On Anzac Day, Australians gather, both in their thousands in capital cities and in smaller gatherings in the towns and communities across our country, to honour the service and sacrifice of the ANZACs and those who have followed in our Defence Force.
Unfortunately restrictions on public gatherings last year impacted our ability to come together, however Australians demonstrated how important it was to not let that stop us from reflecting on the many Australians who have fought and died in all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations over a century of service.
While it may look different again this year, Anzac Day is not cancelled and there are a range of ways we can all pay our respects and mark the day. Our local RSL sub-Branches are working closely with local Councils and NSW Police for CovidSafe Anzac Day ceremonies to take place. I encourage you to make contact with your local RSL sub-Branch for what they are planning. You can also visit Sutherland Council for information in the Sutherland Shire. In St George you can contact Bayside Council or Georges River Council.
Information as at 19 April is as follows:
Cronulla RSL Sub-Branch Dawn Service: 5.30am start Monro Park (COVID-Safe attendence numbers reached). Service will be live-streamed at the Club. Contact 9523 6833 for details. This is a ticketed event.
Sutherland Dawn Service: 5.15am start at Sutherland War Memorial. Registration must be completed for attendance, Register here or Contact 9521 4700 for details.
Ramsgate RSL Sub-Branch Dawn Service: 7.00am start at the Sans Souci Literary Institute for the march to Ramsgate RSL Club for Memorial and Wreath Laying Service at 7:30am. Contact 9504 8000 for details. This is a ticketed event.
Alternatively I encourage you and your family to think about how you can reflect and pay tribute on ANZAC Day, whether it be baking Anzac biscuits, standing on your driveway at dawn, or even holding your own ceremony at home.
At a time when we are all doing our bit to minimise the spread of coronavirus, some may be feeling isolated so I encourage everyone to think about reaching out to someone they know who has served, whether by phone, email, or even a letter.
On Anzac Day this year, the Australian War Memorial will televise a national dawn service on the ABC. I encourage you to watch this service and I know that even though the day looks different to normal, we stand together as Australians in order to remember over a century of service and sacrifice.
Lest We Forget.