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Prime Minister launches Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal in Canberra

Prime Minister Tony AbbottA Kmart Wishing Tree has been erected in the Prime Minister’s office to help the good work the Salvation Army does to ensure a happier Christmas for thousands of Australian children and families.

Right up until Christmas Eve, visitors and guests to the Prime Minister’s office will be encouraged to bring a gift to place under the tree. The Salvos will distribute these gifts to people doing it tough this year.

The Salvation Army Australia Southern Territory’s Commissioners Floyd and Tracey Tidd launched the appeal in the Prime Minister’s courtyard in Canberra with Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Managing Director of Kmart Australia Guy Russo.

The Prime Minister also invited the leader of the Opposition Hon Bill Shorten, and the leader of the Australian Greens Hon Christine Milne, to share in the launch as a sign that the Appeal belongs to 'the People’s House', not just the Government.

“Christmas is a marvellous time of togetherness. It’s a marvellous time of giving, and yet, not everyone is together with their loved ones, and not every family can afford to give every member gifts. That’s why this is such a significant initiative,” said Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

“As you can imagine, the Prime Minister’s office is one of the most visited parts of the Parliament, and I will be letting everyone visiting this office over the next month or so know that the Wishing Tree is here.

"I hope that many of them will be able to bring a gift, because it is a sign of the goodwill that should animate all of us at this time of the year, and it is a very practical way for people to help those less fortunate than themselves,” he said.  

The Salvation Army and Kmart are grateful to the Prime Minister and all of government for their continued support of the annual Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal. Six million gifts have been donated since the Kmart Wishing Tree was established 26 years ago. Last year alone, nearly 450,000 gifts were distributed by the Salvos to all corners of the continent.

For further information or media comment please contact:

Dr Bruce Redman – Media Relations Director
The Salvation Army – Australia Southern Territory (Vic., SA, Tas., WA & NT)
T. 03 8878 2448
M. 0417 537 950
E. bruce.redman@aus.salvationarmy.org