Diwali has long been one of the most important events on the Hindu calendar.
As a time to celebrate the triumph of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair, the spirit and message of this ancient festival resonates across faiths and cultures.
In that sense, Diwali is a wonderful opportunity to acknowledge our great fortune to live in a land of peace and tolerance where diversity is valued and celebrated.
People from around the globe, and from all faiths and traditions, live together in remarkable harmony, and we do so because of our commitment to mutual respect.
We are the most successful multicultural nation on earth, and with each passing day this becomes more evident. Against a twilight of widening divisions and deepening conflict around the world, our nation shines brightly as a beacon.
As communities across Australia gather to celebrate the festival of lights, I wish you a joyous Diwali and prosperous year ahead.