Home

Millions of Australians flock to Dawn Services across the country this Anzac Day

Eleanor Campbell, Madeleine Achenza and Emma KirkNCA NewsWire
Dawn Services are taking place in every state and territory to commence Anzac Day celebrations from just after 4am on Thursday.
Camera IconDawn Services are taking place in every state and territory to commence Anzac Day celebrations from just after 4am on Thursday. Credit: News Corp Australia

Millions of Australians have risen before the sun to pay respects to the servicemen and women who have served the nation this Anzac Day.

Dawn Services are taking place in every state and territory to commence Anzac Day celebrations from just after 4am on Thursday.

Sydney service

Thousands of people braced a chilly dawn start at the cenotaph in Martin Place for NSW’s official Dawn Service.

Get in front of tomorrow's news for FREE

Journalism for the curious Australian across politics, business, culture and opinion.

READ NOW

NSW Premier Chris Minns, NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb and NSW Governor Margaret Beazley joined hundreds of veterans and guests carrying brightly coloured wreaths.

The Sydney male choir’ sang ‘There is no Death’, a song first sung by the choir for the first time at the 1935 Anzac Day Dawn Service.

NSW Premier Chris Minns said he was impressed by the size of the crowd in attendance for the early morning service.

“I think the best thing about the ceremony this morning is to see the number of people that come early in the morning,” Minns said.

“You have to get here at about 3am and it’s great to see so many families and kids as well.

“Times like today the community can come together and remember those who gave their lives for our country and it’s so nice to see it remain a solemn occasion.”

Air Vice Marshal Glen Braz told the crowd: “Anzac Day originated in 1916 to honour our original Anzacs, the Australians and New Zealanders who fought at Gallipoli, but with conflicts since then, the meaning has evolved,” he said.

ANZAC DAY MELBOURNE
Camera IconThousands gathered in Melbourne. NCA NewsWire / David Crosling Credit: News Corp Australia

“Today, Anzac Day honours all sailors, soldiers and aviators who have served in the Australian Defence Force. While World War One veterans are no longer with us, and there are few remaining from World War Two and Korea among us, today standing in this crowd are veterans of Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as veterans of numerous peace keeping missions.

“They too are evidence…Australians who found within themselves the selflessness and courage to serve our country, to serve you and protect our way of life, to these remarkable individuals, we say thank you.”

Corporal Stuart Fong then joined the Australian Army Band Sydney for the New Zealand national anthem, which was sung in Maori and English, followed by the Australian anthem.

ANZAC DAY MELBOURNE
Camera IconDistinguished guests at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne. NCA NewsWire / David Crosling Credit: News Corp Australia

RSL NSW President Mick Bainbridge and Junior Legatee Amelia Hearn, read The Ode to The Fallen. All the lights in Martin Place were dimmed, with one spotlight shining bright on the Cenotaph.

Onlookers bowed their heads as the last post was then played. Others saluted for a minute of silence before Australian flags were raised from half-mast, as the audience below sung “lest we forget.

The crowd then rose in the darkness while the NSW Governor Margaret Beazley and her husband Mr Dennis Wilson departed the centaph precint.

Canberra Service

A huge crowd of Canberrans gathered in the nation’s capital for the Anzac Day Dawn Service in the Sculpture Garden at the Australian War Memorial.

A blast of cold air plunged morning temperatures to 2 degrees.

Chaplain Phil Riley of the Australian Army delivered the Anzac dedication.

“At this hour, on this day, 109 years ago, the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, at Gallipoli, made immortal the name of Anzac and established an imperishable tradition of selfless service, of devotion to duty, and of fighting for all that is best in human relationships,” he said.

ANZAC DAY BRISBANE
Camera IconQueensland Premier Steven Miles arrived during an ANZAC Day Dawn Service in Brisbane. NCA NewsWire/Tertius Pickard Credit: News Corp Australia

Vice Chief of the Defence Force Vice Admiral David Johnston, asked that everyone hold those who mourn today in their hearts, and “remember those whose service left them wounded in body, mind, or spirit”.

“It is a privilege to stand with you on this Anzac Day together with the members of the Australian Defence Force,” he said during the morning address.

COSBOA SUMMIT
Camera IconOpposition leader Peter Dutton spoke before a service in Queensland. NCA NewsWire / John Appleyard Credit: News Corp Australia

Opposition leader Peter Dutton, who attended the Anzac Dawn Service Ceremony in Queensland’s Bray Park, shared a message to honour the history of the Anzac spirit, which he said had characterised Australians “whenever and wherever they have served and sacrificed”.

“On Anzac Day, we acknowledge the deeds of all Australians who have served in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations throughout our history.

“On this sacred day, we honour the memories of the more than 103,000 Australians who made the ultimate sacrifice.

“A people who choose courage over cowardice, camaraderie over tribalism, endeavour over indolence, gratitude over resentment, and national pride over national aversion.

“The Anzac spirit helped us to prevail in war and prosper in peace.”

Melbourne service

A large crowd of Victorians gathered at Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance to pay their respects to the nation’s servicemen and women.

Presenter Justin Smith delivered opening the remarks, speaking of senior World War I officer Harold “Pompey” Elliott.

“He could be heard yelling and swearing at a soldier one day and then found sobbing over news of the man’s death the next. So he knew about war,” Mr Smith said.

ANZAC DAY MELBOURNE
Camera IconThousands were at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne on Thursday morning. NCA NewsWire / David Crosling Credit: News Corp Australia

“But he knew about something else, not just what a war was, but he knew how war should be remembered.“And today … years after Pompey Elliot landed into the horror of Gallipoli, we’re here again, waiting for dawn.”

Victorian Governor Jacinta Allan gave a solemn speech to honour all those affected by war and conflict.

“This is why it is right that this year’s commemorations are shining a light on peacekeepers, peacemakers and peace builders. After all, the best way to honour the sacrifices of those who have served our nation in wartime is to make every effort to promote peace,” she said.

ANZAC DAY MELBOURNE
Camera IconVeterans wore their war medals with pride. NCA NewsWire/David Crosling Credit: News Corp Australia

“This year, for the first time, veterans of peacekeeping operations are leading Melbourne’s Anzac Day commemorative March.

“The Australians who lost their lives in those peacekeeping missions, Australians from our police and defence forces, are listed together with another 103,004 men and women on the Australian War Memorial‘s roll of honour.”

Brisbane service

An estimated 15,000 people packed out Anzac Square in Brisbane to attend Anzac Day Dawn Service at the Shrine of Remembrance.

It was one of 450 ceremonies taking place around Queensland.

ANZAC DAY BRISBANE
Camera IconQueensland Premier Steven Miles layed a wreath during the Dawn Service in Brisbane. NCA NewsWire/Tertius Pickard Credit: News Corp Australia
ANZAC DAY BRISBANE
Camera IconQueensland Governor Jeannette Young arrives during the ANZAC Day Dawn Service held in Brisbane. NCA NewsWire/Tertius Pickard Credit: News Corp Australia
ANZAC DAY BRISBANE
Camera IconQueensland Premier Steven Miles arrived during an ANZAC Day Dawn Service in Brisbane. NCA NewsWire/Tertius Pickard Credit: News Corp Australia
ANZAC DAY BRISBANE
Camera IconMembers of the public during the ANZAC Day Dawn Service held in Brisbane. NCA NewsWire/Tertius Pickard Credit: News Corp Australia
ANZAC DAY BRISBANE
Camera IconA soldier stands during the ANZAC Day Dawn Service held in Brisbane. NCA NewsWire/Tertius Pickard Credit: News Corp Australia

Anthony Albanese attended a Dawn Service in Papua New Guinea after spending two days walking the Kokoda Track.

Mr Albanese joined Papua New Guinean Prime Minister James Marape at the annual Anzac Day dawn service at the Isurava Memorial Site.

He paid tribute to the perseverance and strength shown by soldiers who fought and died for the country during the bloody war campaign.

Albanese Kokoda Track
Camera IconPrime Minister Anthony Albanese shared an emotional Anzac message from Papua New Guinea. PMO Credit: Supplied

“We gather each Anzac Day because how brightly the eternal flame of memory burns depends on how carefully we tend it,” Mr Albanese said.

“We come in gratitude. We come in sorrow. A pilgrimage of memory as we keep the long vigil of a grateful nation.

“We hold to the solemn promise our countries made to the fallen all those years ago: We will remember them.”

Where are Dawn Services taking place in every capital city

4.30AM: Martin Place, Sydney

At 9am, more than 10,000 veterans and serving members of the Defence Force will file past the Anzac Memorial. The public can show their support by lining Elizabeth St, with the march expected to finish at Liverpool St about 12.30pm.

4.30AM: Australian War Memorial, Canberra

Anzac Day services in the nation’s capital take place at the Australian War Memorial from 4.30am, with Australian Defence Force representatives reading letters and diary entries from Australians who witnessed the horrors of war.

This will be followed by an Anzac Day Dawn Service at 5.30am in the Sculpture Garden at the war memorial.

At 7am, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Veterans and Services Association Commemorative Ceremony takes place at the For Our Country sculptural pavilion.

The RSL ACT Branch Veterans’ March will make its way through the Parade Ground at 9am before a final service is held at 4.30pm with the Last Post.

4.30AM: Shrine of Remembrance, Brisbane

The Anzac Day Dawn Service will begin at the Shrine of Remembrance at 4.28am.

People have been advised to arrive at Anzac Square no later than 3.30am.

Brisbane’s Anzac Day march will begin at 10.05am through Queens Park and George St in the CBD. It is expected to finish about 12.30pm

5.30AM (ACST): Darwin Cenotaph, Darwin

Anyone wishing to attend the Darwin Dawn Service is asked to begin assembling at the Darwin Cenotaph at 5.30am.

Veterans will begin their Anzac Walk through Bicentennial Park and The Esplanade to the cenotaph at 5.50am before The Dawn Service begins at 6am.

The Anzac Day march will take place from 9am along The Esplanade, Knuckey St, Cavenagh St and will end at Bennett St in the Civic Centre area.

5.30AM: Kings Domain, Melbourne

Melbourne’s Anzac Day Dawn Service will take place from 5.30am at the Shrine of Remembrance in Kings Domain on St Kilda Rd.

The shrine will be open for viewing to the public from 6.30am.

The Anzac Day march will make its way down Swanston St, near Little Collins St, from 9am and continue onto St Kilda Rd and the shrine, finishing about noon.

6.00AM: South Australia War Memorial, Adelaide

The Adelaide Dawn Service begins at 6am at the SA National War Memorial.

It will be followed by a gunfire breakfast from 7am.

At 9.30am, veterans and serving members of the Defence Force will begin their Anzac Day march from the North Terrace and Gawler Place intersection.

Anzac on Torrens begins at 10am as the first veterans finish their March. A traditional two-up ring will be operating and drinks and food will be available.

6.00AM: Queens Domain, Hobart

The Hobart Dawn Service begins at 6am at the cenotaph in Queens Domain.

At 11am, the Anzac Day march will make its way down Elizabeth St before a main service takes place at the cenotaph in Queens Domain 45 minutes later.

5.30AM (AWST): State War Memorial, Perth

Thousands of people are expected to attend the Anzac Day Dawn Service at the State War Memorial in Kings Park that begins at 5.30am and finishes about 7am.

West Australian Governor Chris Dawson will host a gunfire breakfast in the gardens of Government House from 7am until 9am, then hundreds of current and former Defence Force members will file down St George’s Terrace for the Anzac Day march.

This year, RSLWA will be holding a mateship and family event at Langley Park after the March. The event is free to enter and will be open to all serving Defence Force members, veterans and the public until 4pm

Originally published as Millions of Australians flock to Dawn Services across the country this Anzac Day

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails