Australians can make the Christmas season easier for those who still have to work by driving safely, preparing for natural disasters and looking out for each other.
That’s the advice from Malcolm Turnbull in the prime minister’s annual Christmas message.
Mr Turnbull urged Australians to reach out to those who find this season difficult: the lonely, the poor, the sick and those absent from their families.
“Of course, many Australians continue to work very hard over the break, including those who keep us safe,” he said.
Hardworking emergency services personnel, doctors and nurses are still busy while others 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,” he said.
He also praised the work of Australian armed forces overseas, sharing his gratitude for their courage and tenacity to defend our values.
Mr Turnbull said it is love that brings us closest to the best we can be, whether we are of faith or not.
“In Australia, we have much to be grateful for, not least that so many people of so many different backgrounds, races and religions live together here in a harmony founded on mutual respect,” he said.
Mr Turnbull wished Australians a 2017 filled with peace, happiness and love.
“From Lucy and me, and our family, to you and yours, we wish you a very merry Christmas and a relaxing and safe holiday.”
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he planned to visit a Sydney homeless shelter on Christmas Day before heading home to don the apron and help out in the kitchen with Christmas lunch.
“I’ve got to tell you, the rest of my family are much more talented at cooking than me, but I’m an enthusiastic amateur in the kitchen,” he said in an interview on Saturday.
Mr Turnbull’s expected visit on Sunday to Wayside Chapel in Sydney’s Kings Cross was a reminder to reach out and give a hug to vulnerable people on Christmas day.
Shorten vows to maintain penalty rates fight
The Shortens are remembering the “modest heroes” who will be busy working this Christmas and relying on penalty rates while others relax.
The Labor leader has again filmed his annual Christmas message with wife Chloe, with the pair reflecting on those who will be serving others through the break.
Mr Shorten pays tribute to the troops overseas and their loving families back home who also serve, as well as emergency services personnel.
“We think of all those Australians working this holiday season to make our Christmas run smoothly – modest heroes who get up before the sun rises or work through the night,” he says.
“Hard-working people, relying on penalty rates to provide for their families – something I’ll always fight for.”
Christmas is also a time to spare a thought for those doing it tough – the homeless, those battling loneliness and women and children in refuges, they say.
“We’re so lucky that many Australians will roll up their sleeves to provide hot meals, secure accommodation and a little bit of Christmas cheer in hard times.”
Ms Shorten urges Australians to be careful on the roads and stay safe around the water.
“We hope all of you have a relaxing break, with the people that you love,” her husband says.
“From our family to yours, merry Christmas.”