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September 2023 Newsletter

This month's banner is inspired by Fathers' Day - 3rd September






Welcome one and all!

Hello and welcome back BOOTSTRAPERS. What a great month we have had. I really do feel that we as an organisation are really hitting our stride and forging our way into a new era.

Our 5-week home schooling course is about to come to a close and from what I observed during the times I was in the workshop; everyone had a great time.

We had a visit this month from the Lockyer Valley chapter of the Military Brotherhood Military Motorcycle Club. They are very keen to work along side us on a number of proposed community events. So please watch this space for more activities involving MBMMC and other organisations.

All the BOOTSTRAPS staff conducted a week-long training course where we were taught how to make bridles and chest plates for horses as well as a lovely duffle bag. This has provided us all with a much better understanding of how to manufacture goods, along with some very much needed sewing skills. On a side note, we ALL now know how to provide first aid to various puncture wounds to our fingers from the sewing awls 😊

As we are now coming up to Christmas, if anyone would like to come along to the centre to make a lovely Christmas gift, or using our newly acquired clicker press, cut out shapes to make Christmas tree decorations, please let us know and we can arrange special class times.

As always, I would like to thank my staff for all the work they do to make BOOTSTRAPS what it is today – Without you all, this could not be possible.

Stay tuned for next month’s newsletter as we will hopefully have some very big news to share with you all. Until then, stay safe and all the best to you and your families.

- Sam Kavanagh, CEO Bootstraps




The final week of August was eagerly anticipated by the Bootstraps staff. Of course, to invest in your staff will result in payback many times over, and that is exactly why we secured the services of Pete from Vellacott Bros Saddlery for the week. Pete and his wife travelled down from Bundaberg and spent the week in Gatton. We were able to gain some wonderful insights developed over the 30+ years that Pete has been in the game; Pete taught the staff how to produce hand stitched bridles, breastplates and machine stitched carry bags.

We thank Pete (and Tanya for letting him!) come down to Gatton for the week; the staff have gained immeasurably from his knowledge, and we look forward to working with Pete again in the future.


During August we continued to deliver classes to our Homeschool group.

The children have been honing their skills, focusing on bringing together their ideas for their project pieces. Their last class is coming up, so we will be able to share their creations in the next newsletter.



We continue to show what we get up to on social media, gaining more followers during August. If you haven't already, comment on our posts. We'd love to hear about the type of content that you want to see - so let us know!

Stay up to date with the latest at Bootstraps; be sure to like and follow us on socials.

Linktree is a one-stop-shop that signposts to all our socials, 500 Club members, and other important agencies. Click the banner or snap the QR code to try it today!


We are always looking to expand our network within the Lockyer, and the wider Veteran and Leatherwork communities.

We thoroughly enjoyed the Barefoot Bowls day held at Laidley Bowls club, organised by the wonderful gentlemen at Forest Hill Argyle Masonic Lodge. It was a great day that brought experienced and novice bowlers together for a relaxed, but competitive event.

The event itself raised $2500 for Bootstraps; Hand Heart Pocket, the charity of Freemasons Queensland, matched the money raised dollar for dollar, to give Bootstraps a grand total of $5000.

We cannot thank the Masonic fraternity enough for their kind gesture, and of course the local community who attended and supported this event.

We have continued collaborating with Mac-Lace Leather in Capalaba; both Dan and Callum will be teaching again in September.

The benefits of this are far-reaching; it improves our relationship with one of our main suppliers, allows our instructors to deliver classes to a different client-base, in a different setting, and helps grow awareness of Bootstraps within SE QLD and beyond.

We have already had people from the Mac-Lace classes come to our centre to see what we do; it was a please to see you all again.



Our centre of operations, located in Gatton, Queensland, is open to all current and ex-military personnel,

and the local community, to drop in.

The centre is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9:00am - 4:00pm.

"Feel free to drop by to say hello and introduce yourself!"



As being as we gave Callum a mention in the last newsletter, we felt that we should give all of our staff a segment.

Dan is our Senior Instructor and has been leatherworking with Bootstraps since early 2022. Previous to this Dan served 25 years in the British Army as an Electronics Engineer where he deployed overseas to Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan. He moved to Australia with his family in late 2021 at the end of his time in the British Army.

Dan has recently completed his Cert IV in Training and Education with TAFE, in preparation for teaching in schools next year.

We are always welcoming new faces to volunteer their time, experience and skills. Without the tireless support of our volunteers, keeping Bootstraps going would be impossible. Regardless of your background or skillsets, every one of us can help to play a part. It doesn't need to be huge, it could be only a few hours a week through to a few days a week - really every little bit helps.

If you're in a position to offer some voluntary assistance to our organisation, then please reach out to us today by contacting us by phone 0480 239 994, or email

Also if you are in a position to assist us through monetary donations of any value, please visit our website and follow the link to:



For some of us, we're not ready to talk, as it means saying things out aloud reminds us of the issue; it may, however, be more comfortable to text how we're feeling.

As the classic song by Cold Chisel says "When the war is over, it's time to start again!" But for some of us that war internally is ongoing.

Here at Bootstraps we have all been in that situation and know what it feels like. Please remember if you need to talk you can drop in to our centre and say G'Day to some like minded folk

But for those other times, when you feel this way, know that there is support available via text on 0477 13 11 14 through Lifeline Text. They also have a live message service on their website, and a phone line 13 11 14.

This is a service openly available 24/7, and ran by Lifeline.

You can text them anything that's on your mind - no matter how overwhelming, they are there to listen. Just know, that there is someone there when you're ready!

Please feel free to share with your friends, families and colleagues!

Remember there is always someone willing to listen!


500 CLUB:

We are always so proud to promote all of our 500 Club Members that proudly support us!

The last few months, and now the last year, have been really difficult for many businesses and we want to take a moment to acknowledge the continued support of all of our 500 Club members. Despite their own struggles, our valued partners have stuck with us through their dedicated support. Please make sure that you support them however you can!

Every News Leather, we aim to showcase a new 500 Club member to thank them for their support, but also to let you know about the legends that support us!

This month we acknowledge Porters Plainland Hotel. Not only is Porters one of the best bar and restaurants in the Lockyer, managers Michael and Mel make sure they look after local community groups such as Bootstraps. They hold regular raffles at Porters, inviting community groups to sell tickets to the patrons; the proceeds are then donated to that community group. Bootstraps have continued to benefit from Porters' generosity over the years, for which we a truly thankful.

Head over to their site to find out about their upcoming events.

Click the links to go to Porters' socials

Bootstraps is really proud to have its many supporters onboard as 500 Club members.

But to keep the centre marching along we're always looking for more businesses to become 500 Club members! If you too would like find out what's in it for your business, learn a bit more and show your support for our work, click below to discover how you can become a 500 CLUB MEMBER!

We even have our own hashtag, #500club; search for it on social media to find out the amazing things our members are doing.



They say that laughter is the best medicine... so here's you dose of giggles for this month's News Leather!


Each month we like to feature a Veteran owned business or place where veterans, their families and friends can spend time and enjoy life.

If you have, or know of a business or place, why not let us know so we can feature them here!



Here's the pick of the bunch from the custom projects that the team have been working on this month.

We challenged Callum to make up a new card holder after we sold our display one at the Gatton Show; he came up with 2 styles, one showcasing his tooling and staining skills, and one for beginners to take inspiration from. Both look fantastic.

Amanda came to make a couple of halters for her cows; the first one took her about 10 hours, including dismantling and measuring up an old one; the second one only took about 2 hours to fabricate, it was on the cow that afternoon - well done! After seeing her work, Amanda's neighbour Leanne has also been into Bootstraps to make her own halter; we hope to show you Leanne's work next time around.

We always welcome new faces to the centre, as well as familiar ones. If you'd like to create a unique leather piece yourself, why not visit our centre today, or contact us about class times; better still, why not take home an exclusive piece of leatherwork from our many items for sale in our display!


We look forward to bringing you more in next month's News-Leather. But in the meantime, be sure to Like and Follow us on our socials to keep up to date with what's happening with Bootstraps!

We'd really love to hear what projects you'd like to do!

Go to our Linktree to submit an expression of interest for our classes, or a custom project.

Satchel, Handbag, Photo Album, Rifle Case, Tool Case,

Binoculars Case, or perhaps something more unique!

Remember to leave us your feedback or a comment on what you would like to make at our centre or have covered in future edition of our News-Leathers!

Thank you again to our 500 Club members - click the logos to visit their websites

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