Video message for Lunar New Year 2015
On behalf of the Australian government and as the Minister for Social Services responsible for multicultural affairs I would like to take the opportunity to wish you all happiness and good fortune for the Lunar New Year.
This is the Year of the Sheep and the Year of the Goat so it has very special significance for Australia.
The Sheep has brought our great nation great fortune.
Festivities welcoming in the Lunar New Year will be enjoyed right across our nation.
What was once a celebration within the Chinese community in Australia, has now become a celebration by all Australians of our Chinese community in Australia.
Its rich and vibrant traditions, the colourful lanterns, the spectacular lion dances, and more recently the wonderful dragon boat races, are embraced by all Australians of all ancestries.
This I believe is the ultimate recognition of the contribution of Chinese Australians to building our nation and the ultimate respect for Australia’s own Chinese heritage.
Chinese Australians have contributed in every sphere and continue to do so culturally, socially, and economically.
We are a more rich, more vibrant nation because of our Chinese community.
Relations between China and Australia are also strong and growing. Two-way trade between our two countries is $150 billion a year and the recently signed Free Trade Agreement will unlock further opportunities to grow our economic opportunities, bringing Australia and China closer together than ever before, as was demonstrated by last year’s exciting visit by President Xi.
Importantly though this is a great time to spend with family and friends.
I am certainly looking forward to doing that with my own friends and family as we enjoy these celebrations together.
May I wish everyone taking part to you and your family and your community all good cheer and all good luck. May you all share the joy, and the prosperity, the fresh opportunities, the peace and the contentment of the Year of the Sheep.