At Christmas we celebrate family, community and love.
The embrace of our family, old friendships renewed, the delight of children, the mystery and joy – this is a wondrous time of year. Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus and his message of unconditional love and sacrifice. Whether we are of any faith, or of none, it is love – forgiving, generous and unconditional, that brings us closest to the very best we can be.
We should be proud of our many achievements, and grateful for our many blessings. Chief among these is that Australia is the most successful multicultural society in the world, our harmony firmly established on a foundation of mutual respect.
It is important to remember those whose Christmas is not as happy as our own, including the lonely, the poor and the sick, and those who are away from family. Reach out to them where you can, and look out for your neighbours, especially the elderly.
There are many charities that can help you brighten the lives of others with your generosity and love. We also thank all those who work to keep us safe: the men and women of our defence forces, especially those serving overseas and away from family, our police, security and emergency services personnel, our doctors and nurses.
From Lucy and me, and our family, to you and yours, we wish you a very Merry Christmas, a relaxing and safe holiday and a 2017 filled with peace, happiness and love.