National Commemorative Service
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|Service:||Nationally broadcast commemorative service to mark the 50th anniversary of the end of Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War|
|Date:||Friday 18 August 2023|
|Time:||10:00am: Pre-service program commences
10:30am: Official service commences
|Venue:||The Australian Vietnam Forces National Memorial, Anzac Parade, Campbell, Canberra|
|Weather||Typically, August in Canberra can be very frosty with overnight temperatures often falling below zero. Attendees should ensure they come prepared for these conditions.|
|Attendance Passes||Attendance pass required. The online registration system is now available.|
In 2023, the Australian Government will mark the 50th anniversary of the end of Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War with a national service at the Australian Vietnam Forces National Memorial in Canberra on 18 August 2023 from 10:00am.
The service and other supporting activities have been developed in conjunction with a national stakeholder consultative group, including Vietnam veterans and representatives of the wider veteran community.
Throughout the year, Australians will be encouraged to honour and remember the service of some 60,000 Australian men and women who served in the Vietnam War and their families. Tragically, 523 Australians lost their lives in the war, and over 3,000 were wounded.Back to top
What to expect
The Department of Veterans’ Affairs will deliver a televised service to mark the 50th anniversary of the end of Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War at the Australian Vietnam Forces National Memorial on Anzac Parade, on Friday 18 August 2023.
The service will be broadcast live across Australia by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and streamed online. The ABC will also make the broadcast available to other networks to provide all members of the community the opportunity to acknowledge the 50th anniversary of the end of Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War in a solemn and dignified manner from their home.
DVA develops a range of commemorative and educational materials to further help recognise and remember those who served in the Vietnam War. To learn more about Australia's involvement in the Vietnam War, and access these materials, visit our Anzac Portal.
If you are planning an event or project throughout the remainder of 2023 to commemorate Australian service in the Vietnam War, you might like to consider applying for a grant under the Saluting Their Service Commemorative Grants Program (STS). STS provides funding for projects that commemorate the service and sacrifice of Australian service personnel in wars, conflicts and peace operations. The current batch is open for applications, and closes on 10 October 2023. For more information about what is eligible, grant guidelines, and the application form, please visit Grant Connect.Back to top
Planning your attendance
All attendees planning to attend the service on 18 August 2023 are required to register for an attendance pass. Entry to the service will not be permitted without an attendance pass. Register here for your attendance pass.
The online registration system for attendance passes will close at 5:00pm on Thursday 17 August 2023. If you have not registered for an attendance pass prior to this, Ticketek will establish a physical box office facility at the Australian Vietnam Forces National Memorial, open from 8:30am on Friday 18 August 2023 where you can register for an attendance pass, or replace damaged/lost passes.
Overview of the commemorative site
The Australian Vietnam Forces National Memorial is located on Anzac Parade, Canberra, south of the Australian War Memorial between Currong St and Constitution Ave. A commemorative site will be established with two entry points; being a north and south entry point located on Anzac Parade. There will be a number of road closures and restricted areas in place on the day, so please follow the direction of staff to access the entry points on the day.
Attendees are encouraged to plan their journey and arrival times carefully. We encourage you to arrive early to ensure you have sufficient time to progress through ticket scanning and obtain the best possible seat. Attendees who arrive early will also have the opportunity to view the pre-service program, which commences at 10:00am.
For your comfort, complimentary tea, coffee and water will be available onsite.
Only 6,000 seats are available for this service. Limited accessible seating will be available for attendees at the service who have health or accessibility requirements. If accessible seating is required, please ensure that when registering for your attendance pass, you nominate and describe your requirements. Those requesting accessible seating are able to have one carer or companion and/or their approved assistance dog with them to provide assistance.
Attendees with an accessibility requirement are to make themselves known to DVA staff on arrival if you require assistance to be seated. A limited number of wheelchairs will be available.
Security and safety measures for attendees
Security and safety measures will be operational for all attendees at the service. Any prohibited items as identified in the Terms and Conditions will not be allowed into the site. Any items deemed as prohibited will be confiscated prior to entry. Confiscated items may be collected following the conclusion of the service.
Children and infants
Any individual over the age of two years on the day of the commemoration must hold an attendance pass in their own right. Children under the age of two years may attend the commemoration with an adult pass-holder, and must sit on the lap of an attendance pass-holder during the service.
Please consider how well your child or infant would cope in the outdoor winter conditions appropriate to the nature of the service. In consideration to the restrictive nature of the site, prams and strollers will not be permitted. If you do attend with a pram, or stroller, it must be left unaccompanied at the point of entry. Baby carriers and/or toddler backpacks may be permitted.
Temporary toilets, including some accessibility toilets, and hand-washing facilities will be installed specifically for the service. It is important to remember that there are only limited toilet facilities, with no infant changing or parenting facilities at the site.
What to take
Prior to arriving at the commemoration, you should have everything you need, including any medications, warm and wet weather clothing and appropriate footwear.
Prior to progressing through the entry point, you should have your attendance pass in either electronic or paper form readily accessible to present to staff.
There will be media present at the service. Attendees should be aware that camera operators move around the site, and that cables may be laid along the ground. Please take care. The service will be broadcast live across Australia by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).
In order to preserve the solemnity of the commemoration, and as this service will be broadcast live, roaming by the general public to take photos during the service is not permitted. Accredited media will also be restricted to a media zone area.Back to top
Getting to the Australian Vietnam Forces National Memorial
There is no dedicated parking at the site and there will also be road closures in place on the day surrounding Anzac Parade and Anzac Park between Constitution Avenue and Currong Street/Blamey Crescent. Access to these roads will be by authorised vehicles only with the appropriate accreditation on display. You are therefore encouraged to use public transport where possible, further details below:
Chartered shuttle bus
To help reduce congestion on ACT roads and the demand for limited parking, Transport Canberra, together with the Department of Veterans' Affairs will be providing free chartered bus services to and from the service.
These shuttles will operate from the Canberra City Bus Interchange, Platform 5 (Stop ID 3410), to the service continuously from 9:00am until 10:00am. The map below provides the location of Platform 5 within the broader Canberra City Bus Interchange. Chartered shuttles buses will only pick up from the Canberra City Bus Interchange and will not be stopping at other bus stops en route. Attendees will not need to pre-register to catch the chartered shuttle bus.
Any attendees travelling from North Canberra may catch the light rail to Alinga Street in the city, one block from the Canberra City Bus Interchange. From there attendees can walk to the Canberra City Bus Interchange to catch the shuttle bus to the site.
The chartered shuttle service will include return services on conclusion of the service. Shuttle buses will depart the site from 11:50am until 12:30pm for return to the Canberra City Bus Interchange, Platform 5.
Please note that the shuttles include seated and standing positions on the bus, passengers are not guaranteed a seat for travel. For attendees with accessibility requirements, all available shuttles will be equipped with ‘Easy Access’ low floor accessibility to assist you in transporting to and from the service.
ACT public transport
Attendees may catch any regular bus routes, including the light rail from North Canberra for FREE, to and from the commemorative service.
Attendees will need to present their attendance pass in either electronic or paper form to the Transport Canberra staff upon boarding.
Attendees will need to walk from the bus stops which are located in close vicinity to the Australian Vietnam Forces National Memorial. See map below for the regular bus routes that service nearby the Memorial.
Attendees may arrive at the service by a taxi service. Please note, this method of travel is to be arranged by attendees at their own expense.
Taxi services will not have authorised access to enter the road closures, except for Anzac Park East, where attendees with accessibility requirements can be dropped off opposite Page St, entrance via Constitution Ave.
Private vehicles and accessibility parking
Travel by private vehicle is not recommended. There is very limited on-street parking available in the vicinity of Anzac Parade.
Limited parking is available on Anzac Park East for attendees who arrive at the service by private vehicle and require accessibility assistance. Attendees who wish to park here must display their appropriate government issued Disability Parking Permit for access. Traffic controllers will direct you where to park on arrival.
Limited assistance will be available for attendees at the service who have health or accessibility requirements. Those requesting accessible seating are able to have one carer or companion with them to provide assistance. The site is accessible to wheelchairs, mobility scooters and walkers. Access to seating and the marquees from the road onto the median strip is fixed with a number of accessible ramps at the entry points.
Attendees with an accessibility requirement will need to alert staff on arrival to the service.
Attendees may walk, ride or scoot to the Australian Vietnam Forces National Memorial from nearby suburbs along designated pedestrian paths. We ask that attendees please follow the directions of government officials.
Racks will be located onsite nearby the entry points. Please ensure you bring your own chain and lock, as bicycles and scooters must be left at the gate.Back to top
Friday 18 August 2023
- 8:30am – Ticketek box office opens
- 9:00am – Entry to the site opens
- Chartered shuttle buses operate continuously between the Canberra City Bus Interchange and the site from 9:00am until 10:00am
- 10:00am – Pre-service program commences
- 10:30am – Official service commences
- 11:30am – Official service concludes
- Chartered shuttle buses operate continuously between the site and the Canberra City Bus Interchange from 11:50am until 12:30pm
Wreath laying by invited official representatives will occur during the service. Prior to the conclusion of the service, veteran associations and members of the public who wish to lay a wreath will be invited to do so. Individual members of the public are to supply their own wreaths, and it is their responsibility to carry it with them, care for it and transport it to the Australian Vietnam Forces National Memorial. There are no facilities or arrangements for storage or transport of personal wreaths at the Australian Vietnam Forces National Memorial.
Invited veteran associations will be contacted by DVA in the lead up to the service regarding the supply, storage and laying of association wreaths.Back to top
At the conclusion of the service, attendees will be asked to remain seated while the Official Party departs and the post-service procedures are put in place. Due to the traffic arrangements, and the number of attendees, it may take some time to depart the site.
Attendees who require return services by the chartered shuttle bus should make their way to the bus drop-off point, located at the rear of the seating area on Anzac Parade to board the chartered shuttles ready for departure.
We ask that attendees remain patient and follow the directions of government officials.Back to top
In recognition of the 50th Anniversary of the end of Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War, the Australian War Memorial will open the Commemorative Area and Galleries for veterans and families outside normal opening hours. With reduced building capacity during the Development Project, please note that a free timed ticket is required to enter.
Friday 18 August 2023
- from 5:45pm to 7:45pm
Saturday 19 August 2023
- from 08:00am to 10:00am
To book your free ticket to attend one of these two sessions and guarantee entry, please visit www.awm.gov.au/visit/plan.Back to top
Order of Service
The Order of Service PDF can be downloaded at the following link:Back to top
Accountable Authority Certification