ANZAC Day 2020 - ANZAC Spirit

Media Release – ANZAC Day numbers increased

The Minister for Health and Medical Research has granted further exemptions under the Public Health Order for 10,000 people to participate in the Sydney CBD March and 5000 people to attend dawn services, marches, and all other ANZAC Day commemorations across NSW.

The current exemptions allow for veteran associations to march together through the Sydney CBD and for spectators to attend the event. The Department of Premier and Cabinet will issue free tickets for spectators to attend the Dawn Service in Martin Place.

RSL NSW respects the decision made by the NSW Government to decline its request for a full exemption after calls from members of the public and media for the Sydney CBD March to proceed ‘as usual’ with unlimited participants and spectators and that, as the event organiser, the organisation must comply with all aspects of the Public Health Order.

RSL NSW President Ray James said that veteran and descendent associations are in the process of registering their attendance at the Sydney CBD March where contact tracing check-in and social distancing measures will be implemented.

“Throughout a challenging and evolving event-planning process that started in September last year, RSL NSW has worked closely with the NSW Government to offer a range of COVID-safe options to commemorate ANZAC Day across the State.

“There’s more than one way to commemorate including attending a local service, rallying neighbours to ‘light up the dawn’ at 6am, or watching the ABC broadcast of the major services across Australia”.

Following nation-wide success last year, the RSL encourages people to rally their neighbours to commemorate safely and ‘Light up the Dawn’ from their driveways, balconies, or loungerooms to pay their respects to veterans.

“ANZAC Day commemorations are solemn, dignified events held in open environments around war memorials, not in football stadiums,” Mr James said.

“I want to reassure people that if they don’t feel safe to attend an unseated public event, that they can support veterans by lighting up the dawn from home and donating to the ANZAC Appeal.”

Free spectator tickets for the Dawn Service in Martin Place will be available to the general public on the RSL NSW website from 12 April. A list of ANZAC Day commemorations in NSW communities is available on the RSL NSW website.

Conditions to the Exemptions to the Public Health Order
The conditions to the exemptions for the Sydney CBD March and all other commemorations are that a person is appointed as a nominated organiser, who must develop and comply with a COVID-19 Safety Plan, and that each person attending a commemorative event, including spectators, must provide their name and contact details to the organiser. The social distancing guidelines stipulate that there should only be one participant per 2 square metres of space at all events.


Media contact: Trina Constable 0497 555 082 or

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