19 December, 2016
Whenever I am confronted with another of the disasters that flood our screens, I am reminded of what a friend told me, ‘watch the helpers’. Take note of those who run towards the chaos, drag people from beneath the rubble, rush them to hospital, tend to their wounds, lift children and wrap them in blankets.
Seeing that reinforces for me the goodness of people, instinctively drawn to run towards the chaos and to lend a hand in whatever way they can. It also reminds me that we are, as people, at our best when we are working together.
It has been a difficult year for many of the children who find themselves in care of the state. It has also been a difficult year for the many adults – carers, relatives, social workers, teachers and others – who struggle to make things better for them in the midst of our faltering child protection system.
A sincere thank you from me and my team for all of your work and dedication in 2016.
We look forward to re-joining you in 2017 when my hope is that we will continue to reinvigorate the essential goodness in our colleagues, the buoyant energy of the children and young people we serve and a greater realisation that the only way we can make change, lasting change, is by finding new and better ways of working together.
A happy and relaxing holiday season to you and your loved ones.
The Guardian’s Office will be closed and the telephones unattended from 5pm Friday December 23, 2016 to 9am Tuesday January 3, 2017.