Due to the global outbreak of COVID-19, the Australian Government has cancelled overseas Anzac Day ceremonies in Villers-Bretonneux, including the Australian service at the ‘Digger’ Memorial and Bullecourt.
Message from the Department of Veterans' Affairs
The increasing spread of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) has serious implications for all travellers. The health and safety of all Australians is paramount to this decision.
The Australian Government has been working in close consultation with the host nations, and considered their concerns and necessary restrictions with regard to mass gatherings. Australians who have registered to attend these events are being informed.
Anzac Day is a significant day for all Australians and is often a time for private reflection. The Department of Veterans’ Affairs encourages all Australians to pause and reflect on the service and sacrifice of the more than 102,000 Australians who have died in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations.
Australians are encouraged to continue to mark this important national commemorative date by checking their local guides and watching a televised national service from the Australian War Memorial.
This decision has been taken for the 2020 commemorations only, and the Government through the Department of Veterans’ Affairs will plan for next year’s commemorations as is done each year.
What can you do to commemorate ANZAC this year?
The ceremonies are cancelled, but the ANZAC spirit is very much alive. A Facebook group called ‘Aussies & Kiwis for ANZACS’, which was created to gather members to hold their own dawn service in their driveway and lighting up a candle, on 25 April at 5.55am, has already over 150 000 members. 👉 Join the group by clicking here .
RSL Victoria says it also supports the idea and is calling for people to mark the occasion using the #standto hashtag.
Let’s all show our solidarity!
ANZAC on TV
The Dawn Service at the Australian War Memorial will be streamed live on ABC and online :
Last but not least, you can rewatch the 2019 Anzac ceremony in Villers Bretonneux :