Over 55′s Services Lunch

(12.30pm, Friday 7 December 2012, Sydney Cricket Ground)

Thank you. Hello, everyone - it's great to see you all here. I'd like firstly to acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora nation, the traditional custodians of our land, and to pay my respects to their Elders. I also acknowledge the people of 200 nations who live in our City.

Today is a double celebration: a celebration of the festive season and of your achievements and it's also an opportunity for you all to meet up with old friends, and perhaps to make new friends as well.

It's great that many of you have taken advantage of the diverse activities and classes across the local government area.

Many more turned out for annual events like Melbourne Cup Day, Christmas in July, Carer's Day Out, Australia's Biggest Morning Tea, Canteen Bandanna Day fundraisers, the dragon boat races and our many bus trips - whether to cultural events or recycling centres! It certainly shows the diversity of your interests.

There were also the anniversaries of our centres to be celebrated.

2012 saw the introduction of some new ventures. These included publication of a new newsletter; GOLD programs at Sydney Town Hall; and a series of four Healthy City Living expos on ways to improve physical and mental health, delivered through our Sydney Chinese Services Interagency partnership.

Seniors' Week events - such as free entry to our pools and the multicultural cooking class were well-attended, and there was a special candle-making workshop for Earth Hour, as well as women's self-defence classes, a trip to Sculpture by the Sea and welcome to the new Spanish group formed at Ultimo.

Many of you took part in the Chinese New Year parade, or in the documentary - in partnership with youth services - on stories from Millers Point.

I was pleased to see earlier this year the short film, Flower Girls, produced by the Cliff Noble Centre writers' group.

Other performances, exhibitions and dances were staged during the year.

So on your behalf, and on behalf of the City, I would like to offer a very special thank you to our volunteers, the ever-helpful bus-drivers and the wonderful meals-on-wheels staff, and to our community workers and community partners.

I also thank all of you, and wish everyone here today a very happy, safe, and peaceful Christmas. I look forward to seeing you all again in 2013. Have a great day, everyone.