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PM and Salvos unveil Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal at Parliament House

The Salvation Army’s Colonel Rodney Walters and Commissioner Miriam Gluyas with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles and Kmart Managing Director Ian Bailey at Parliament House on Tuesday.

Territorial Commander Commissioner Miriam Gluyas and Colonel Rodney Walters represented The Salvation Army at Parliament House in Canberra on Tuesday for the official launch of the Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese unveiled the 36th annual appeal, supported by Kmart Group Managing Director Ian Bailey, alongside Kmart’s founding charity partner, The Salvation Army.

It was the first time Miriam and the Prime Minister had met in their current executive roles.

“It was a wonderful day in Canberra celebrating our partnership with Kmart at the launch of the Christmas tree,” Miriam said. “We are grateful ... Aussies are good when times are tough. Thank you!”

Rodney, Secretary for Communications, said he felt blessed and humbled to be part of the occasion. “[It was] such a wonderful opportunity to engage with our political leaders and their fantastic staff ... [and] Kmart and their fantastic team,” he said.

The Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal is Australia’s largest and longest-running gift collection drive, raising over $5.6 million in funding and providing 10 million gifts to those in need at Christmas. In 2023, Kmart aims to raise over half a million dollars for the appeal and collect 300,000 gifts to help those in need.

The Prime Minister said the Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal was a reminder of the true spirit of Christmas, bringing joy into the lives of others.

“The enduring strength and remarkable success of this appeal has always spoken for the generosity of the Australian people. I’m sure that this year, Australians will once again dig deep to support families who are doing it tough at Christmas.

“This should be a magical time of year for children, and by supporting the Wishing Tree Appeal, you can help keep Christmas special.

“If you can spare it, please give generously, knowing the presents you leave under your nearest Wishing Tree will be treasured on Christmas morning by those most in need.”

As part of the launch, a Wishing Tree was placed in Parliament House, a ritual used for the past 11 years. All Parliament House visitors, Parliamentarians and staff, can leave an unwrapped gift under the tree.

Kmart Group Managing Director Ian Bailey said he was proud not only of the 50,000 team members around Australia who proactively support the gift drive each Christmas through Kmart stores nationally, but also of the millions of Australians who visit Kmart stores at Christmas to drop off a gift.

“As a large retailer, we want to make sure we’re actively giving back to communities in which we operate, and particularly the most vulnerable groups within our community. Through our partnership with The Salvation Army, this appeal has been able to help more Australian families have the Christmas they deserve. Bringing joy to our customers is what Kmart is about, and we are proud to partner with The Salvation Army to achieve that.”

The Wishing Tree Appeal will run until Sunday 24 December. For more information, click here

Some information in this article courtesy of Mirage News

Territorial Commander Commissioner Miriam Gluyas with (from left) Leader of the Opposition Peter Dutton, Kmart chief Ian Bailey and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.


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