During the 1989 festive season, conferences and centres throughout Australia and New Zealand distributed a total of 2.3 million Christmas cards that had been designed to convey ‘the real message of the birth of Christ’.
The tradition began in 1954, when the Society responded to concerns that the commercial world was completely overlooking the reason for celebrating Christmas. That year, 50,000 cards depicting images of Bethlehem were distributed.
The policy was for the cards to be provided at the lowest possible price—in 1989, a pack of six cards sold for $1 (in 2016 a pack of 10 cards costs $4.25). The cards were sorted and packed at Ozanam Industries, a Special Work of the Society.
Today it employs more than 100 Australians with a disability at one of three work centres, which are located at Stanmore, in Sydney’s inner-west, West Ryde, northwest of Sydney, and Coonamble, on the central-western plains of NSW.