Christmas is a time to gather with family and friends, and to give thanks for everything we have.
It is a joyous time – but it can be a sad time, especially for people who have lost loved ones during the year.
This year we are thinking of those families bereaved by the siege in Martin Place, and the loss of Flights MH 370 and MH 17.
Our hearts go out to all affected by these most tragic incidents.
We are also thinking of farmers in drought affected areas whose futures and homes depend on good rains.
Christmas is a time to reach out – to those who have had a difficult year, as well as those who, for whatever reason, are doing it tough.
This Christmas, I acknowledge the significant contribution that Australia’s multicultural communities make to our nation.
We are a nation with an Indigenous heritage, a British foundation and a multicultural character. Together, we have found unity in our diversity and respect in our differences.
Christmas is a time to reflect and resolve; to count our blessings and look forward to a stronger future ahead.
From my family to yours, I wish you a safe and merry Christmas.
The Hon. Tony Abbott MP
Prime Minister of Australia