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Friday 22 December 2017

His Excellency the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC, Governor of Queensland, has today released an official Christmas Message:

Kaye and I wish all our fellow Queenslanders a happy, safe and relaxing festive season.

We were delighted to welcome 11,200 Queenslanders to the 2017 Government House Christmas Lights display. On behalf of Gavel, who attended his inaugural Christmas Lights display as the official Vice-Regal Dog, I also thank those who stopped for a friendly pat!

The warmth and optimism of Queenslanders, evident even in times of great adversity, is a constant source of inspiration for Kaye and me. During Regional Government House in Mackay, we spent time with communities severely impacted by Tropical Cyclone Debbie. While the strength of their recovery effort is inspiring, it is not over yet, and I know Queenslanders continue to keep those communities in their hearts.

Such events shed a light on the extraordinary dedication of our police, ambulance and emergency services personnel, many of whom will be away from their families during the holidays. In this year of memory, marking the Centenary of key First World War battles and the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea, it is also timely to express our gratitude to Australian Defence Force personnel who are deployed overseas in the service of our nation. 

While Christmas is a happy time for most, it can be a time of loneliness and fear for those in our community who are homeless or in situations of domestic violence. Kaye and I have witnessed first-hand the compassion and practical support extended to people in crisis by our churches and service organisations, and encourage our fellow Queenslanders to give generously this festive season.

The last word must go to our children, whose joy and wonder is at the centre of the season. At the Government House Christmas Lights display, a little boy bounded past me, declaring “I love this time of year!” It is a wonderful time of year to be a Queenslander, among the friendly, resilient and big-hearted citizens who call our great State home, and to whom we extend our warmest wishes.