Anzac Day, 25 April, is our national day of commemoration. It marks the day the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps landed at Gallipoli in 1915.
Ceremonies in Australia
Anzac Day commemorations traditionally begin with dawn services around Australia and at important sites across the globe. Services are held at the same time as the opening moments of the Gallipoli landings in 1915 and to coincide with the military tradition of ‘stand to’ at dawn; the time often chosen to launch an attack.
Anzac Day services are held in cities and towns across Australia – many hold marches for serving and former personnel. Family members and descendants of service personnel are also involved. Marches are usually organised by the Returned & Services League (RSL) of Australia.
Internationally, Anzac Day is commemorated in locations where Australians have served, or are currently serving. Australians gather at Gallipoli, Turkey, where Australian and New Zealand forces landed on 25 April 1915 beginning an eightmonth campaign that cost more than 8,700 Australian and some 2,700 New Zealand lives.
Australians also attend commemorations at Villers- Bretonneux in France, a town taken by Australian and British troops on Anzac Day 1918 during a period of crisis for the Allies on the Western Front. It is now the site of the Australian National Memorial in France.
Increasingly, people are making pilgrimages to other significant Australian wartime locations such as Hellfire Pass in Thailand, Isurava in Papua New Guinea and Sandakan in Malaysia.
Organise a ceremony
Many Anzac Day ceremonies are based on an established and simple Order of Service. The service can be easily adapted to suit particular groups and there is flexibility in the choice of prayers, readings and poems. Music and hymns, including The Last Post, are available for download from the Anzac Portal website: www.anzacportal.dva.gov.au
Organisers can apply for a grant through the Saluting Their Service commemorative grants program, which supports projects and activities that directly commemorate Australia’s servicemen and women.
Anzac Day posters
The Department of Veterans’ Affairs produces Anzac Day posters every year commemorating a particular theme or anniversary. The posters reflect the department’s commitment to engage the community with Australia’s wartime history, and to raise awareness of the service and sacrifice of Australian servicemen and women in wars, conflicts and on peace operations.
- More than 102,000 Australian military personnel have lost their lives in wars and conflicts.
- 100 Australians have received the Victoria Cross, the highest award for bravery in the face of the enemy
Commemorations in Australia
- Dawn Services
- Marches – usually organised by the RSL
- Australian embassies and high commissions around the world conduct their own Anzac Day ceremonies. For more information visit www.dfat.gov.au
DVA-managed or supported commemorations overseas
- Gallipoli, Turkey
- Villers-Bretonneux, France
- Hellfire Pass, Thailand
- Isurava, Papua New Guinea
- Sandakan, Malaysia
- Anzac Centenary website: www.anzaccentenary.gov.au
- Anzac Centenary photo app
- Anzac Centenary poster
- Wartime Snapshot education resource