April 12 - 25, 2020: Issue 446


ANZAC Day 2020: Light Up the Dawn & post yourself reciting the ode online

In the lead-up to ANZAC Day, RSLs across the nation are asking you to show your ANZAC spirit. Whether you’re in an outback town or on our beautiful coastline, this is a place for every Australian to share their ANZAC spirit.

At 6am on ANZAC Day, light up the dawn by standing at the end of your driveway, on your balcony or in your living room to remember all those who have served and sacrificed.

Pledge your place and stream a short commemorative service on ANZAC Day at rslanzacspirit.com.au

When times are tough, Australians have always relied on the distinctive qualities of mateship, humour, ingenuity, courage and endurance to get us through. Known as the ANZAC Spirit, these five qualities have defined Australians ever since the first troops landed on the beaches of Gallipoli in World War I. In the current climate, we’re reminding Australians that we all bear these qualities within us, ready to come to the fore when we need them.

How You Can Commemorate ANZAC Day 2020

There’s no doubt that ANZAC Day 2020 will be very different to ANZAC Days of previous years. While we will not be gathering at services or marches, there are still ways to acknowledge ANZAC Day and ensure Australian servicemen and women are appropriately remembered. 

1. Record yourself reciting the ode or sharing a message of support for veterans. Respond “Going” to our ANZAC Day 2020 Facebook event. Then use the hashtag #ANZACSpirit and share how you’ll be commemorating privately, as well as who you’ll be remembering this ANZAC Day. 

2. Light up the dawn. At 6am on ANZAC Day, go to the end of your driveway or stand on your balcony and listen to a brief commemorative service. Together – even while apart – we’ll remember those who served and sacrificed. You can sign the pledge to light up the dawn at rslanzacspirit.com.au 

3. Tune into live services and virtual commemorative services. The ABC will be broadcasting a 5.30am service from the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. There will also be a 10am service from the Anzac Memorial in Sydney that will be broadcast on ABC and streamed live. 

4. Reach out to a mate who might be alone. Many people are alone during this time of isolation. It’s an opportunity to invoke the ANZAC value of mateship and check to see how a mate is doing. 

5. Donate to the ANZAC Appeal online at anzacappeal.com.au. Donations support Australian veterans and their families in need. Donations in New South Wales support services provided by RSL DefenceCare and Veteran Sport Australia.

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

April 8, 2020

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 said, “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 www.rslanzacspirit.com.au

Online donations to support veterans and their families can be made at www.anzacappeal.com.au

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 – https://youtu.be/kSUbkWw746I
Georgie Gardiner – https://youtu.be/I52hmbP3xLY
Joe Hildebrand – https://youtu.be/F0gUIjJ7Zrw
Dan Ewing – https://youtu.be/PhSKGtJtWds
Shane Heal – https://youtu.be/1dVBH29p-Pg
Matt de Groot – https://youtu.be/Y5c7fTevXKU