Prime Minister’s 2016 Christmas Message
Christmas is a time of love.
The embrace of our family, old friendships refound, the delight of children, the mystery and joy of the divine - surely 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, never judging, unconditional, that brings us closest to the very best we can be.
In Australia, we have much to be grateful, not least that so many people of so many different backgrounds, races and religions live together here in a harmony founded on mutual respect.
We also remember those who find Christmas difficult - the lonely, the poor, the sick, and those who are away from families.
Reach out to them where you can and remember those charities that help the homeless and others whose Christmas is not as joyous as our own.
Of course, many Australians continue to work very hard over the break, including those who keep us safe.
Our emergency services personnel, the police, fire and ambulance services, our doctors and nurses keep working while most of us relax.
We can make it easier for them and safer for us by driving carefully, preparing for the bushfire and cyclone season, if we live in those areas, and by taking good care of each other.
And we are ever thankful to those Australians serving in our armed forces, whether here or overseas. Being away from family is hard and especially at Christmas.
Your nation is grateful for the courage, tenacity and skill with which you defend our freedom and our values. We all look forward, as your families do, to your safe return.
From Lucy and me, and our family, to you and yours, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a relaxing and safe holiday.
And may 2017 be filled with peace, happiness and love.