This blog is dedicated to encouraging people to make quilts and laundry bags to send to Aussie service men and women currently serving overseas and to express our gratitude for their service. We care about the people - not the politics or the mission.
Our quilts are not works of art, but works of the heart.
Thank you to those serving from Mooroolbark East Primary School.
Finally I can tell the story of another school that got involved in Aussie Heroes this year. This is about the Mooroolbark East Primary School which is in the outer eastern suburbs of Melbourne, not far from Mt Dandenong.
Here is the story as told by Jill S which I believe is based around the letter that accompanied each laundry bag when it was sent away.
These bags were made by the Grade 6 students at Mooroolbark
East Primary School. Mooroolbark is an outer eastern suburb of Melbourne. The
school is the school I retired from after teaching for 40 years. Upon
retirement, I started looking for activities to do that would also involve my
passion for sewing and making quilts......
HERO QUILTS AND LAUNDRY BAGS
I started sewing for this program in 2012. I have done
batches of LB and quite a few quilts.
However , back to Grade 6.
I taught many of these kids when they were Preps. As Grade
6ers, Term 2 they were studying "Australia at War". My friend
Melinda, who is one of the Grade 6 teachers, asked if I would make a quilt with
the kids and I also suggested making the LB. How hard could it be?
All straight sewing - all good. Twenty
something kids, done in no time.
She meant all the Grade 6 classes - 3 of them which equals 78
In for a penny: in for a pound, off we went.
So, over the
past 7 weeks, I have spent time at my old school sewing with a couple of kids
every day. The Principal wanted to put me back on staff!!!
I was amazed at how quickly the kids got into the sewing
routine; especially the boys and we only unpicked a few seams.
The sad thing is, I had all this fabric in my cupboards -
except for the "guitar" one that I bought for a boy who plays the
guitar every break.
I hope the personnel enjoy the many choices in laundry bags
and know the kids had fun making them. I am sure you will be able to
"match" some to particular people.
During the process,
we had many discussions about why people in the ADF do this job and what it
must be like to be away from your family for long periods of time.
They now have a real
sense of why we refer to you and your peers as "AUSSIE HEROES".
I have had some lovely messages from the "boys &
girls" who have received a quilt I made.
Reading these has also helped the
kids in their understandings of "service to our country".
Each bag has a letter from the student who made it.
Hopefully, some people will be able to respond to the maker of their bag, but
we do understand if this is not possible or appropriate.
The quilt the children are making features a poppy block.
On the petals, each child has written the details of a family member; or someone
they have researched, who served in a conflict somewhere in the world over the
last 100 years, or a Victory Cross recipient.
When finished, it will be presented to the local RSL.
am delighted to take part in this "Aussie Hero" program and enjoyed
bringing the experience to the children.
We hope you get as much of a buzz receiving as
we have in giving.
The bags were sent off to Iraq and Afghanistan and the students have already received a response or two.
Hi Jill (and fellow grade 6 students),
First of all, a big hello and thank you for all your
efforts in creating the laundry bags for some of the deployed men and women
here in Afghanistan. Every time I receive a box of laundry bags to hand out to
newcomers I enjoy finding out about the individual(s) who have spent many of
their own precious hours creating something so special for us to enjoy, not
just for our deployment but also for the years that follow. School children are
often my favourites as I can see the effort and excitement that goes along with
their handy work, making them that little bit more special. The photos are also
an extra special touch - the children look absolutely chuffed.
I am almost half way through my deployment here and
have enjoyed most of it so far. I am currently posted to Sydney, NSW but am
originally from Launceston, TAS. I have served approximately five years in the
ADF and this is my first deployment overseas. I have made many great new
friends during my deployment which makes it a little easier to be away from
family and friends back in Australia. We take comfort in the little things and
the laundry bags (and quilts) provide a little bit of colour to our rooms.
We had a large group of newcomers arrive last weekend
and they were given an introduction into the work that Aussie Hero Quilts and
Laundry Bags do. All the laundry bags that we had stocked up were snatched up
very quickly and I suspect that many of the others who unfortunately missed out
will be in contact with Jan-Maree to order their own.
If the children have any specific questions of me I
will do my best to answer them where I can.
Thanks again Jill for all the hard work (and no doubt
patience!) that went into the laundry bags and for your kind words in the
letter. It is nice to know that we have the support from back at home.
Thank you so much for the beautiful laundry bag. You have done such a
lovely job with the sewing and the material is really pretty. My job or
‘mustering’ as we call it in the Royal Australian Air Force is an Aeronautical
Life Support Fitter. I service, fit and maintain the safety survival equipment
that our Pilots and Aircrew take with them when they fly. We also look after
the safety equipment that is fitted to our aircraft, like the lift rafts,
escape slides and oxygen masks. Depending on which job I am doing I may also be
required to do some sewing so I can appreciate the hard work you have put into
OK so I will tell you a little bit about myself now. I have been in the
Air Force for 9 yrs and have done 2 different jobs. Supply Clerk and now
Aeronautical Life Support Fitter. This is my second deployment, the first one
in 2008. Being deployed is a great experience to do something for our country.
It also gives you lots of opportunities to do something you would not normally
get the chance to do, visit new places and met new people from all over the
world. The first time I was deployed for 6 months and now this time I will be deployed
for 4 months. The amount of time you are deployed for varies depending on what
job you do and which squadron or unit you work for. I am originally from
Adelaide. I have been ‘posted’ which means I have had to move to a different
location for work a few times now. I have lived in Wagga Wagga NSW, Townsville
QLD and am currently living in Williamtown NSW.
Well Meghan I really enjoyed reading your letter. Thank you so much for
taking the time to write it and thanks to Ms/Mrs Smith for helping you.
Take care and happy horse riding.
First of all let me thank you for the awesome
laundry bag, it has come in especially handy as I forgot to bring one over with
To answer your question, I do love AFL, I play in the QAFL league back
home, usually line up in the ruck, it helps being 6'5 lol. I follow Carlton,
although haven't got to watching footy this season due to work.
Thanks so much for all your support it mean so much to all the boys
Thanks again buddy I hope to hear back from you with any other
questions you have.
Thank you very much for the laundry bag, I just got it today, it is
fantastic. It takes a while for mail to get to us.
I think the pattern is very cool and looks like solar systems and
space. I'm very impressed that you made it, when I was 11 I don't think I could
have made anything like that. All I wanted to do is go outside and play sports.
I hope your dance competition went well and that you weren't too scared,
I think that it's pretty fascinating that you do ballroom dancing.
My Grandfather was in WW2 as well, he was a pilot for the RAAF and flew
in Papua New Guinea, maybe they knew each other?
So I work in logistics and provide anyone with the equipment they need
to do their job. From nuts,bolts and oil for mechanics, to body armour and
weapons for those who need it.
I finished year 12 in 2011 and joined the Army in 2013, during the gap
I worked at McDonalds while I figured out what I wanted to do, but also
travelled to New Zealand for a month and a half for a holiday.
I like to go to the gym and workout, indoor rock climbing, ride my
motorcycles and go to the rifle range.
I'm 22, I had my birthday while I'm over here.
The weather, it's so hot over here at the moment it was 42 degrees at
9.30 in the morning and during the middle of the day the thermometer maxed out
at 50 degrees plus. It takes hot to a whole new level.
Hope you have a wonderful school term and keep working hard at school
and study hard at high school, it does pay off in the end.
Lots of thanks,
Hi Brianna Courtney,
I am writing to thank you for your gift of the laundry bag. I am a real
animal lover, so your paw print bag is a real hit and will get used straight
In answer to your questions:
I am married and have three kids, two boys 25 yrs old and 22 yrs old,
and one girl 17 yrs old.
I never thought I would be in a war, but always thought I would join
the Defence Force.
I don't have any animals here, but I have two dogs and a cat at home.
I am an Avionics Technician, which means I work on the electrical,
instrument, communications and radar systems on the E7 Wedgetail Aircraft, and
A big thanks to you and your classmates for their kind gifts and
thoughts. Itbrings a real smile to our
faces and glow to our hearts to know that people at home are thinking of us.
I am a private in the Army. Thank you so much
for the laundry bag. I use it all the time!
My job in the Army is a Rifleman, it's a very hard job but I very much
I am 23 years old, I don't have any kids. I am currently serving in
Afghanistan, it's very hot here!
I now live in Brisbane, the weather there is amazing.
I go for Carlton football club, and my favourite place to go on holiday
would be Falls Creek, I love snow boarding.
Hope to hear back from you.
My name is XXX, my mates call me Frosty I'm 29 years old and live in NSW.
When I get back home from deployment I am getting married and hopefully
have some kids soon. At the moment I have a dog who is a big baby.
My main interest's are surfing and playing sports, but I do also enjoy
playing world of Warcraft on computer over here to make my free time go quicker. It's summer here at the moment so
most days get above 50 degrees so its to hot for outdoor sports.
I am in the Airforce and work as a equipo at a flying squadron so my
job is to purchase and make sure all the aircraft parts arrive on time so the
jets can keep flying.
I imagine you would love it where I work considering you are right into
technology and video games, I work alongside a group of guys called Techo's - they
build and repair all the cool computer systems on the jets, which to me looks
like one big video game.
I am jealous you have 2 brothers I only have 1 sister so the only toys
she could share were barbies not video games.
Being in the Airforce is the best job in the world, I love it.
And thankyou for the laundry bag. All the guys from other squadrons just
have plain ones and keep asking us where we got them from. We all love them.
Thanks for all your support and enjoy your last year at primary school!
Hi Joshua. B
you for the laundry bag and for the time that you spent making it. I appreciate
the time and effort that you have put in to making a great laundry bag. I came
over here without a laundry bag, so it was something I needed and I will use
while I am over here and will take it every time I deploy overseas (which is a
I originally came from Ballarat in Victoria and come from a family of 6
siblings. I am married with 5 children, 3 girls and 2 boys. The AFL team I
barrack for is Carlton and my favourite passtime is to watch my son play AFL
and also Carlton, I like to watch the V8 Supercars and V8 utes races. I have a
Holden VE SS ute and a Kawasaki ZX14 motorcycle that I like to ride on weekends
when I am not working.
Once again I would like to thank you and your class
mates for all the time that you spent making the laundry bags. My whole maintenance team over here is
extremely proud of you all for the time and effort put in making the laundry
bags and for recognising the service that we all provide for Australia.
Hi There Abor,
Firstly, thank you so much for your laundry bag. I picked yours
because I liked the colours and design
and especially the material with the Australian flags on it. I am using it
already and really appreciate the great work you have obviously put into it.
I am currently on deployment in the Middle East
as an aircraft technician with the Royal
Australian Air Force. My job here is to look after the jets in our
squadron to make sure the engines and most of the other parts of the plane are
always ready to fly so we can do our job here. While I can imagine that the
weather there is very cold at the moment, I can tell you that the weather here
is very very hot with temperatures around 50 degrees Celsius .This makes it
quite difficult to do our job here but you get used to it after a while.
A little about myself: I have been in the RAAF for
15 years with this being my third trip to the Middle East. I live in Newcastle
which is situated about 160km North of Sydney. Just like you, I am the eldest
and have 2 brothers and both my parents are retired with my dad being a doctor
and Mum being a nurse. Because I have always lived near the beach, I enjoy
surfing, swimming and running on the sand. I have a little boy who
is 6 years old and has just started school this year which he is really
enjoying. I am trying to teach him how to surf too and he also enjoys
skateboarding and riding his bike.
It was good to hear that you are also interested in music as I have a
bit of a background with music too. When I was in my twenties, I played bass
guitar in a band for around 3 years where we used to play at a lot of different
venues around Newcastle. This was a lot of fun and these days I still play
guitar occasionally but will always have a passion for music. I really do wish
you well if you intend to further your music interests.
Maybe you could become both a doctor and singer? But whatever you,
don't give up your dreams!
I hope this letter reaches you ok and it has been a pleasure writing to
Gday Salena and the grade 6 kids at Mooroolbark East,
I'm 25 years old and I'm from beautiful Brisbane. I'm
an Infantry soldier currently serving in Iraq. I have a lovely girlfriend and 2 little kittens waiting for me back
home. I was a mechanic before i joined the Army, i decided to join because I wanted to challenge myself and serve my country like my Dad did, who is an
I don't follow the AFL im afraid butIi do like watching the NRL, GO THE
Thank you all very much for making these great laundry bags, you dont
even realise how much we all needed these! Stay safe kids and be good.
am19 years old and am serving in the Australian army. I can not thank you enough for the laundry bag. Most people
might think its nothing but over here where I am, the littlest things mean the
a lot. I serve in the infantry corp. My trade is a rifleman. Im sorry to say I don't follow AFL. I know the rules and teams, but growing up in Brisbane, Queensland, I followed rugby league. But if I had to choose a team, I'd say the Geelong cats. I barrack for South Sydney Rabbitohs in the NRL. I do not have
kids, but i do have a beautiful girlfriend. I can't
really say where i am right now, but lets just say its nothing like home. Well will I have to go now. Thank you again
for the laundry bag. I hope to hear from you soon.
Some of the recipients were kind enough to send photos of themselves with their laundry bags but I have not got permission to publish. I think the story is good enough without anyway.
Till next time...................keep spreading the word and happy stitching!