In Victoria we have lost about six months due to the Corona Virus lockdown but the rest of Australia has had less severe restrictions and there have been wonderful quilt presentations in Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia. There have been some presentations at Hamilton, Bendigo, Berwick and Philip Island in country Victoria.
We are very grateful to the state coordinators and representatives who have been able to award quilts in these challenging times.
It is amazing that our wonderful quilters have continued to make and donate quilts throughout the year. We are very grateful to the long arm machine quilters who have continued to donate their time and talents machine quilting for QOVA.
The financial report shows that our income was slightly less than the expenditure for the year. This was due to the fact that it was necessary to outlay a lot of funds for quilt labels, brochures, care labels and sticky labels for quilt bags. We have been very fortunate to have had some very generous donation since the end of the financial year and we are grateful to our members who have been very successful in gaining generous donations in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria. These are both organisational and individual donations.
It is unfortunate that Victoria has not had a Quilt In this year due to the Corona Virus restrictions but Queensland had a very successful Quilt In.
Also Helen and I have been unable to do QOVA talks due to the restrictions.
It is hoped that, as the restrictions may ease in Victoria we will be able to resume quilt awards and presentations in the Melbourne and country areas.
We continue to be grateful to Victorian Textiles for supporting QOVA with the freighting of quilts around Australia and they have assured me that this will recommence once level 4 lockdown eases in Melbourne.
Many thanks to all our volunteers who support QOVA in so many different ways. Next year will be our tenth year of operation and this would not have been possible without everyone’s generous support.
Quilts of Valour Australia Inc is a Not-For-Profit Charity registered with ACNC and it has authorization to give Tax Deduction receipts. It does not receive government funding and relies solely on generous donations from a wide range of Australians and organizations who believe in the goal of QOVA.
This goal is to acknowledge and thank veterans and in some cases their families for their service to our country. Donations to help QOVA range from cash donations, donations of fabric, donations of completed quilts and/or quilt tops, quilt blocks and donations of many hours of time by coordinators and representatives around Australia. None of the office bearers, coordinators or representatives are paid.
In these strange and troubling times many organisations, such as QOVA, have had to change operations.
At the beginning of this pandemic Helen and I decided that it was necessary to cancel talks and quilt presentations to comply with government regulations and protect our volunteers. All our volunteers around Australia agreed with this decision. However many of our wonderful quilt makers have continued to make quilts for QOVA. They range from quilting groups, small quilting interest groups and individual quilters and professional long arm quilters.
All coordinators, representatives and other quilt presenters have wonderful stories about the emotional effect of presenting quilts to veterans who are suffering as a result of their service to our country. I have even had veterans saying that they don’t think they deserve a quilt but they will take it in memory of the mates who did not return from the conflict. It also seems that the older quilt recipients, people in their 90’s and over 100 years old are amazed to receive a quilt from QOVA. This does not take away from the younger quilt recipients who are struggling with moving on with their life after serving our country.
Our bank account has been kept healthy by the wonderful donations by a wide range of organizations around Australia as well as donations by individuals and quilt recipients. QOVA could not have continued to operate without some large donations as well as many smaller donations.
Each donation, big or small is gratefully received. We also acknowledge the many donations of completed quilts, tops, and fabric that have been donated from all around Australia. The time taken to make these donations cannot be calculated as a huge number of hours are involved. We are also grateful to the many companies in the quilting industry who support QOVA. Special thanks must be given to Victorian Textiles for their unwavering support. I also give many thanks to our large number of volunteers from all around Australia who believe in the goal of QOVA to acknowledge our ADF veterans in all service branches. Their voluntary role has been essential in the growth of QOVA.
Even in this time of the COVID 19 pandemic QOVA is keeping on track with its goal to present quilts to veterans and, at times, widows, family or partners who have been adversely affected by their Service for our country. A few quilts have been awarded complying with the states isolation regulations in the past few months and QOVA will be well placed to award quilts in the future when restrictions are eased.
We appreciate all people who are prepared to help QOVA in so many ways, be it monetary, gifts of quilts and fabric as well as time taken to make quilts.
QOVA welcomes people to nominate veterans who would be worthy recipients of our quilts. People can nominate recipients by contacting representatives, state and territory coordinators, committee members or simply contacting our web site or Facebook group.
Quilts of Valour Australia has now awarded in excess of 2000
quilts with coordinators and representatives in every State and Territory of
Australia. This list continues to grow providing a local person to personally
award quilts as request come through.
There have been numerous media reports on the great work and
impact that awarding quilts to those touched by war has achieved.
Our President, Wyn Roper, and our Founder/ Secretary, Helen Comport, appeared on the Channel 7 news bulletin on Remembrance Day 2018.
There have been newspaper and magazine articles in several
States commenting on the great benefits of Quilts of Valour Australia. Quilts
are being awarded around Australia every week.
Our coordinators in
New South Wales, Stan and Sue Allen continue to reach further into their
community generating wonderful support and recognising well deserving veterans
with quilt awards.
Our coordinators in
Queensland, Barbara and Bill Kenny, have organised and made hundreds of quilts
awards. They have made a huge impact with Quilt awards to the veterans care
program. With their help the list of QOVA representatives has spread up to
We are grateful to our coordinators in the rest of
Australia. Christine Cutler- Tasmania, Elvira Richardson – SA, Pam Palmer –NT,
Kate Saunders- WA and Kathryn Doyle-Hailey in ACT.
We have a wonderful executive committee who meet regularly
and ensure smooth running of our growing organisation. We have wonderful
liaison with quilting groups who offer amazing support.
Hundreds of generous quilters are involved at every level.
The tasks range from attaching labels, binding quilts, making patchwork tops
and quilting the layers together. Quilts Ins occur twice a year at Harkaway in
Victoria and recently there was a Quilt In at Boonah in Queensland.
Representatives have had stands at quilt shows and conventions around
Australia. We are very grateful to all the individuals and groups who give of
their time, talent and fabric.
We welcome support in every way knowing that those touched
by war are so deeply helped. Many comment on the meaning behind the quilt and
how comforting it is to know that other Australians recognise their Service,
Sacrifice and Valour.
Our upcoming Quilt In is on Saturday 23rd November at Harkaway Hall, King Rd, Harkaway, Victoria from 10am till 3 pm.
Quilt awarded by Bob and Margaret Braithwaite to Peter
Annels in South Australia
Stan Allen (NSW) awarding a quilt to Pat Konemann
Photographed is one of the Dignity
quilts made for RSL Nursing homes in Victoria
Barbara Kenny awarding a quilt to Rod Stenholm in Queensland
Pam Palmer (Northern Territory) awarding a quilt to Brigadier Ben James.
Kathryn Doyle Hailey (ACT) awarding a quilt to Father Richard Thompson
Written by Helen Comport (Founder/Secretary Quilts of Valour Australia Inc.)
Welcome to the new look website.
Many thanks to Timothy Comport for updating our new look website. This is now hosted on cloud which should make it user-friendly for adding information. We welcome your feedback.
It is over 7 years since the inception of Quilts of Valour Australia Inc and during the past year we have reached all over Australia with Coordinators and Representatives in every State and Territory.
In Victoria we have Wyn Roper (President), Helen Comport (Founder/Secretary), Jennifer Ray (Treasurer), Lyn Clissold (Minute Secretary) and Committee Members: Jan Penpraze, Dorothy Meadows OAM, Norma Aitken and Rosemary Kreun. We have Representatives Margie and Howard Tily.
In Queensland we have Barbara & Bill Kenny (coordinators) with the following Representatives: Lynda Miller, Bern & Barry Johnson, John & Naomi Enchong and Vicki & Warwick Venables.
In New South Wales we have Stan and Sue Allen (Coordinators) and Representative Lorraine Kool.
In Tasmania we have Christine Cutler (Coordinator) with the following Representatives: Dwayne Cashman and Phil Bowerman.
In ACT we have Representative Kathryn Doyle Hailey.
In NT we have Representatives Pam and Ray Palmer.
In SA we have Representative Rita Young.
In WA we have Representative Kate Saunders.
Thank you so much to all these generous people and others who contribute so much to help us reach Defence Personnel and Veterans touched by war. We welcome interest from others wishing to become more involved with Quilts of Valour Australia Inc.
Our most recent brochure offers information for our contacts around Australia. We have introduced email addresses for each State which will allow interested people to directly contact someone in their State.
We are grateful for all the support given by so many in our community.
Thank you to all the many individuals, Patch workers, Long Arm Quilters, Patchwork and Quilting groups and many financial donors.
Some major financial and goods sponsors in the past year include Cabra-Vale Diggers (Campbelltown NSW), Smithfield RSL Sub-Branch (NSW), Inner Wheel Club Nepean (Vic), Inner Wheel Club Cranbourne (Vic), Lions Club of Herberton Inc. (Qld), National Seniors Australia Calamvale Branch Inc. (Qld), Masonic Lodge (Victoria), Tony Sullivan Victorian Textiles (Vitoria), Officeworks Stores and the Harkaway Hall Committee (Victoria), Beaudesert Ladies auxiliary (Qld), Mreeba Lioness Club (QLD).
I will add a Sponsors page to our Website soon.
The rate of Quilts being awarded around Australia has increased. In excess of 1000 quilts have been awarded to immediate families of fallen soldiers, Serving Defence Personal touched by war and veterans touched by war. The feedback is always the same. The recipients are overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and kindness given by other Australians to thank them for their Service, Sacrifice and Valour.
In Victoria 6 Dignity Quilts were made for RSL homes.
A Dignity Quilt is a special quilt that covers a deceased veteran on a pall as he / she is removed from their residence after their death. The Dignity Quilt covers the body on a stretcher.
It is intended to add dignity and reverence to the passing of a veteran.
In 2016 Quilts of Valour Australia made five Dignity Quilts for Vasey RSL Care Pty Ltd. One quilt for each of their five accommodation residences around Melbourne.
The design of the five identical quilts is symbolic of our gratitude to the service of each veteran and their links with Australia.
The centre of the quilt has three embroidered emblems – Navy, Army and Air Force. These represent the three arms of Australia’s defence services.
Around this centre are nine patch blocks that have a cross in the middle of each to represent the deceased veterans.
Next around those blocks are triangles called “flying geese”. These represent that fact that the deceased veterans are flying free from their earthly body and pain.
The final outside round on each quilt has arrangements of Australian wildflowers to represent the veterans’ links with our country and its wonderful wildflowers.
The design of the quilts was created by Wyn Roper and Sharon Siacci. The fabrics for these quilts were provided by Chandlers Cottage in Victoria at a generous discount. The fabrics are from the “Under the Australian Sun” range. The wadding is Matilda’s Own 80 / 20 wool. The quilting was done by Sharon Siacci and the embroidered emblems were done by Zen Promotional of Mildura.
Six quilters were responsible for the piecing of the five quilts. Many thanks to everyone involved in this project.
We have enjoyed 2 Quilt-Ins each year in Victoria. Each time Harkaway Hall committee has given us the use of the Harkaway Hall at no cost. We are really grateful to them for their support. Our next Quilt in will be in October. When the date is available I will add the information to our website.
Quilt Awards in Victoria.
Many awards have been made with volunteers from different parts of the State personally awarding the quilts either in homes, at gatherings or in hospital.
When permission has been given photographs of these awards have been put on our Facebook page.
Quilts have been sent from Victoria to all States and Territories for awarding. It is wonderful to see that NSW and Queensland are growing so well that they are producing enough quilts for their States.
In NSW 53 Quilts have been awarded during the past year. These awards are regularly posted on our Facebook page.
Stan and Sue are looking forward to spreading the word at Inverell Quilt show Friday & Saturday 20 & 21 October later this year.. They are also visiting Tenterfield during October to welcome on board a new quilter and presenter … Mrs Janel Holmes.
Our NSW coordinators have attended a Quilt Show in August 2016 and the Mad Quilters Show this year. These were successful in raising awareness of QOVA. Some quilters and also some Long Arm quilters added their names to our volunteer list. Many people gave monetary donations to help with our costs. They have also had information pop-ups at shopping centres.
In Queensland a total 270 quilts have been awarded. (100 of these since 1st January 2017)
On 17th August 2017 our Queensland coordinators, Barbara and Bill Kenny are attending a formal dinner in Beaudesert to award 3 quilts to Vietnam Veterans including a Long Tan Veteran
On the 18th August 2017. Vicki and Warwick Venables and Bill and Barbara Kenny attended the Long Tan commemorations in Brisbane at St Johns Cathedral and afterwards lunch as guests of the Long Tan Association. 16 quilts were awarded to 13 veterans and 3 in memory of deceased veterans.
Many Requests come from Vietnam Veterans, Veterans Motorcycle groups, Veterans Care and the RSL.
QOVA will have a stand at the ‘World of Craft Show’ at Brisbane RNA in September.
Donations in Queensland include 100 Quilts, many pillowcases and lots of help binding and Long Arm quilting.
A beautiful poppy quilt has been made to be used as a banner for group.
Queensland have sent quilts to the Northern Territory and many parts of Queensland for awarding.
School involvement.Students from Beaconhills College (Berwick, Victoria) have learnt patchwork during lunchtimes and completed a quilt which they awarded to a young veteran at the College Remembrance day Service on 11th November 2016.
Contributions to our Newsletter.
We welcome photographs and reports of your activities on behalf of Quilts of Valour Australia. Please send any contributions to Helen Comport through our contact page.
Thank you so much to everyone involved in ‘Quilts of Valour Australia Inc. for helping to honour the Service, Sacrifice and Valour of all soldiers/veterans who have put their lives on the line for our country.