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Media Releases 8 Apr 2020

RSL Encourages Australians to Take Part in Community Ode in the Lead-Up to ANZAC Day

ANZAC Day 2020 Community Ode

The RSL has today encouraged Australians to take part in a Community Ode, inviting people to pay their respects through recording a video of themselves reciting The Ode and posting to their social media in the lead-up to ANZAC Day.

This is one of several ways people can show their ANZAC Spirit, calling on the ANZAC quality of ingenuity and finding a new way to show respect for our veterans at this time. Some well-known Australians have already recorded their own video messages. This includes television personality and newsreader Georgie Gardner, Australian actor Dan Ewing, Studio 10 co-host and columnist Joe Hildebrand, Commando Damien Thomlinson and 4-Time Olympian Shane Heal and media personality Matt de Groot. The initial supporter video can be seen HERE.

With commemorations changing in the face of strict COVID-19 precautions, these video messages of support will grow as ANZAC Day approaches, demonstrating the appreciation of the community towards members of the Australian Defence Force and all veterans and their families.

As part of the #lightupthedawn initiative, the Community Ode and other activities enable all Australians to play an active role in ANZAC Day commemorations during this unprecedented time, when traditional events including dawn services around the state and around the country are not able to take place.

Messages can also be personal tributes, photos and other messages of support. By using the hashtags #ANZACspirit and #lightupthedawn, these messages will form of a collective community movement of commemoration, thanks and appreciation. Participants are invited to post their messages of support on the ANZAC Day 2020 – Light up the dawn event page.


Ray James, Acting President, RSL NSW:

“The Ode is a crucial element of all ANZAC Day services, its words embedded in the hearts and minds of Australians as a way we can solemnly communicate our enduring appreciation for those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country. The Ode is also an enduring promise that we will continue to honour them, and never forget.”

“This year, as we cannot come together in person, these video messages alongside any personal messages of support will be one way we all come together in our time of commemoration, albeit virtually.”

“As with all other Australians right now, we have to change the way we do things, evolve and make the best of our situation. Nothing can ever take away the importance of ANZAC Day and what it means to all of us, most especially those currently serving, and all veterans and their families.”

“Those serving today, and all veterans and their families have given so much to our country, and while we are doing things a little differently this year, what will never change is the eternal respect, thanks and admiration the Australian people have for those who protect us.”

“It is also very important to note that while we are all doing things a bit differently at the moment, RSL NSW remains open and available to support and assist veterans and their families.”


For more information on the #ANZACspirit campaign visit

Online donations to support veterans and their families can be made at


Community Ode – Details

Participants can use the hashtags #ANZACspirit and #lightupthedawn when sharing videos of themselves reciting the Ode, or any message of support. Participants are encouraged to post their messages of support to the ANZAC Day 2020 – Light up the dawn event page


The Ode

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning

We will remember them.”

Lest We Forget


Sample Videos From Supporting Australian Celebrities Involved in the Initiative

Commando Damien Thomlinson –

Georgie Gardiner –

Joe Hildebrand –

Dan Ewing –

Shane Heal –

Matt de Groot –




Media contact: Michael Green – – 0419 432 535

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