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SPEECH: Pre-Hunukkah Speech

I would like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we meet, the Gadigal People of the Eora Nation.

I pay my respects to their elders past, present, and emerging.

And I also extend this respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people here today.

I’d like to also acknowledge the many distinguished guests and my parliamentary colleagues:

It is a great pleasure to be with you all today on behalf of the NSW Premier, Dominic Perrottet and to welcome you to Australia’s oldest Parliament.

Here in New South Wales, Hanukkah has become one of our great community celebrations.

While its origins, meaning and significance are born from the history and faiths of Judaism, I believe it also represents a lot of what we stand for right here in NSW.

The universal triumph of light over darkness, freedom over oppression and good over evil.

All of these are universal values that you can see shared by everyone in NSW.

Today we come together to not only celebrate Hanukkah, but we also celebrate the people that make our state the place that it is today.

As your Minister for Multiculturalism, I am moved by the dedication of our Jewish community to not only enlighten us with your rich heritage, but your willingness to open the doors for everyone to celebrate your traditions.

The NSW Government is firm in our belief that diversity, especially religious diversity, should be fostered and celebrated.

And we are securing a future where all cultures languages and importantly, religions, can flourish.

The NSW Government acknowledges the valuable contributions by religious leaders, especially in building bridges of understanding between our communities.

The success of our great multicultural society is built upon people of different faiths and cultural backgrounds coming together as one.

I thank the Jewish community for your valued contributions to not only helping maintain the harmony we have here in NSW, but building on it.

You are inspiring and effective champions of interfaith dialogue.

And celebrations such as Hanukkah remind us of our commitment to this dialogue and the immense cultural wealth that such a commitment brings.

The faith and resilience of the Jewish community is well recognised and your contribution to our harmonious society is felt, particularly here in NSW.

Once again, I’d like to thank you all for coming here today to Parliament House to commemorate the miracle of Hanukkah and, in fact, the miracle of faith.

Hanukkah is indeed a shared celebration.

And its message of hope and resilience is universal.

I wish you all peace in the coming year.

It is now my pleasure to welcome our Premier to the stage to give his address.