Protecting the word ‘Anzac’

Last updated: 
17 December 2019

Protecting the word 'Anzac'

There are clear regulations around the use of the word 'Anzac' under the Protection of Word 'Anzac' Act 1920 (the Act) and penalties apply for the incorrect use of the term. Permission from the Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel is generally required to use the word 'Anzac' in a commercial context.

The Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) issues the Use of the Word 'Anzac' Guidelines (the Guidelines) to help Australians comply with the legal restrictions on the use of the word 'Anzac'. The Guidelines were created under the Commonwealth's Regulator Performance Framework and can be accessed using either of the following links:

This page contains general information on the rules around the word 'Anzac'. Refer to the Guidelines (available for download, via the links above) if you would like a more detailed explanation of these rules and the process for applying to use the word 'Anzac'.

When the word 'Anzac' cannot be used?

The Protection of Word 'Anzac' Regulations 1921 (Cth) state that:

'no person may use the word 'Anzac', or any word resembling it, in connection with any trade, business, calling or profession or in connection with any entertainment or any lottery or art union or as the name or part of a name of any private residence, boat, vehicle of charitable or other institution, or other institution, or any building without the authority of the Minister for Veterans' Affairs.'

Importing any 'Anzac' goods without the permission of the Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel is prohibited.

Commonly approved uses of the word 'Anzac'

Generally, the use of the word 'Anzac' is approved in the name of businesses situated on a road, street, avenue or highway that includes the word 'Anzac', provided that the full name of that address is included, such as 'Anzac Avenue Fruit Mart'. In such cases it is considered that the public would normally associate the name with its location rather than its traditional sense/meaning.

Applications for Anzac biscuits are normally approved provided the product generally conforms to the traditional recipe and shape, and are referred to as 'Anzac Biscuits' or 'Anzac Slice'. Referring to these products as 'Anzac Cookies' is generally not approved, due to the non-Australian overtones.

Penalties for the misuse of the word 'Anzac'

For serious breaches of the Act, a penalty of up to 12-months' imprisonment may apply. Under the Crimes Act 1914, a penalty of up to $10,200 for a natural person and $51,000 for a body corporate may be imposed by the Court, instead of imprisonment.

When the word 'Anzac' can be used without permission from the Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel

  • The words 'Anzac Day' may be used in connection with certain events or entertainment held on 25 April itself, or on consecutive days including 25 April.
  • The word 'Anzac' may be used in the name of a street, road or park containing or near a memorial to the First or Second World War.

Background of the word 'Anzac'

Historically, ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) was an acronym devised by Major General William Birdwood's staff in Cairo in early 1915. It was used for registering correspondence for the new corps. After the landing at Gallipoli, General Birdwood requested that the position held by the Australians and New Zealanders on the peninsula be called 'Anzac' to distinguish it from the British position at Helles. Not surprisingly, the word was soon applied to the men of the corps who became 'Anzacs'.

Is it 'Anzac' or 'ANZAC'?

It is generally advised that 'ANZAC' should be used when referring to the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. For other, more modern usages of the word (Anzac Day, Anzac Spirit, Anzac Centenary etc.), DVA recommends 'Anzac'. Most organisations have a preference for one or the other. 

Seeking approval to use the word 'Anzac'

You or your organisation must seek the Minister's approval to either:

  • use the word 'Anzac' or a word that resembles it under the Protection of Word 'Anzac' Regulations
  • import goods bearing the word 'Anzac' under the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations

Every application to use the word 'Anzac' received by the Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel is considered on its merits. Matters the Minister may take in regard when making a decision include, but are not limited to:

  • the intent of the legislation to protect the word from overuse and misuse
  • whether there is any commemorative link between the proposed use and the Anzacs and the Gallipoli campaign
  • the views of the ex-service community
  • whether an ex-service organisation will benefit by approving the use
  • commercial aspects
  • commemorative and educational benefits

How to apply

Complete the D9363 - Application for approval to use the word ‘Anzac' form and select email. If you are having issues emailing the form via the email button, download the form and email the completed form to usewordanzac [at]


Email: usewordanzac [at]

Phone: see contact us.