Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Words on Wednesday - 2 Jan 19

Hi all

hope you survived New Year's Eve without suffering too much of a hangover on New Year's Day.  One good way to get this New Year started for Aussie Heroes is to read a few of these great messages.  Enjoy!

Hi Bridget,

I just wanted to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
I have provided a quick photo of me and your beautiful Aussie Quilt.

Please keep up the good work and support to our troops in theatre.

Take care

Hi Clarissa,
I’m currently overseas and have just received my amazing care package. My laundry bag is great and was put to use within minutes of arriving! The tim tams lasted a little bit longer lol. So far I’m the only one that has received their laundry bag in my group......needless to say everyone is jealous!!
I just wanted to say a massive thank you to every single one of you that works tirelessly supporting us, it really is appreciated. I hope you all have a fantastic Christmas and enjoy some well deserved time with your loved ones. I’m planning on getting a group photo so when I do, I’ll be sure to send it through.
Thanks again,

Hi Rita

Thank you so much for your wonderful laundry bag and lovely letter. Apologies for the late reply, has been non-stop all year. I am a 30 year old Leading Seaman Boatswain's Mate onboard HMAS Adelaide. I maintain all the small arm weapons onboard the ship, such as 9mm pistols, shotguns, standard issue rifles and .50 cal machine guns. As a boatswain's mate I also preform all the seamanship tasks on the ship such as replenishment at sea (refuelling) and also am the coxswain for the small 7.2m jet boats we have that we use for personnel transfers, boarding of foreign vessels and emergency recovery of man overboards. I joined the Navy 8 years ago and after completing my initial training was posted to HMAS Perth, an ANZAC class Frigate based in Perth, Western Australia. I spent 5 years posted there, deploying to places such as the US, South East Asia and the Middle East. After that I was posted to Darwin where I served on different patrol boats conducting illegal entry (refugee) and fisheries boardings before moving to Sydney and joining HMAS Adelaide. 

I grew up on a sheep station in the North-East of South Australia. The property is 66,000 acres and runs normally around 7000 merino sheep, but currently running a lot less due to the drought. It has been in the family  since 1882 when my great-great grandfather moved out from England and bought the land. Both my parents Chris & Joan are still running the property and I am set to take the reins when I discharge from the Navy. I completed majority of my education at boarding school in Adelaide. I have 1 older brother who lives in Adelaide with his wife. I have a girlfriend who is also in the Navy and also a Boatswain's Mate. We have 2 kelpie sheepdogs and 2 Burmese cats.

I can't thank you enough for the time and effort you put into making the laundry bags and quilts, it means a lot. My mother also sews and loves making Aussie Hero Quilts, so I've seen how much time, thought and love goes into making each one.
Also thank you for the added gifts, they were wonderful. The letter was a great read and I enjoyed learning about your family. I hope they are all well and that you have a great Christmas.
Many thanks


Hi Ruth,

I am just sending this email to say thank you so very much for my Kangas laundry bag.

It is absolutely fantastic! I am so happy with what you were so generous to make for me.

I didn’t know what to expect but I certainly wasn’t expecting something as great as what I was lucky enough to be gifted.

I hope the Power have a good season next year (just not as good as the Roos).

Thank you so much.


Good Evening Beth,

I would like to thank you very much for the quilt you and the other have created for me, I received the package this afternoon (just in time for Christmas).

Your time and effort you put into each one is greatly appreciated as I know it must be a timely process to complete each one. It is always a good feeling receiving mail and all the people here show off their quilts and laundry bags they have received to all the others. I asked for the boxing kangaroo and green and gold colours to bring a little bit of Australia to the desert to remind me of home. I look forward to skyping my wife to show her the excellent job you all have done.

I’m glad to hear that there has been rain in your area to help with your dry time you have been experiencing. I understand the difficulties you would be facing as my wife’s family all own farms in and around the South West of Queensland and are also doing it tough. I hope that more rain comes during the wet season to assist all farmers throughout Australia. 

I thank you and all the others very much for taking the time out of your own personal lives to make us these excellent quilts. The tim tams have also been very well received by all the members in my section

Thank you.

Dear Mrs Lorraine H,

I need to let  you know that I have received the quilt you kindly made and donated. On behalf of the unit that I work within I would like to thank you for the kindness and care you have shown to members serving our country overseas.

As per your instructions I will provide this quilt to someone who might be struggling and needs some care at this time.

Your generosity and certainly the generosity of Aussie Hero Quilts (and Laundry Bags) has an amazing ability to lift the spirits of members overseas. So again thank  you for your kind thoughts. I will make sure that your letter is included with the Quilt when it is passed on.

Currently most under my care are doing ok, albeit at this Christmas time they are missing their families, friends and familiar surroundings back home in Australia. Technology does make it easier to make contact with families so that does relieve some of the pressure.

By the time you receive this email your Christmas day will be all but over for you; I hope you had a wonderful time with the people who are close to you and that your new year is full of many blessings.

Dear Jean,

I wanted to thank you very much for all the effort you have put into making me a laundry bag. It is amazing! You have a very special talent. You nailed my tastes perfectly as I love all things travel. My room at work is filled with photos of my travels with my husband to all parts of the world and I am grateful you have captured this perfectly with the laundry bag. It makes me smile every time I use it! I have yet to travel to Africa – your favourite place, but my husband has been there without me. I will get there one day.

I love Coffs Harbour – I have been there when I was younger, travelling up the coast from Melbourne to the Gold coast. I do believe the Big banana is there if I am not mistaken. I would agree that you are quite lucky with the climate. I am from Melbourne where the weather is not very pleasant most of the time. I have always belonged in a tropical climate, so I believe. One day I may move up north, but I have to convince my husband of course!

Thanks again for the time and care taken. The quilts and laundry bags made by the Aussie Heroes volunteers bring us endless joy on our deployments and it is such a delight to see all the different designs in the laundry. Please don’t stop! We are forever grateful and it is a treasure of our time on deployment.

I wish you all the best in your future and may it be filled with endless travels!

 Hi Sandra C,

You have recently made and sent me my quilt whilst I am deployed on HMAS Ballarat. 

It arrived on Boxing Day after a long 21 days at sea, so it really couldn’t have come at a better time. I can’t thank you enough or tell you just how much I love it. It has made my Christmas.

Thank you for putting so much time and effort into it and thank you for thinking about me while I am away. It means the world to me.

I hope you had an amazing Christmas and have a very happy New Year. 

Thank you again and all the best,
Hi Ruth,

I just wanted to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
I have provided a quick photo of me and your beautiful Laundry Bag.

Please keep up the good work and support to our troops in theatre.

Take care


The Queanbeyan Quilters sent me this lovely quilt this year and so I saved it to send over to the Middle East at Christmas.  It was hung on display for the chapel service on Christmas day. The quilt was also used about the camp mainly in the sands - which is one of the recreation areas on the base.


Hi Jenny!

I received the quilt and the laundry bag in the mail today (mail arrived on Boxing day, but we were at sea for Christmas so I’m not sure if it could’ve gotten here any sooner). It is absolutely fantastic! I’ve hung it up in my mess and taken a few photos with it; somehow I’ll try and work out how I can get them to you because they’re on my phone. It turned out so well! Arrived all good, safely and in one piece. The box was wrapped exceptionally well. I realise now that I probably didn’t give too much indication to go on, but it is unbelievable. I’ve showed it to plenty of the crew as well and they think it looks fantastic. There’s a few jealous types that wish they’d thought of the idea. I also got the parcel and the soft pack together, and opened the soft pack first so I saw your letter about the cord for the laundry bag. Easy job; I spent most of my childhood re-threading draw strings in my school shorts so it only took me about two minutes. Thanks for including the safety pin as well! So very thoughtful.

Thanks for all the sugar as well! My role on board is shift work so I’m awake at various stupid hours of the day and night. Sugar and tasty goodies are very much appreciated.

Sail day was a day I’ll never forget. I’ve done it twice now, on this ship, from that same wharf. I was on Ballarat last year when we went up on the South East Asian deployment. Last year though, my wife, son and mother weren’t there for it but this year they were. It is tough, but we know we’ve got a job to do and everyone has been training all year for the big event. We’re all committed to duty, proud to serve and making our contribution to maritime security, all the while “defending the flag.”

I hope you had a very Merry Christmas and you have a safe and happy new year! We had a nice Christmas on board at sea together. It was good to relax and enjoy some downtime with everyone, knowing it had been a culmination of all our hard work training and exercising for the deployment.

Kind regards,

Dear Wendy and Lynn,

I wanted to thank you for the beautiful quilt that you made for me. It has pride of place on my wall as a piece of art ( because it is so beautiful.)   I  put photos of it up on Facebook and the post has received many, many compliments.

It really means a great deal to me that you would take the time to make something so beautiful , particularly a quilt which features the things most precious to me being my husband and dog, my profession as an air traffic controller and my memories of the 2 years my husband and I lived in Tokyo.  In 4 deployments this is my first quilt ever so it is even more special.

I am not sure if you are aware just how treasured your quilts are over here and how each new one that arrives is shown to everyone in the office as soon as it is unpacked? We are all so proud when we get one.

Thank you again for what you do to make our time over here, away from our families, that bit more special. It is genuinely appreciated.

With much respect and admiration.

Hi Helen, 

I work on HMAS Albany in Darwin. I received one of your laundry bags and I would just like to say Thank you so much. It is amazing that you ladies make these for serving members of the defence force. I can honestly say that everyone loves their laundry bags. 

I’m originally from Sydney and have only just left to move to Darwin. I moved up here in September this year. I’m a chef in the Navy and served two and a half years onboard HMAS Newcastle. When you mentioned it in your letter it made me very nostalgic. I was onboard for the last Gulf deployment the ship did in 2017 and I was lucky enough to receive a quilt. You ladies are amazing. 

I will have been in the Navy 5 years in February next year and will be joining the ship HMAS Glenelg. I really enjoy my work, though it can be tough at times mentally and physically. It does put  a strain on families and it’s hard being away from the people you love but the work we do is for our families and country. 

Thank you again for my laundry bag

Hi Ruth!

I wanted to sincerely thank you for all the time and effort you put into my wonderful laundry bag, as well as your letter. I was thrilled in receiving it and I absolutely love it - particularly the cupcake print. Baking is my go-to relaxation strategy when I'm at home so anything baked goods related makes me happy :) I'm glad that you enjoyed making it and that we have the same taste in colours :)

I have attached a photo of myself with my new laundry bag.

Thank you once again for your lovely gift. It was a pleasure to know it was made with love and care from someone who understands what it means to serve, but also how much it takes to support those who serve. So, thank you for your service and support to the troops of Australia. It won't be forgotten. I look forward to one day being able to show this laundry bag to my own children and tell them the story of how a lovely lady from South Australia made it for me and my time on deployment.

Also I wish you a belated merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

Warm Regards,


Good Afternoon Maree,

I am 22 and an Electronics Technician on board HMAS Adelaide. I recently received a Laundry bag made by yourself from Aussie Hero Quilts and Laundry Bags, whilst on Operation APEC Assist 2018 in Papua New Guinea.

I would like to thank you for making this bag for me, I really appreciate the quality craftsmanship and vibrant fabrics that brighten up my room! Growing up I played tennis, which was the fabric on one of the sides, but what really caught my eye when choosing the bag was a fish, which reminded me of the book, The Rainbow Fish which I read a lot when I was younger.

Thank you for supporting us whilst we are away on operation, these wonderful gifts bring a smile to everyone’s faces on board!

Have a lovely weekend 

Hi Marilyn

I am currently deployed on HMAS Ballarat in the Middle East Region.

I am an aircraft controller, which is a specialist role/sub branch of the combat systems operator branch of the Navy. Each ship that deploys has 2, and we are directly responsible for the safety and tactical employment of our helicopter whenever it launches. Think Air Traffic Control safety mixed with looking for submarines!

I received your Christmas package on Boxing Day, and what a nice little surprise it was.

I have been one of the lucky ones, who has received a few things from family and friends, but to have people as thoughtful as you continue to send gifts out, to not just me, but everyone else, is an amazing feeling, especially when you don’t know what’s inside.

For Christmas this year the Ships Command Team put on quite a show. The food was amazing, Santa delivered presents, and there was even a Christmas movie played on the flight deck (Die Hard 1, which has been up for debate on the ship as to whether it’s a Christmas movie or not, which I personally think it is!)

Home for me is in 2 places. My lovely partner resides back in WA, we recently just built a house together and she is busy getting that ready for when I get back :) My parents, sisters, and childhood friends all live in Victoria, noting your from Bxxxx I reckon you may have heard of it. I grew up there, played football and tennis there and even went to uni briefly there.

I have been to Bxxx a couple of times, and the Dandenong Ranges is a lovely place in general.

I hope you and your family had an amazing Christmas. Whilst mine was somewhat different, and consisted of working for 13 hours, it was still made as enjoyable as possible, and again, the nice little treats waiting for us in our mail bags the next day simply topped it off.

I love the Laundry Bag. I first learnt to snowboard at Mt Buller, and what a time it was. I was too stubborn to get the beginners lesson, but after 3 hours of constant bumps and falls, I got the hang of it and never looked back. Shame there isn’t much snow in Western Australia, or the Middle East!

Thank you and your family again, from the other side of the world.


Till next time... if you are on holidays then here's wishing you safe travels, if you are on deployment, thank you for your service and for everyone else.... keep spreading the word and happy stitching!

Jan-Maree xx

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