(8.22pm 24 November 2011, Martin Place)
Hello, everyone, welcome to the Children's Concert and Christmas Tree lighting. I'd like firstly to acknowledge the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, traditional custodians of our land, and to acknowledge the 200 nationalities that make up this great city of ours.
I hope you've enjoyed all of the fantastic entertainment so far.
Christmas is a time when the City embraces all its religious and cultural communities and we begin with this concert as the start of our Christmas events.
This year, in addition to this fabulous tree here, you'll see over 1200 new festive banners decorating the city and following the concerts here, we'll have five Sydney choirs singing in Pitt Street Mall until 10pm.
You can see images of a Sydney Christmas projected onto Sydney Town Hall from tonight until Christmas eve, and of course we'll have our Village Christmas concerts in Rushcutters Bay, Rosebery, Alexandria and Surry Hills.
This year marks the beginning of a new relationship with the Australian Children's Music Foundation as our Christmas Charity Partner. The foundation is a not-for-profit organisation that uses the power of music to inspire and enrich the lives of young Australians.
These celebrations would not be possible without the support of our sponsors, and so I thank:
â€¢ our Major Sponsor, American Express
â€¢ our Media Partner, 2UE Sydney and
â€¢ our Supporting Sponsors, Coles, Lindt Master Chocolatiers and Sofitel.
Thank you all for coming this evening, and a very big thank you to all our wonderful performers and our terrific City of Sydney staff.
Happy Christmas everyone!