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What to expect


Attendees at an overseas commemoration will be exposed to the elements, without shelter, for several hours (including overnight at Anzac Day Gallipoli) and can experience all weather extremes. Check the service specific information page to see what weather to expect and prepare for.


Seating at commemorations is not allocated or reserved (other than a limited area for Accessible Seating visitors who have registered) and is available on a first-come, first served basis.

You should be aware that large groups may not be able to sit together and you may be separated from your group and/or tour guide. You should make sure that you have your guide’s contact details in case you are separated.


Temporary toilets, including some disabled toilets, and hand-washing facilities will be installed specifically for the commemorative services. There are no permanent toilets at most commemorative sites.


Rubbish bins will be provided at the memorial sites and visitors will be asked to dispose of rubbish thoughtfully or, where possible, take their rubbish with them. Visitors should ensure they respect the historic nature of the sites.

Lost Property

If you lose or find property during your time attending a commemoration, please notify the ceremony staff at a Visitor Information Tent. After the commemoration, enquiries about lost property can be made to


There is no permanent lighting at memorial sites where commemorations are held. Safety lighting will be installed at the entrance and through the memorials, but visitors may wish to bring a torch.


There will be media present at most ceremonies. Attendees should be aware that there will be camera operators moving around the sites, and that cables may be laid along the ground. Please take care. Most commemorative services will be broadcast live to Australia by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). You may be filmed during the service. DVDs of the broadcast will be available from the ABC Library Sales website.

Health, Fitness and First Aid

Visitors will often need to stand and queue for long periods at times, for security screening to enter the commemorative sites, as well as for the limited public amenities. Where seating is provided in grandstands, access to these facilities will require climbing stairs. Some services may require you to walk long distances, over rough and uneven ground.

Limited medical support is provided by local health authorities at the commemorative sites. If you require any medical equipment, including medications, wheelchairs or mobility aids, you will need to bring these with you.

Medical support is designed to deal with medical emergencies. It is recommended you bring Band-Aids, aspirin/paracetamol and sunscreen with you as these are not provided by the first aid teams.

Children and Infants

Please seriously consider how well your child or infant would cope with the travel and environmental conditions appropriate to the service you are attending. It is important to remember that there are only limited toilet facilities, with no infant changing or parenting facilities at the commemorative sites.

If you are planning to take an infant aged three years or under to the commemorations, they are exempt from holding an attendance pass however they are not afforded a seat at the commemorations and they must sit on the lap of an attendance pass holder.

Accessible Seating

Limited accessible seating services are available at the commemorations. In your registration for an attendance pass, you should nominate and describe your requirements. Due to different environments and demands on this service, what assistance can be provided will change from service to service. Please note that nomination on your attendance pass registration does not guarantee this service can be provided. Accessible seating services does not extend to one-on-one carers or provision of mobility aids. For more information on what is and is not included, look at the service specific information on this webpage.

Musical and other Support

DVA receives a great many requests from groups and individuals wishing to contribute to the commemorations.

The commemorative services follow a traditional format and structure agreed by the governments involved in the planning of commemorations. Many hundreds of thousands of Australians are descendants of veterans of the various campaigns commemorated and feel an emotional connection to the commemorations. Given this, unsolicited offers or requests to provide content or perform a role within the ceremony will not be accepted. This includes offers of artefacts or relics, bugles or other musical instruments, songs, poems, speeches or readings.

At Gallipoli a Volunteer organisation provides volunteers to assist with the annual commemorations in Turkey. Musical support for commemorative services in Turkey is provided by the Australian and New Zealand Defence Force Band. The volunteer organisation is engaged through competitive open tender processes. The Medical support is provided by Turkish health authorities. Interpreters are provided by the 18 March University in Canakkale.

In France, strict labour laws limit the use of volunteers and the Department engages short term contractors through various providers to provide support where required. Musical support for commemorative services in France is provided by the Australian Defence Force Band. Resonance, one of many vocal ensembles from the Brisbane based Voices of Birralee was selected following a competitive expression of interest process conducted by the Department of Veterans' Affairs. More information may be found at the Voices of Birralee website.


DVA is unable to assist with accommodation bookings or advice, however, you may wish to visit one of the following links for more information:

Safety and Security

For the latest travel advice on the security situation in Europe and Turkey please visit the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s (DFAT) Smartraveller website. It is recommended that you register your travel plans with DFAT in case of an emergency.

Visitors are responsible for their own safety, welfare and security of belongings at all times. Security and crowd management are the responsibility of the local security personnel with airport-style screening of visitors at the entry point to most of the commemorative sites, including bag searches.

You should follow the instructions of security personnel at all times.

What to Expect - French

What to Expect - Turkish

What to Expect - Dutch

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