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6 Apr 2020

Reach Out to a Mate This ANZAC Day

ANZAC Day 2020 - Reach out to a Mate

Members of the League, and in fact all ex-servicepeople, pride themselves on their sense of camaraderie and mateship. The principle of “mates looking after mates” is at the heart of who we are and what we do.

The COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic is challenging this. The physical separation and isolation we must endure is testing everyone mentally and physically. It seems this will be the situation for months to come.

However, we can take inspiration from the ANZACs and their incredible endurance. This quality can guide us through this difficult time.

So how can we call on this characteristic of endurance and the spirit of mateship to look after one another during this period of isolation, particularly on ANZAC Day?


Contact A Veteran

The RSL is recommending reaching out to a mate as one way of acknowledging ANZAC Day this year. While we can’t gather at services, marches and reunions like we normally would, we should still ensure we are connecting with those people with whom we would typically socialise around ANZAC Day.

We’re also encouraging Defence families and members of the public to reach out to a veteran. For many veterans this might the first ANZAC Day they spend alone. A friendly phone call or text message to share your gratitude or support might be greatly appreciated.


Ways to Stay Connected Around ANZAC Day

Here are a few other ways you can reach out to a mate throughout this period of isolation, and especially on ANZAC Day.

Pick up the phone. Check in on people you know, particularly members of the community, including veterans. Ask if they need help picking up groceries or mowing the lawn? Spend a few minutes having a chat and asking how they are doing. Or simply send a text message to tell them that you’re thinking about them.

Use technology. Skype, Zoom, and FaceTime are just some of the ways you can call across long distances and see a friendly face on the other side. It’s possible to connect multiple callers, so grandparents, parents and grandchildren can all join the call. You could even attempt a virtual ANZAC Day reunion through one of these platforms.

As an extra tip, did you know that you can upload images from your computer to use as custom backgrounds on Zoom? There are plenty of Defence-related backgrounds available online if you look for them.

Socialising from a distance. We can be creative in terms of how we socialise from the safety of our own homes, as long as it’s from a safe distance of two metres or more and we follow government guidance on social distancing. Can you have a chat over the garden fence? Or maybe after your driveway dawn service, you could speak from one driveway to the next?

Make plans for when this is over. It’s important to have something to look forward to. This might just be resuming sub-Branch meetings or picking up where you left off with regular coffee catch ups. It could be arranging a short getaway with friends and loved ones. Planning something for later in the year can help keep our eyes on the future.

Find out more about alternative ways to commemorate this ANZAC Day, or go to and pledge to take part in a dawn service from your driveway, balcony or living room.

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