Community & Business

24 December, 2022

Christmas messages for 2022

LOCAL politicians, community groups, high schools, charities and churches wish the region a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Read what they said here -

Christmas messages for 2022 - feature photo

Mayor Peter Scott
Cook Shire Council 

In a world of political, social and environ-mental turmoil, we are so lucky to be living in the best part of the best country, on the planet. I know I always say this but it seems more true and relevant with each passing year.

We are thrilled to be considering our new Community University Centre, the expand-ed hospital and proposed Aged Care and Retirement Village projects and the exciting Lakeland Irrigation Scheme. Our population is growing and we welcome new residents and businesses to our beautiful place.

In Cooktown and across the Shire we fo-cus on this county’s traditional spiritual roots

of care, harmony and Reconciliation. Our community already lives it, so will our new residents and visitors.

We are heading for a challenging wet/storm season so please take the logical pre-cautions to ensure that you and your fami-lies have a safe and secure Christmas and New Year.

Thanks for your contribution throughout the year and best wishes from all of us at Cook Shire Council.

Mayor Michael Kerr
Douglas Shire Council

On behalf of the Douglas Shire Council staff and my fellow Councillors, I would like to wish everyone a very safe and enjoyable festive season.

Christmas is a time to remember loved ones near and far and cherish the memories of those dear to us who we have lost over the years.

At this time of year, it is important to treasure relationships with family, spend time with them and take advantage of what our very lucky country still has to offer.

It is also a time to look out for those who may not be so fortunate. A simple gesture

of checking up on those who may not be so blessed to ensure they are okay can make all the difference.

As we all ride this journey through changes that Covid brought on our businesses, working life, emotional connections, and mental and physical health, I hope that you stay strong, continue to concentrate on the many positives we still have in our lives and look forward to a new year ahead which I hope will be full of joy and love for all.

Mayor Rod Marti
Tablelands Regional Council


I treasure the extra time I get with family and friends at this time of year.

The change of pace and chance to recharge are a welcome change from the busy year.

I’m also mindful that not everyone is as fortunate as I am, and my thoughts go out to those who struggle during the festive season.

Donating to the Mayor’s Christmas appeal helps to pur-chase food vouchers for peo-ple in our community who need a bit of a hand this time of year.

Please consider a dona-tion and make a difference to someone’s festive season.

Find out how you can donate at

Mayor Angela Toppin
Mareeba Shire Council


Merry Christmas to all residents and friends of the Mareeba Shire.

Together, as a community, we have faced challenges; and, together, we have continued to stand up and support each other.

As Mayor, it has been a great pleasure to see the community in action at so many events in 2022 and to lead this Council towards some significant milestones.

Council has made great progress towards some of our key strategies including water, waste and parks and open spaces, and the community is really starting to see the benefits.

We look forward to continuing this in 2023.

Joe Moro
Chair, FNQ Growers 


As the end of 2022 approaches, I’m sure many of you will be wondering, like me, where the past 12 months has gone.

For some of us, myself included, the festive season heralds the start to the bus-iest time of year – when mango growers supply one of Australia’s most love summer fruits.

Busy or not, the festive season gives us all an opportunity to celebrate with our loved ones, reflect on the year that was and plan for a prosperous new year.

Farming is hard.

Rising costs of production, low returns and labour shortages are creating a perfect storm for many growers – with some no doubt questioning their future in their respective industries.

Regardless, our region is one of the most productive in northern Australia, rich with crop variety, water and some of the most innovative growers in the industry.

There is much to be celebrated.

On behalf of FNQ Growers management committee and members, I wish our growers, industry stakeholders, supporters and broader growing community a safe and happy Christmas and prosperous 2023, with your family and friends.

Joe Moro
Mareeba Chamber of Commerce president

As we approach the end of another year, we pause to reflect on the year that was.

The Mareeba business community continues to show time and time again its versatility and resilience.

While we are now living on the other side of the health pandemic, business continues to be challenged with issues born out of this crisis, namely labour shortages.

I have no doubt that there will be many businesses eyeing off a well break this festive season, on the back of an incredibly busy year.

I encourage businesses to take the time to celebrate the year, reflect on the achievements and plan ahead for a bright and prosperous 2023.

The Chamber will continue to advocate and support the Mareeba business community at a local level, and elsewhere where a voice is needed.

On behalf of my management committee, I wish our members and the broader community a safe and happy Christmas and best wishes for a prosperous New Year.

Scott Whybird
Mareeba High School Principal 


We are fortunate to be part of a vibrant community in Mareeba. Sometimes we need to reflect on how far we have come.

This year stared with school lockdowns. The pressure on business, staff and families is steadily growing each year.

In this Christmas period, it is important that we all have some quality time with people who care about us.

Our resilience relies on us getting some down time and being kind to ourselves.

My Christmas message is to take time to see the beauty around us, recharge the batteries and continue to develop a community we can be proud of.

Have a fantastic holiday.

Ben Harding
Malanda High School Acting Principal 


At this special time of year, we give thanks for the amazing community we are a part of – we continue to achieve outstanding student outcomes in large part because of the support we receive.

In the last month this has involved a significant amount in financial bursaries for presentation night award winners, work experience opportunities for our year 10 cohort, multiple traineeship and apprenticeship offerings for students and donations of agricultural equipment to support our programs.

I am proud to be part of a Malanda High team that is so well supported by parents, businesses and other community organisations.

I wish the Malanda community the very happiest and most relaxing of holidays and look forward to a new year full of wins and successes big and small.

Kerry Manders
St Stephen’s Catholic College principal


the joy of Christmas is in the gathering of friends and families, the giving and receiving of gifts, the decorations, and the carols. It reminds us of just how special the birth of Jesus was in the history of humanity.

Now at Christmas, we continue to be in-spired by His birth with a desire to spread peace, love and joy to others through our regular traditions.

We wish all members of the Mareeba com-munity, our broader school community, staff and students, a peaceful and joy-filled Christmas.

God bless for a safe, happy, and holy Christmas.

Caitlin Murray
Rotary Mareeba president


As we say goodbye to year 2022, we take time to reflect on the year that has passed by so quickly.

The proud projects we have accomplished as a community and a club as well as the new memories to cherish for life.

As president I am so proud of the Mareeba Rotary Club and what we’ve achieved over the past 12 months, all while welcoming year 2023 with open arms and new goals.

Christmas is a time of joy, reflection and for family, by spending time together, baking goods and sharing the Christ-mas Spirit.

From the members of Mareeba Rotary and myself thank you for your continual support and we are wishing the com-munity near and far a safe and wonderful Christmas.

Atherton Lions Club

On behalf of all Lions Club of Atherton members, President Neil Clarke would like to thank everyone for their support this year.

The club has been humbled by the generosity of the local businesses who have donated goods and services to the club and overwhelmed by the support of the community for our projects.

The club has raised significantly more dollars than in previous years and this has allowed us to donate even more back to deserving individuals and organisations in our community.

With this continuing support, the club’s community work for 2023 is assured.

Lions Club of Atherton members join in wishing everyone a safe and relaxing Christmas and a hope that 2023 will bring good health and happiness for all.

Mareeba Lions Club


We have been busy, raising funds through the sau-sage sizzle at Coles car park and running the Lions Christmas Raffle.

We also have community projects at Bunny Seary Lookout, the Mareeba Heritage Centre and the near-by bike track along with many volunteer hours.

To the businesses and individual who support our fundraising activities and all the work we do in our community, we sincerely appreciate the support you provide - thank you!

It’s time to relax, put the feet up and wait for the big fellow to come. Have a very merry Christmas from the members of the Lions Club of Mareeba.

Destiny Church, Atherton

There’s a reason why they call December the ‘silly season’!

We go on a diet in September to fit into that Christmas party dress only to overindulge at the Christmas table We rush to secure that elusive parking spot in an already overcrowded shopping centre, intent on snavelling up gifts we can’t afford with money we don’t have, for people who don’t need more ‘stuff’.

And all the while ‘tis the season to be jolly’ belts out in shopping centres the world over.

Many people have lost the sense of won-der and awe associated with Christmas, in the busyness of just ‘getting it done’, with the reason for the Season becoming lost in the madness of the rip, tear and bust.

During the mayhem of preparing, the whole ordeal can become overwhelming and rob us of the joy of the season.

“God had perceived that our greatest need was economic, he would have sent an economist.

"If God had perceived that our greatest need was political stability, he would have sent us a politician. If he had perceived that our greatest need was health, he would have sent us a doctor. But he perceived that our greatest need involved our sin, so He sent a Saviour.” 

Cynthia Lui
Member for Cook


As 2022 comes to a close, I want to reflect on our achieve-ments over the past 12 months.

The Palaszczuk Government’s investment into the com-munity results in supporting our services and protecting our great lifestyle. Some of the key achievements include a fund-ing announcement for a case study for the Mareeba Bypass to deter heavy vehicles from Byrnes Street, funds to recruit a project officer at Mareeba PCYC to support vulnerable youth in our community and four extra police officers at the Mareeba Police Station.

Our Works for Queensland and Building Our Regions programs continue to support Mareeba Shire Council in delivering infrastructure projects and supporting local jobs. Community organisations also do tremendous work in our community. Our recent funding announcements for Mareeba Community

Care, Flexi Choice, Mareeba Childcare and Kindy, amongst others, ensures they can continue their good work in the com-munity. I am working with Mareeba Shire Council to deliver a Splash Park for the community which will be a fun feature for young families.

I strive everyday to be a strong voice for the electorate of Cook and I only want what is best for my electorate. I feel extremely grateful for the opportunity to serve as your local Member of Parliament, and I want to thank you for working with me to make our community a better place.

From my family to yours, have a safe and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Bob Katter
Federal Member for Kennedy


My station, when I was heavily involved in mining, cattle, and other enterprises, was called Saint Francis.

And I had taken to reading Saint Francis Assisi prayers; “O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.” I have some difficultly with the pardon part, I’ve never been that good at being pardoned or pardoning.

On occasion, I ask the question “Why are our young people so unhappy with life that they just leave this life? What is wrong?”

I feel it is a complete lack of understanding of what are the important things in life.

I had dinner with two people that live for their Christianity. They are handing out 10,000 little books of Saint Luke’s Gospels. For what does a profit mean if he gains the whole world but suffers the loss of his immortal soul? Mark 8:36

All the beautiful Christmas trees, decorations and presents – all can be found in our bushland. The beautiful wildflowers, the yellows, purples, oranges, and greens – the magnificent 90ft gum trees.

So, let us enjoy the glitter and fun. One of my greatest joys when I get down and depressed is to simply go down to the pub, team up with a few mates and tell a few funny stories (I don’t tell the naughty ones and try not to laugh at the ones I hear). And then you realise in those moments, what does it matter if you have no money?

What does it matter if you get laid off? Or you end up in the school of hard knocks? These are just things that happen.

We Australians, down the pub, we couldn’t care less about all of these things.

We just enjoy the company of others. That’s what’s important.

Jesus came to give the message of eternal life: that there is something bigger than me and this thing we call existence.

And that is a wonderful message whether you are an atheist or a believer. For me, this Christmas, I’ll find joy in a game of touch foot-ball with my son, daughters, grandsons, and my aggressive, cheeky granddaughters.

May God’s Christmas blessings be upon you all.

Shane Knuth
State Member for Hill 


I have always been amazed with the story of Jesus who was the king of kings, yet he was born in a barn.

He loved, cared, healed, displayed com-passion, fed the poor, raised people from the dead then he was crucified on the cross.

Christmas is no doubt my favourite time of the year.

It is a time when we can forget about the stresses of life, a time to catch up with family

and friends, enjoy sports and leisure, fishing and camping and a time to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas.

From my staff and I, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy, safe and prosperous New Year.

Warren Entsch
Federal Member for Leichhardt


With Christmas only a few sleeps away, I wanted to extend my warmest wishes to each and every one of you. This has been a challenging year for us all, but I am grateful for the strength, resilience and support our communities have shown one another.

I hope you find time to unwind and relax with family. Look out for your neighbours, be kind to one another and make time to recharge your batteries for the new year ahead.

On behalf of myself, my beautiful wife, Yolonde, my family and my magnificent staff, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Pastor Murray
Mareeba Baptist Church


Everyone loves Christmas. It really is a special time of year when we look forward to celebrating with family and friends.

I'm sure that each of us has something different that we like most about Christmas. For me, it is the opportunity to celebrate the birth of Jesus - God entering His own creation as one of us, to die in our place 33 years later.

Through Jesus we can have eternal life with God - if we choose to.

Best wishes for a wonderful Christmas and a Happy and Safe New Year from all of the fellowship at Mareeba Baptist Church.

Miriam Newton Gentle
Salvation Army


On the first Christmas night we remember how busy Bethlehem was. Busy as our streets and shops are just before the Christ-mas Holiday.

No one noticed Mary and Joseph in the hustle and bustle except one person, the innkeeper.

He made room for them in that humble stable where our Saviour was born.

Let’s take time this year to be the innkeeper and to make room in our hearts and lives for the Christ child.

May He be the centre of our celebrations as we spend time with work col-leagues, friends and Family.

Let’s keep Christ in the centre of Christmas. Merry Christmas everyone from The Tablelands Salvation Army

Aram Oroi
Rector of St George’s Anglican Ministry Unit, Mareeba

Christmas is upon us once again. As you celebrate the Christmas festivities with loved ones, family and friends, know that it is in the love of God shown to us in the gift of the Christmas Child that we move and live and have our being.

And as you rest when/if you must, it is my prayer, too, that we welcome God’s blessings in store for us in the new year, 2023.

St George’s Mareeba Ministry Unit wishes you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Yer.

May Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, shower you with his love and joy.

Pastor Darryl
Abundant Life Centre

The Creator of all things has always had an intense interest to live in a daily and intimate relationship with us.

To show us the depth of His love, He did something that continues to mystify human understanding.

He sent His one and only Son by planting the seed of Je-sus who was to be the Saviour of the world, into a humble woman’s body. His life death and resurrection has brought hope to all humanity. May each of you joyfully celebrate this day with family taking a moment to give thanks.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.


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