The Hon Darren Chester MP
Minister for Veterans' Affairs
Minister for Defence Personnel
This year on Anzac Day, we are all being encouraged to honour the service and sacrifice of our veterans and serving Defence personnel from home.
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel Darren Chester said 2020 marks 105 years since the Gallipoli landings, a place now synonymous with commemoration and the foundation of the Anzac legacy.
“Anzac Day is a special day in our country when we reflect on the service and sacrifice of the Australians who have served in our armed forces,” Mr Chester said
“While we would usually gather in towns and cities around the country and at commemorations around the world, Australians will this year acknowledge the bravery, mateship and sacrifice of the men and women who have defended our freedoms and values from their own homes.
“This Anzac Day is very different than what any of us have experienced, but it is still a time to reflect on the 102,000 Australians who have been killed in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations, and the terrible cost paid by families, communities and our nation.
“I hope Australians wake up tomorrow morning at 5am (AEST) to watch the national commemorative service at the Australian War Memorial, and participate in the RSL’s Light Up the Dawn campaign by standing on your driveway, balcony or at your letterbox at 6am.
“Throughout the day, I also encourage families to make Anzac biscuits or learn more about Australia’s military history, including their own family military history by visiting the Department of Veterans’ Affairs Anzac Portal.
“There will also be a special four-minute commemorative tribute to acknowledge the service and sacrifice of all those who have worn our military uniform, which will be broadcast across ABC television and radio networks, and other participating national and local television and radio stations, at 11:30am (AEST).
“This time, 11:30am AEST, is significant because it coincides with the first landings on the beaches of Gallipoli at 4:30am in Turkey, and includes several moving traditional Anzac Day elements – The Ode, The Last Post, One minute’s silence and Rouse.”
Anzac Day can sometimes be a difficult time for veterans and I know many of them, particularly older veterans, look forward to marching and catching up with their mates on this special day.
“I appreciate it is very sad they cannot do that in person this Anzac Day and, in some cases given their potential isolation, I would encourage the community and family members to stay in touch with any veterans they know or who are neighbours, and check in on them,” Mr Chester said.
“For those veterans and families who may be having a tough time, I want you to know that help is available through Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling. They can be reached 24/7 on 1800 011 046.”
Rachel Tharratt: 02 6277 7820
DVA Media: 02 6289 6466
Office of the Hon Darren Chester, Canberra ACT
Open Arms — Veterans and Families Counselling provides support for current and ex-serving ADF personnel and their families. Free and confidential help is available 24/7. Phone 1800 011 046 (international: +61 1800 011 046 or +61 8 8241 4546) or visit www.OpenArms.gov.au