Over 55s Christmas Lunch

(12.45pm 7 December, Australian Technology Park Eveleigh)

Hello, everyone. I'm so pleased to see you all here today. Thank you, Terry Olsen for your Welcome to Country.

I'd like firstly to acknowledge the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the traditional custodians of our land, and to pay my respects to their Elders. I also want to acknowledge the 200 nationalities which make up our wonderful City.

I'm sorry I missed the Alexandria Park Community School's Christmas carols but I'm sure you all enjoyed hearing those traditional songs. And I hope you've enjoyed the lunch and have all had an opportunity to have your photographs taken with your friends.

Thank you all for taking part in the City's programs, activities and events over the year. We are proud of the work we do with you and always want to hear about what new activities you would like to see in the City.

I believe the new GOLD program has been a great success, especially the Zumba and ballroom dancing.

Now I'm looking forward to seeing the GOLD Dragons entry in our wonderful Chinese New Year Twilight Parade. I'm told that members are now making the dragons with the help of Pine Street Arts.

We noted an important anniversary when the Ultimo Community Centre Chinese Seniors Group celebrated its 10th anniversary as a volunteer activities group.

Other notable events were our celebration of Seniors' Week in Sydney Town Hall, Carer's Day Out and National Volunteer Day. Congratulations to all who worked so hard fundraising for Australia's Biggest Morning Tea.

We held sustainability workshops in English and Cantonese to show what you can do to help our environment, and celebrated National Recycling Week with a SWAP party.

I hope you found our workshops useful: the topics ranged from health and fire safety to tips on scams, personal security and making savings on your home power bills.

There were some enjoyable outings to national parks and historical and cultural sites - and special thanks to our bus drivers who are always so helpful.

Thank you also to the community and food service workers who run the centres so diligently, to help and care for the members.

To everyone involved in organising today's event, a very special thank-you.

And finally, thank you, for your participation in all our programs and events. It is really important to us that Sydney remains a diverse and strong community and by taking part in our activities, you help build and keep our community strong.

I'd now like to give you a small gift from the City and to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a safe, healthy and happy New Year.