Hundreds of Navy people can attest to the gratitude they felt to be sent a handcrafted, volunteer-made quilt while deployed on operations.
Now, after eight stalwart years of supporting Navy people deployed or facing personal hardships, Mrs Jan-Maree Ball, the leader of Aussie Hero Quilts, has been presented with a quilt of her own.
Mrs Ball is temporarily stepping down from her leadership role with Aussie Hero Quilts for medical treatment and Deputy Fleet Commander, Commodore Robert Plath, presented her with a special quilt made in secret by her fellow volunteer quilters.
Commodore Plath said it was an honour to present Mrs Ball with a quilt of her own in thanks for her support to Navy people.
“There are more than 11,000 ADF members who have had their deployments brightened thanks to the efforts of Jan-Maree and her fellow quilters since 2012,” Commodore Plath said.
“The quilts our people have received around the world become a piece of memorabilia from their deployment and a reminder that the personal sacrifice they make to serve their fellow Australians is appreciated.”
“I felt very humbled to present Jan-Maree with a beautiful quilt of her own,” Commodore Plath said.
Director Navy Recruiting, Retention and Transitions, Captain Phillip Henry, has a long-standing relationship with Aussie Hero Quilts and arranged the presentation of Jan-Maree’s quilt from Commodore Plath.
“My association with Aussie Hero Quilts began when I was Commanding Officer of HMAS Darwin and they made over 150 quilts for us while we were deployed, which was greatly appreciated by the ship’s company,” Captain Henry said.
“Over the last few years that I have been in the Directorate of Navy Recruiting Retention and Transitions, I have heard about a number of our people in hardship and worked closely with Aussie Hero Quilts to arrange a quilt for them with Jan-Maree’s help,” he said
In addition to HMAS Darwin, in recent years Aussie Hero Quilts have been gifted to Navy people deployed to the Middle East in HMA Ships Newcastle, Perth and Warramunga as well as the submarine HMAS Collins.