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General ANZAC Day information
Dress code and wearing of medals
ANZAC Day is our most significant day of commemoration and dress should reflect the dignity of the occasion. Business attire is appropriate.
Veterans and serving personnel wear their decorations on the left chest. Many people choose to remember deceased relatives by wearing their medals. You are welcome and encouraged to wear your relative’s medals to ANZAC Day, however, please wear these on the right-hand side of your chest.
Fraudulent wearing of medals, where a person is implying that the medals are their own, is an offence under The Defence Act 1903. Known or suspected cases of fraudulent medal wearing should be reported to the AFP.
For more information please visit https://www.defence.gov.au/medals/
Order of Service for ANZAC Day
ANNEX A to Chapter 10 of RSL NSW Protocol Regulations outlines a suggested Order of Service, you can find a copy here.
The New Zealand National Anthem, God Defend New Zealand, should be performed before the Australian National Anthem, Advance Australia Fair, at any ANZAC Day Service. When sung, it should first be sung in Māori, followed by English.
You can download lyrics and music for the New Zealand National Anthem here.
More information on your ANZAC Day Service please visit the Anzac Portal here.
Promotion of ANZAC Day Reunions
If you are coordinating a reunion for a ship/unit/squadron, please complete this form to promote the event on the RSL NSW website.
Flag protocol on ANZAC Day
The Australian National Flag takes precedence on ANZAC Day and is to be flown at half mast from sunrise until 1200 hours.
During individual ANZAC Day ceremonies, the Australian National Flag is to be half mast and then raised to the peak during the playing of ‘Reveille’ at the conclusion of the service. Noting Reveille is only played at a Dawn Service, all other times Rouse is to be played noting the RAN always sound Reveille at a commemoration service.
The Australian Aboriginal Flag and Torres Strait Islander Flag were proclaimed flags of Australia under section 5 of the Flags Act 1953 on 14 July 1995. Although the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flag are equal in stature, it is policy to fly them in alphabetical order; hence, the Aboriginal Flag is flown first in order of precedence.
While respecting all who have served, and continue to serve, the RSL supports the flying of the Australian Aboriginal Flag and Torres Strait Islander Flag as proclaimed in the Flags Act 1953 at commemorative occasions in recognition of the invaluable and unique contribution of Indigenous veterans.
Decisions about the inclusion of these flags at commemorative occasions should be done in consultation with local stakeholders.
For more information on flag protocol can be found here.
Welcome to Country (or Acknowledgment of Country)
It is understood that commemorative activities are carried out on lands across Australia that Traditional Owners and First Nation Peoples hold a deep connection with.
The RSL is committed to an approach that recognises the invaluable contribution made by indigenous sailors, soldiers and aviators of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) who served, and still serve, alongside the many other cultures that together form our ADF.
In recognition of Indigenous Australians as the First Peoples of Australia, the RSL will practice and strongly encourage the Acknowledgement of Country at the commencement of all commemorations on ANZAC Day.
An Acknowledgement of Country may consist of the following:
“I would like to begin by acknowledging the Traditional Custodians of the (insert) land on which we are meeting today. I would also like to pay my respects to their Elders, both past, present, and emerging. I would like to also pay respects to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women who have contributed to the defence in times of peace and war.”
You can find our more information on Welcome to Country and Acknowledgment of Country here.
Travel on public transport is free for members and ex-members of the Australian Defence Force, this also includes their carers; and the spouses, children and grandchildren of deceased service personnel; and the spouses, children and grandchildren of living war veterans.
This entitlement allows free travel on Anzac Day on the following public transport services:
- Sydney metropolitan and outer metropolitan buses
- Sydney Ferries
- Newcastle Transport buses, ferries and light rail
- Sydney Trains
- Sydney Metro
- NSW TrainLink intercity trains
- Sydney Light Rail
If a participant parks in a Transport Park&Ride car park, they should use the intercom button at the exit gate and advise the operator that they are a participant in an ANZAC Day service. The locations of Park&Ride car parks are available at https://transportnsw.info/travel-info/ways-to-get-around/drive/transport-parkride-car-parks.
To access the above services, eligible participants must present/wear the following ID:
- wear the Australian Defence Uniform, or
- display service medals; or
- carry a letter of accreditation on the letterhead of a branch of the RSL or other recognised ex-services organisation; or
- present a war widow’s gold card
Participants are exempt from the requirement to hold a valid ticket on these modes of transport under the Passenger Transport (General) Regulation 2017, in accordance with the Tickets (Free Travel) Exemption Order 2018.
Discounted travel will be available on:
- NSW TrainLink regional trains – return economy travel will be provided at the price of a single ticket. Tickets must be booked in advance through a NSW TrainLink sales outlet. One of the above mentioned forms of ID must be presented.
Trading on ANZAC Day
Under the Retail Trading Act 2008, trading is prohibited before 13:00/1.00pm on ANZAC Day. Learn more here.
Annual materials are provided free by the Australian Government to support Anzac Day commemorations around the country. Click here to view the educational resources for 2023.
Useful resources and links