Religious and political leaders have used Easter to call for hope, peace and love.
In the wake of the Belgian terror attacks church leaders used their Easter messages to offer prayers and appeal for those afflicted by “senseless violence”.
“There is more to the human story than all the violence of the world that we seem to drown in,” Catholic Archbishop of Brisbane Mark Coleridge said.
“That is what today is about – there’s something more than the violence.”
Tasmanian Anglican Bishop Richard Condie said hope was essential for human flourishing.
Thousands turned out in Sydney for the Catholic Stations of the Cross devotion at St Mary’s Cathedral in the heart of the CBD and a Journey of the Cross by the Wesley Mission.
And as always in Victoria, the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal took centre stage, aiming to raise millions to provide vital medical services for the state’s sickest children.
In a video, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said while Easter was the most important time of the year for Christians, it is also a time when families and friends of all religions gather and recharge.
He believes it is a good time to reflect on the achievements of Australia’s multicultural society, the most successful in the world.
“It is mutual respect which binds us together,” he said.
“We are enriched not divided by our diversity of faiths, culture and race.”
Mr Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten wished everyone a safe holiday weekend and thanked those who would be working at home and overseas, including defence personnel, police, medical and emergency services.
“Our thoughts are with the men and women of the Australian Defence Force keeping us safe,” Mr Shorten said in his own video.
“You are spending time away from your family and friends and we are grateful.”
Fishmongers were also working hard on their busiest day of the year, including at the Sydney Fish Markets which saw more than 4000 customers before sunrise.
More than 55,000 people were expected to visit the market throughout the day where fishmongers are preparing to sell more than 440 tonne of fish over the long weekend.