2020 has been a long and difficult year. So, what have we learnt about ourselves and our local community here, but also across the nation?

Well I think we have rediscovered the big-heartedness for which Australians have been known, and the quiet kindness which flourishes when we have more time.

We’ve had the chance to review our lives, and our values, which drive how we respond in crises.

These are the values, we have all seen daily in our front-line workers, those who provide the social glue in communities under great pressure:

  • A just and generous attitude
  • Respect for people with whom they might not agree
  • Kindness in a smile, even behind a mask

Our front-line workers have set a great example to the nation, and we would all do well to consider these characteristics and commit to them.

Our heartfelt thanks to those who put their lives on the line for the rest of us.

The Coronavirus has tested us, and you have done the hard yards with strength, patience and resilience.

I have thought often of those who have lost loved ones to Coronavirus and for whom Christmas this year will be that much harder.

We know that Christmas time can be hectic and demanding. I encourage you all to be gentle on yourselves, and others, as 2020 draws to a close.

A commitment to kindness and respect is a beautiful way to start 2021.

I wish you peace and moments of unexpected joy this Christmas.

That’s just as I see it.