DIWALI 2020

MESSAGE FROM THE PRIME MINISTER

Warmest greetings to everyone celebrating Diwali, the Festival of Lights, it’s a special moment for people of many faiths.

At the time of the new moon, on the darkest day of the month, Diwali carries a powerful message. It tells of how light dispels darkness.

Most years, we often think of this dispelling of darkness as a theoretical concept rather than something that is experienced and overcome.

This year, Diwali’s message has a special significance. Every nation on earth is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Lives and livelihoods have been lost as we have witnessed the most dramatic shock in generations.

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Despite this, we have a common hope. Throughout 2020, despite our own fears, we have supported each other, encouraged each other, and stood with each other.

We have drawn strength and inspiration from our medical professionals, teachers, cleaners, retail staff, police and Defence Force personnel and so many more who have responded to the crisis with compassion and professionalism. Around the clock, medical researchers are working on a vaccine – a vaccine that nations like Australia are committed to sharing.

Yes, we have seen darkness this year, but the light is overcoming that darkness. There is light ahead, and there is hope.

Australia is the most successful multicultural nation on earth and at this Diwali, I pay tribute to all those who have brought this tradition to our shores. I also acknowledge the hundreds of millions worldwide participating, including many close friends in India.

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I have been privileged to attend Diwali celebrations in the past, and remember those times fondly. While this year will, understandably, be different, I thank everyone who is celebrating for finding ways to celebrate while also keeping the community safe.

At this Diwali, may the hope of our humanity that we have seen throughout this year, dispel the darkness and challenges of our times.