There can not be many, if any, Australians who have not been affected by the bushfires that have raged around our country since September last year. I have been keeping up with the news like most poeple, and at times feel an overwhelming feeling of helplessness when so many are suffering.
Most of you will remember, but perhaps a few newer readers will not be aware, that in June 2016 my family home was all but completely destroyed by a fire so I know, to an extent, what it is like to lose your home to fire.  That said, as our house was the only house burned at the time, I feel we were luckier than the victims of this bushfire as all those around us, including the infrastructure around us, remained intact. 

Two weeks after the fire we were in a rental home and were on the road to rebuilding our home and our lives.  We were insured, but no matter how well insured you are, it never covers everything and as well as a financial deficit, insurance can’t return the family bible, my grandmother’s doll collection, my letters from recipients, my collection of challenge coins and all the other precious memorabilia I had collected from 4 years of running Aussie Heroes.  Insurance could not replace the many quilts I had made over the years that were now just ash. 

The rays of light and hope were fanned however, by the people that reached out to us and to me, the people who visited and brought small gifts, the many gestures of kindness we received. From the Shaking Sheik Pepper and Salt set sent from the Middle East by Bill, to the beautful small Japanese doll Andrew gave me and the challenge coin that was sent out with Duncan with the message, “Tell her we are thinking of her”. 

One of the first gifts I received was from one of our volunteer quilters, Carol. She made me a quilt. It became one of the first of a collection of new treasures and I really appreciated it. 

I have a collection of beautiful quilts here at Aussie Heroes that are not Aussie Hero Quilts, but which have been given to me to find good homes for them.  Sometimes they go to the family of a recipient doing it tough.  Last year a couple went to the wives of a couple of young veterans dealing with life threatening illness.   Sometimes I can pass one on to a homeless veteran who has just been able to secure a home for themselves. 

Now I want to know about any veterans, past or present serving members, who have been impacted by these horrible fires.  I have already got two blokes in my sights and when the time is right, ie when they have an address to send to, or when they are out of imminent danger, I will send them a quilt just to let them know we care and to start off, I hope, their new collection of treasures. 

I need your help. If you know of any veterans who have lost their homes or businesses, or who have been significantly impacted by these horrible bushfires please let me know. If you are able to help me get a quilt to a veteran in need, please let me know. 

It is times like these that you really need your family… and we want to be able to show our veterans, current serving members and ex-military members, thatas part of their defence family, we care.

If you know someone then please message me via the AHQ Facebook page or email me at

Till next time… please spread the word because we care. 

Jan-Maree xx