Australian Government coat of arms

Prime Minister of Australia

The Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP

Prime Minister’s 2016 Christmas Message to the Australian Defence Force

25 December 2016

Prime Minister

E&OE

PRIME MINISTER:

This Christmas, I thank you, the men and women of the ADF, for your service and your families for the love and support that makes it possible.

Earlier this year I visited some of you serving in Iraq and Afghanistan - I was so proud of you - your courage, your professionalism and your good humour in a very tough and dangerous environment.

This Christmas many of you will be far from family and home, but you will be closest of all in our thoughts and in our hearts.

We are grateful for your sacrifice, and the sacrifice your families make especially at this time of year.

Serving in the ADF is much more than just a job.

From Africa to the Middle East and the Pacific, your spirit of service and duty is always evident.

This year we saw it in the ADF’s compassionate, humanitarian response to Tropical Cyclone Winston in Fiji.

Our Navy continues to keep our borders safe, contributing to maritime security, in the Middle East through significant counter terrorism and piracy operations.

Those deployed on United Nations operations in the South Sudan and the Middle East region – including our Observer force in the Sinai – continue to play a vital role in maintaining peace and global order.

The ADF continues to advise and assist the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces, and the Iraq Security Forces.

Air Force strike missions over Iraq and Syria have provided critical combat support in Iraq’s fight to defeat Daesh.

So at Christmas, it is with the deepest respect and admiration that I thank you – the men and women of the ADF – for your service in 2016.

And we know that in this Anzac centenary year, we best honour the diggers of 1916 by supporting you, the servicemen and women, and the veterans and your families of 2016.

And we pay tribute to, and always remember those who have died in Australia’s service.

On behalf of Lucy and our family and all Australians, I wish you all a very Happy Christmas and the very best for 2017.

[ENDS]

Video of the Prime Minister’s 2016 Christmas Message to the Australian Defence Force