had started working out at the local airport. I ended up working there from Dec 09 til Feb 13, I worked as a baggage handler, checkout attendant and towards the end of my time there I was doing more of an office role where I would co-ordinate seating allocations for weight & balance flight data, relaying that flight data to the pilots, which they entered into their flight management computer. 

Towards the end of 2012 I had re-booked a medical appointment, no further medical issues this time, as I had done all of the other testing the first time around I was set to go, they sent out the initial letter of offer soon there-after with a starting date in the new year.

I joined Defence in Feb 2013, signing on as an Avionics Technician. As an Avionics Technician, broadly, my job is to troubleshoot and resolve faults on aircraft systems that primarily uses electricity to operate, for example the Radios, Auto-pilot, Radar, computers, any associate wiring, etc. This is the reason for the theme request and the result was amazing, thank you!

In my 11 years, I have spent 1.5 years in Wagga Wagga going through Recruit training (3 Months) and Initial Employment Training (Avionics Technical School). 2 years at RAAF Base Pearce with 79SQN where I got to go on 2 exercises to Darwin and Learmonth (Exmouth) before they transitioned to a civilian contractor to do the maintenance on the Hawk-127. I posted mid-year 2016 to 2SQN at RAAF base Williamtown where I have been ever since. During my tenure at 2SQN I have been given the opportunity to travel the all over Australia and the world on exercises and deployments to places such as Malaysia, Multiple locations within USA, UAE for 4 months (Sep19 – Jan20) and more recently Germany for 3 months (Jan24 – Apr24).

I feel quite privileged that I am able to do what I do as a career and the opportunities I have been a part of. Thank you again for the laundry bag, it will come in handy on my next trip!


Kind Regards,

Dear  Gail MacQ,

Thank you to you and Garage Girls, the quilt and laundry bag they look fabulous. I’m an Executive Officer (2nd in command) and a Mine Warfare and Clearance Diving Officer (under water & land bomb disposal) by trade hence the strong themes of diving, mines, sea creatures and such in my design request. I knew my requests were quite a lot, however I’m super impressed with what you and the Garage Girls put together so thanks again. It was a lovely package to receive after returning from a 3 month deployment.

The rest of the crew have been slowly getting quilts and laundry bag through the mail service from your organisation over the last few months, all have been received with great appreciation and thanks.

Yours aye,

Hi Barbara D,

I just received the quilt and I have got to say that this is my first quilt and you have set the bar so high for my next ones!!! It is absolutely perfect and I am so in love with it!! You captured everything that I wanted so well!!
I’ve only been in the navy for a little over 2 years. I’m a Communicator in the Navy, so I deal with all the communications coming in and leaving the ship along with the technology (computers and such) on board, it is such a super rewarding and fulfilling role. I’ve always lived in Sydney which is nice having family so close but at arms length hahaha. I’ve always thought about moving up to QLD although I have never been!
Thank you for the tips on how to wash the quilt, I’ll take care of it and treasure it!
Thank you again so much Barbara,
Kind Regards,

Good Afternoon Jenni S, 

I would like to thank you for the awesome Laundry (Dhoby) bag you made for me. Throughout my five years in the Navy I have seen all these cool laundry bags and always wanted one of my own so when the opportunity came around to order one I jumped at it. 
I chose the jungle animal theme because I wanted to be a bit different, as you can imagine being in the Navy most people choose a nautical theme. The wardroom (officer’s mess) had been watching a lot of David Attenborough; often competing between the watches (shifts) to see which watch had made more progress through the season. For those reasons along with one of my childhood favourite movies being the Lion King, I decided to go for the Jungle animal theme. 
I was unfortunately away when my bag arrived (hence the late reply, for which I extend my sincerest apologies) so my friend sent me a photo. It put a massive smile on my face, you absolutely nailed it!!! I am so happy with my dhoby bag and plan on taking it with me every time I go to sea. 
As I said earlier I have been in the Navy for five years and since joining this is the first act of kindness I have received for my service. Whilst,  I do not expect nor ask for these acts, I feel touched that you have gone to so much effort to show your appreciation for what I do. 
Since joining the Navy I have missed many birthdays, Easter long weekends, parties and even one Christmas. However, what is harder is knowing that my family and girlfriend are missing me too. This gift is a symbol of appreciation for the sacrifices my loved ones and I have made.
I appreciate what you do as well; my Grandmother passed away earlier this year. She had spent the last year of her life in an aged care facility. The way she was treated with such respect and dignity, is something I will carry with me for the rest of my life. When she did pass, the way the staff treated my family and I, as well as saying the way they said goodbyes to my Grandmother was a true reflection of the care she received. 
Thank you, best of wishes to you and your family. 

Kind Regards, 

Until next week keep your letters, emails and photos coming in.  

Tuesday’s would be so totally boring without them!

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