Grati Tuesday March 29th

Written by AHQ

29 March 2022


 Happy Tuesday Friends!

Hope you are having a great week so far! Grab a cuppa and a snack – sit back, relax and enjoy the gratitude letters below. 

Hi Wendy.V,


I received the laundry bag on the day we pulled back into Sydney after completing Operation Tonga Assist 22, some 51 days straight at sea!


The laundry bag you produced is absolutely incredible, and I was blown away with detail and your creativity – it bought a huge smile, and I couldn’t help myself, but I had to show everybody that lives around me your fantastic creation. I can’t articulate just how happy I am with it, and it is something that I will cherish for as long as it survives!


I also really appreciate your story, and it just adds to the sentimental value of the laundry bag. I love the fact that it is unique and made by a ‘real’ person.  You have freely given up your time to create something so beautiful – words just can’t express how truly grateful I am.


So, a little about me. I joined the Navy some 35 years ago from Adelaide and obtained a radio fitter mechanic trade. I was posted to my first ship as an 18-year-old and have now spend the vast majority of my adult time in the service of Australia. 8 sea postings now have me sitting on onboard HMAS Adelaide, which also happens to be my last ship, managing a Team that has the responsibility of maintaining all the weapons, communications, and combat systems onboard.  I see this job as the most rewarding, yet challenging job I have ever undertaken – and I love it all!  I have seen a significant shift during my time in the Navy, which has resulted in an increase of the time away from home and our loved ones. For me personally, I left my family in Perth to ensure that I provided them a semblance of stability. Unfortunately, COVID has heavily impacted my ability to re-connect, and the WA hard border policy only made it worse. Relaxation is making it easier, but it is still a challenge.

Once again, I absolute love the laundry bag, the effort and detail is remarkable and I can’t thank you enough.


Thank you.



Hello Robyn.H, 


Oh my goodness, I am so excited to receive your parcels last week and your kind words. Would you believe I returned home and my daughter has contracted COVID and we are now isolating at home. I survived 2 months at sea to catch this when I returned. Luckily we all have only mild symptoms.
To say I love my quilt and laundry bag is an understatement. They are so beautiful and my colleagues all oohed and aaahed when I opened the parcel. I know this will become a family heirloom.


I am the Human Resources Officer on Adelaide so are responsible for managing a team of 15 staff who look after 420 ships company and then additionally Army who can come onboard. We had 360 army join us in Brisbane to sail to Tonga. Having 700 people to look after is certainly a busy job and I am responsible for managing the movements of all people, public affairs, managing a large travel and training budget and all the other things that HR do such as inducting new staff, promotions, terminations and all sorts of admin. I have a wonderful team that help me to do this.


I have been in the Navy for 12 years and your quilt was the first opportunity I have had to receive such an item. It was so exciting to have this opportunity as you ladies are quite the legend for people who have deployed. Everyone covets one of these amazing pieces of art.



Tonga as you may have seen on the news was a challenging deployment but also very rewarding. I was able to go ashore and be a part of some of the cleanup activities on an island just outside of the main city. It was truly devastated. I can’t even imagine being in the situation the Tongan people are in. Even in this difficult time I still had a warm bed and a hot meal each day. Something a lot of people in Tonga no longer have. I am externally grateful for the blessed life I have.


Thank you. 


Dear Pennie.T,

I would like to personally thank you for the laundry bag you made. I am currently deployed in Malaysia. 
I have served with the British Army and now currently serving with the Australian Defence Force (Army). I am currently posted in QLD but been deployed with a unit from the NT. We have another two and half months left of this rotation/deployment before returning home.
I am a very keen cyclist and the bag is very fitting for my personal hobbies and current job I am filling here in Malaysia.
Thank you once again for the support you provide to the troops on deployments, as the bags serve a very good purpose and as you mentioned adds a little colour.
Kindest of regards


Morning Gayle.W,


I am sending this email to say thank you very much for the Orca Quilt. The patterning, colours and overall design really provides a sense of being immersed in an ocean. I hope to use it the next time I am deployed overseas. Speaking of which, the ship was able to witness the utter devastation of the tsunami in Tonga. From firsthand experience, witnessing the extent of damage in the outlying islands, the buildings were completely wiped from their foundations leaving the slabs were the houses, stores and churches used to be. It was quite confronting to see but also frames the perspective of the importance of the Australian Navy in the Asia Pacific Region.


I have been meaning to send you an email last week when the ship first received care packages. However I have been inundated with work once the ship berthed alongside in Sydney. As one of the HMAS Adelaide’s Marine Engineers on board, my role entails the management of maintenance, operations and defect reporting of all the propulsion systems and hotel services onboard. Examples of hotel services include: Power, fresh water and sewage systems. As Adelaide is quite a big ship that is designed to carry up to an additional 700 personnel, my job is quite busy when at sea and also very busy when the ship is berthed for maintenance.


Once again thank you for the quilt and it has been a pleasure reading your letter.






Good Morning Pennie.T,


I conducted some research before writing to you, and came across other ADF members that have had the opportunity to receive gifts from yourself.


So on behalf of past, present (myself), and future ADF members that will receive a gift from you, I say thank you.


Thank you for your tireless effort of thinking of us (ADF members), thank you for your time, thank you for your ongoing support for providing such gifts, and thank you for your service as a front line worker for the past two plus years during the pandemic.


I must admit I spent quite a while in the Chaplin’s office searching for the right bag to select, and I can honestly say that your gift is something I was requiring due to constant wet weather and regular duties, and who doesn’t love Marvel movies.


Once again, thank you for your continuous support of all ADF members and your service to our great country, Australia.



The following Gratitude email didn’t specify which Jenny made this laundry bag. 

Dear Jenny,

Thank you for the amazing laundry bag that you have gifted me.


A bit about me. So I am currently living in the NT as a part of work and am originally from a small mining town.

I’ve only ever been in the army as a job, as I enlisted shortly after school at 18 years of age, come April it will be my 6th year in the Army.


Currently I am in Malaysia which is where I got this bag from.


I am living with my partner who is also a serving member but looking at leaving, as am I and not too sure what I’ll get into after I leave, however the laundry bag will be staying with me.


I am not sure if you are a Star Wars fan, but I am a huge Star Wars fan so I knew that this bag was perfect for me!


I hope you have a wonderful future and once again, thank you for that bag.

Kind Regards.


Hi Susan.J,


I hope you and your husband are all doing well.


Thank you so much for Django’s Hero Quilt, he absolutely adores it as you can see in the picture attached below.


A little background on Django, he was originally trained by a couple of RAAF Handlers that run their own dog training business outside of their RAAF duties. I was involved in the testing and then purchase of Django and then I was his handler for the first 12 months of his time at the regiment. 

Django was then placed on course with a new handler and upon completion of that course he remained with that handler until the end of his career.


Luckily being Django’s original handler, I was given priority when it came time to retire him. He has always had a soft demeanour for a working dog so the adjustment into retired life was very easy for him. Django now spends his days chewing on one of his multiple toys, chasing the cat around the house and sleeping at my fiancé’s feet while she works from home. He loves trips to the beach for swims and play time with all the other dogs. 


Thank you again for taking the time to make such a beautiful memento of Django’s service.






Good Evening Heather.B,
I am a British Air Force lateral recruit to the Aussie Air Force. I moved over in 2011 after 17yrs service. And seeing lots all over the world good and bad.
I was aware of the Aussie Quilts and Bags and the amazing work you and all the teams around the states do for us.
And for this I thank you very much also.
I was and have been placed on the covid assist taskforce up to December.  Looking after the hotels and returning Aussies and other passengers. Which seemed straight forward but wow was taxing and testing.
But the nature of my job and the current weather, it has been non stop, not being able to catch a breathe, Floods and Tonga standby and deployments around other states.
I hope you and your family are safe, and looking after each other and the extended family you have, (sounds full on, and a lot of military connections) while we have all been navigating through these uncharted and troubled times and floods and fires and covid.
We will get through somehow.
My laundry bag with Dr Who on, well it is very cool and very British, so it made me smile and think of home.
The pic attached is my bag, which I will use and cherish whenever I head away.
We both have a love for swimming I am visually impaired so do a-lot of adaptive sports, not a distance swimmer but still enjoy the odd race and laps.
Thanks again so so much



Hi Diana.A,




I hope this email finds you well! Thank you so much for the incredible quilt you made! It is absolutely gorgeous and it’s the first one I’ve ever received. I will cherish it forever. 




I received the quilt on Monday after spending time with my family getting back from Tonga. It was wonderful to see them. 




I used to work as a nurse before I joined the army so I understand what those night shifts are like. I also have an older brother who works at a hospital in Sydney in the pathology lab.  




All the best Diana, take care and thank you again for the blanket, I’ve showed it off to many people already bragging about your skills. 


Thats it for another week. Hope you have a wonderful evening and we will have a whole lot more for you next week..


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