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Archives » Combined Church Activities

National Day of Thanksgiving
2006 June 3rd

National Day of Thanksgiving Breakfast

The Lilydale International Convention Center was once again the venue for an event that will surely gain annual iconic status. On Saturday the 3rd of June, the Combined Churches of the whole Shire of Yarra Ranges under the auspice of The Mayor Monika Keane, gathered together to thank and honor those in our community who work tirelessly and unheralded. Yes this was the Inaugural National Day of Thanksgiving Mayoral Breakfast. Over two hundred and fifty people enjoyed a hearty breakfast while being entertained by the Seventh-day Adventist College Brass band. Over tea and coffee and later during the main program, the entertainment came in the form of two soloists with magnificent voices, Barry McKay and Jennifer Anderson. The Mayor, Monika Keane commenced her welcome speech by acknowledging the original inhabitants of this country, the Wurundjeri people. After acknowledging the presence of the Chair, the organizing committee, Mr. Tony Smith, MHR for Casey and his wife Pam and all present, she went on to say how much she and the Shire appreciated the thousands who contribute every day to our community. She especially thanked the dedicated people who work with children, and in health and the extraordinary work of the emergency services. She spoke of being immensely proud of being part of such a community. As an aside she talked of her own childhood as a volunteer working many times with her mother. She thanked the Churches for putting on such an event and suggested that we pause on this National Day of Thanksgiving to think about what we value and the people we value. Finally she thanked again all those who enrich our lives daily by their unselfish giving. The core of proceedings was then the formal thanking of four specific selected groups of people who were representative of the larger community. 1/ Education, Children, Youth Services and Families. 2/ Emergency Services, Community Houses, Community Radio, Churches and Multi-cultural Groups. 3/ Health, Disability and Elderly and 4/ Government, Business, Utilities and Transport. After the formal thanking and prayer for each group, the guest speaker for the morning, Mr. Jim Wallace AO addressed the assembled. Jim is the Executive Chairman of the Australian Christian Lobby in Canberra and was formerly an Army Brigadier, SAS Commander and a Vietnam Vet. who originally trained at Duntroon. His message was clear and simple and one of the importance of thankfulness. He spoke of the roots of our free democracy that was founded in the Judeo-Christian Faiths. He spoke of the need to acknowledge and be thankful for what we have in Australia, which is unique in the world, and to do all we can to preserve it. As a form of benediction Barry and Jennifer then sang a powerful rendition of 'The Prayer' which evoked a very emotional response. Finally, when all the formalities were over many stayed for another cup of coffee and more chat. This will be an annual event so if you missed out this year, book in early for the next one. 

The Combined Churches of the Shire of Yarra Ranges sponsored a National Day of Thanksgiving Mayoral Breakfast at the Lilydale International Hotel on June 3rd which was hosted by the Mayor Councilor Monika Keane. Representatives from community service and volunteer groups and particular bodies were invited and thanked formally on the morning.

Governor General's 2006 Statement

Amidst all the hustle and bustle of modern day life, when good manners and courteous language are sometimes lacking, the value attached to a simple ‘thank you’ is more important than ever.

We say thanks, often almost without thought. But specifically thanking others - whether it be a few people or many, remains one of the cornerstones of a courteous, and hence a civilised society.
In this regard I would encourage the Church to continue its leadership role in rallying support for, and promoting the National Day of Thanksgiving.
As individuals, communities and as a nation, we all stand to benefit from the growing awareness of this day as an annual celebration – a day we can share:
In giving thanks to God and one another.
In honouring the wonderful work of mentors and volunteers who do so much to improve the lives of others.
And in paying due recognition to the dedicated people working in fields such as education, health care, emergency services and many other areas where our frequent reliance on their skills is not always matched by our thanks.
I take this opportunity to commend our Churches for their contribution and help for the sick and needy - it is their Christian values and prayers that unite people, that provide faith, hope and comfort.
We can inspire so many people and help uplift the mood of the nation with the simple, but meaningful word of "thanks".

Source: His Excellency Major General Michael Jeffery

Prime Ministers Statement 2006 NDOT
It gives me great pleasure to provide this message of support for the National Day of Thanksgiving on 3 June 2006.
In today's busy world, the National Day of Thanksgiving reminds us to take time to reflect on the people and things we value. It provides an opportunity to express our gratitude for the important contribution that our fellow Australians make to the life of our nation.
In particular, we honour carers and volunteers, who enrich the lives of many and give comfort and support to less fortunate members of our society. We salute those in the Police Forces, Ambulance and Fire Services, State Emergency Services and Australian Defence Forces, who assist us in times of difficulty and disaster.
The contribution of these dedicated people is a prime example of what I call the 'social coalition' - the idea that everyone has a role to play in participating in community life and in enhancing our social wellbeing.
The efforts and commitment of those who work tirelessly behind the scenes in our community can sometimes go without recognition. On this day, I encourage all Australians to reflect on the service and sacrifice of others in working to better our community.

Source: Prime Minister of Australia



An initiative by the Australian Prayer Network to establish a national Day of Prayer has led to what many see as a spiritual Breakthrough.

Re-worked into the National Day of Thanksgiving, with a view to involvement by the whole Australian community, this vision was powerfully launched by the Governor General at Government House, Canberra last week. Present were members of Parliament and representatives of ministries promoting prayer and unity, coming from every state and territory, and a wide range of denominations. Cardinal Pell from Sydney supported the vision and pronounced the blessing.

The Prime Minister has written to affirm the initiative, and the Deputy Prime Minister has accepted the position of Patron of the movement. (For Gov. General's speech and Prime Minister's letter see: www.thanksgiving.org.au)

The National Day of Thanksgiving will be celebrated annually on the day before the Day of Pentecost. This year it will on Saturday 29th May.

It is basically a Christian event, promoting thanks to God for all our blessings, but it is also to promote thankfulness to civic leaders and volunteers, political and other leaders, and to promote a day of all Australians being thankful to one another.

It is expected that the churches in each city and community will work together to show thankfulness to community leaders, etc, as well as hold united services of Thanksgiving to God. Special "thank you" cards will be distributed across the country to encourage every person to express thanks to those they know.

If you would like to send a Thanksgiving card to a friend, shopkeeper, community worker and/or family member, you can do it online through the following prompts:


Focal Point Yarra Valley 2009