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When my daughter reached that age that one of her school friends suggested she question the

existence of Santa, we had a very serious conversation. I explained to her that maybe there isn’t a

single Santa. There’s Santa in every shopping centre, after all. I told her that the idea of “Santa” is a

way for us all to understand that there are people in this world who do good things for strangers.

People who spread kindness, generosity and joy like snowflakes – even in the sweltering Australian


I’d like to introduce George White OAM and Jan White OAM. For 25 years, they travelled with me

through regional Queensland, NNSW and Darwin as Santa and Mrs Claus at the Special Children’s

Christmas Party. As volunteers. For 25 years.

George and Jan represent the sponsors, volunteers, families and children I have met and whom I will

remember forever. They are here in recognition, gratitude and, sadly, memorium of the thousands

and thousands of people I met between 1992 and 2022.

Thank you to each and every one of you for the passion and commitment you brought to local

families. Let us all share loudly the stories in our lives of love, kindness and generosity and drown

out the voices of hate and division.

I wish you good health, happiness and laughter every day. Thank you.

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