Australia’s leaders have put aside politics for the Christmas period, instead wishing voters a happy holidays with loved ones.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called for reflection in his traditional message, urging Australians to think of those less fortunate.
Mr Turnbull also called on voters to donate their time or money over the Christmas period.
In a statement, he encouraged others to follow his example of donating, having spent time with veterans such as Soldier On founder John Bale.
“Poverty, loneliness, illness, the loss of loved ones – these shadows hang heavier at Christmas,” he said.
“We can lift some of those shadows by sharing our love with others – beyond our family and close friends.
“If you can donate time or money, charities like the Wayside Chapel, the Salvation Army, St Vincent de Paul Society, Meals on Wheels and Black Dog Institute among others do wonderful work all year, and especially at Christmas.”
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten joined the Prime Minister in thanking Defence and emergency services personnel for their service.
Flanked by his wife Chloe – who also voiced part of the Christmas message – Mr Shorten gave a nod to the recent debate on penalty rates by thanking those giving up time with their families by working over the holiday period.
— Bill Shorten (@billshortenmp) December 24, 2015