Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has vowed his administration will restore the reputation of the federal public service following a year plagued with scandal.
In his final address to the Parliament for the year, the Prime Minister thanked public servants, saying he had gone to visit staff at the department of Prime Minister and Cabinet on Wednesday.
"The public service is an honourable profession," Mr Albanese said, to calls of "hear, hear" from onlooking politicians.
"We're determined to restore it's status."
The public service is trying to rebuild its image following this year's damning robodebt royal commission report, and the recent fall of ex-Home Affairs boss Michael Pezzullo, who was investigated and fired over allegations he tried to influence political matters.
Speaking on the final sitting day for 2023, Mr Albanese reiterated Labor's commitment to slash the public sector's use of contractors and invest in permanent staff.
"We make no apologies for saying that permanent public servants need to be elevated in the way that we honour them and treat them, rather than just contracting out and people being engaged which ends up costing more in the long run," he said.
Unity and kindness were the main themes in the Prime Minister's address, following a year that saw deep division over the Indigenous Voice to Parliament and Australia's response to the Israel-Hamas war.
"We're very fortunate to live in this great country of Australia," he said.
"We need to make sure we don't take the social harmony that characterises our multicultural nation for granted. That we cherish it, enrich it, nurture it and celebrate it."
Mr Albanese urged listeners to reach out to those in need these holidays, adding "at the worst of times, Australians always show the best of who we are".
"These are testing times for the world and Australia is not immune. We are confronted daily with news of terrible loss and devastation. With images that challenge our very faith in humanity," he said.
The Opposition Leader also acknowledged 2023 as a year of "difficulty", using his speech to recognise the conflicts in the Middle East and Ukraine, and the cost-of-living pressures hitting families over the holiday season.