Monday, 22 February 2021
Today I rise to acknowledge the extraordinary generosity of my local community. Christmas, while it seems a little way away now, was always a difficult time for vulnerable Australians. Household budgets are stretched, and to try and put food on the table, particularly the Christmas table, along with gifts under the tree can be often very difficult. In 2020 it was harder for many. The pandemic and recession saw more families struggling to afford life’s necessities, let alone the extra spending needed for the festive season.
Each year I run a local Christmas appeal to make the festive season a little bit easier for vulnerable people in our community, and once again this year I was overwhelmed by the generosity of so many. Many who didn’t have a lot gave to this appeal. When so many were doing it tough, our families and communities rallied to help others in need.
I’d like to also take this opportunity to thank not only the individuals and the organisations that donated food and clothing but also the huge number of organisations who during the pandemic kept providing food and goods to vulnerable families. I had many touching stories, but I’ll quickly mention one. We received a beautiful set of handmade toys which were able to be donated to children spending Christmas in crisis accommodation. Thank you to everyone who donated—every organisation and every group out there working hard to ensure our community is stronger.