This is the Christmas message from the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard.
Text of Julia Gillard’s Christmas message.
After all the days of preparation and anticipation, Christmas is finally here.
However you and your family celebrate Christmas, whatever your own Christmas traditions are, I hope you have a wonderful day.
When I was a child, the run into Christmas always started with mum baking the Christmas pudding and cake. Even though my mum worked part-time, she always found the time and was rightly proud of the results.
Today, getting ready for Christmas is different.
For most, the days of mum being able to spend months at home preparing for Christmas are long gone. Today, dads do more than simply go out and buy the tree.
Now, mums and dads, adult sons and daughters all play a role in scrambling to get ready but when we get to Christmas Day it is still a time of joy.
But, even in a nation as blessed as ours, not everyone will have Christmas with family and friends.
For some, work doesn’t stop on Christmas Day. I remember when I was young we would wait for Dad’s roster to come out so we’d know whether he would be with us on Christmas Day or at work.
I am sure many families have done just that in the run up to this Christmas.
So to those who need to work and to their families, we say thanks – thanks to the police and the firefighters, the ambulance officers and the nurses, the emergency personnel, the churches, charities and volunteers, to every one we can’t do without and to their families.
To our troops abroad, we honour and admire you and I hope your families know how grateful we are to you this time of year.
For some, the joy of Christmas is marked by sadness. For me this will be the first Christmas without my father and I will be thinking of him and of my fellow Australians who will be without a loved one for the first time this year.
I will be especially thinking of our military families who have lost a loved one. Your nation pays tribute to their service and your sacrifice.
For some, Christmas can be a time of loneliness and isolation. To those without family, I say please reach out a hand and in this wonderful country you will find a hand of friendship reaching back out to you.
Whatever 2012 has brought you, I hope this Christmas brings you a time of rest, reflection and peace.
A time to renew our sense of purpose and unity.
A time to look forward to the future with hope and confidence.
A merry and safe Christmas to you all.