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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.

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. 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 Villers-Bretonneux, Gallipoli and Bomana (PNG) 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, sunscreen and bug repellent with you as these are not provided by the first aid teams.


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.

Large groups might be unable to sit together. You should make sure that you have your guide’s details in case you are separated. There is no seating provided at Gallipoli.

Accessible seating

Limited accessible seating services are available at the commemorations. Due to different environments and demands on this service, what assistance can be provided will change from service to service. 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 webpage for further information.


Temporary toilets, including some accessible 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

Lost property enquiries can be made with staff at a Visitor Information Tent at the service. After the commemoration, enquiries about lost property can be emailed 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). Individuals may be filmed during the service. These services will be uploaded to ABC iView.    

Children and infants

Parents and guardians will need to consider how well children or infants 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. Infants aged two years or under attending the commemorations are exempt from holding an attendance pass.

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 Forces. 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.

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 individuals register their 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.

Instructions from security personnel must be adhered to at all times.

Contact information

Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Canberra Australia
Tel: +61 2 6289 1133
Regional callers: 1300 364 002

Department of Foreign Affairs - Emergency helpline
Consular Emergency Centre 24 Hour Phone Service:
Tel:  1300 555 135 within Australia (local call cost) or
Tel:  +61 2 6261 3305 from outside Australia
SMS: +61 421 269 080

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