Most Australians won’t get a public holiday for Anzac Day this year - here’s why.
Most Australians won’t get a public holiday for Anzac Day this year - here’s why.

Most Aussies won’t get Anzac Day holiday

Anzac Day last year was a little different to normal. At the time, most of Australia was stuck in lockdown and because it fell on a weekend many people weren't given an extra day off.

Now, after 12 months of border closures and holiday plans cancelled, just what will the 2021 commemoration of conflicts past look like?

Public holidays for some states only

This year, the public holiday gods have overlooked us again. With Anzac Day falling on a Sunday, most of the country won't get a long weekend. However the ACT, Western Australia and Queensland will all have Monday, April 26, as a public holiday. Some other regional areas, like the Cocos Keeling Islands and Christmas Island will also get the Monday off.

"This is a nice extra for workers in those places, but also a much-needed time to remember those brave men and women and their sacrifice," said Angus Kidman, travel expert at Finder.

For other states, they will have to wait for the Queen's birthday in June for their next long weekend. For all states and territories other than Queensland and WA, taking off the days after the Queen's Birthday - Tuesday, June 15 to Friday, June 18 - turns into nine days off for just four days of annual leave.

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Events are being planned all around the country for this year’s Anzac Day. Picture: News Regional Media
Events are being planned all around the country for this year’s Anzac Day. Picture: News Regional Media

 

Anzac Day services in your state

Queensland

Before the recent COVID-19 outbreak in Queensland, residents were encouraged to attend Anzac Day events.

"In times of strife, Queenslanders do what it takes to protect each other. We've done it in wartime, and we're doing it now through the global pandemic," Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk wrote in a post on Twitter on March 24.

"Because we've worked together to keep safe, this year we can safely gather to mark the sacrifices of those who have served."

At present, Anzac services in the Sunshine State are all still due to go ahead, however that could change depending on restrictions around the outbreak.

Marches and Dawn Services will be held, including the usual parade through Brisbane's CBD.

Obviously though that could change should virus numbers climb again.

NSW

The Sydney CBD march has been granted an exemption to restrictions and will allow 10,000 people to march.

Across Greater Sydney and beyond, 5000 people will be able to attend a march or service as long as organisers have developed a COVID-19 safety plan.

RSL NSW State Secretary Jeff O'Brien said the organisation has been working with the NSW Government to ensure Dawn Services, marches and all other commemorative events can take place.

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WWII veteran Jack Bell happy to be allowed to march again for Anzac Day. Picture: Alex Coppel
WWII veteran Jack Bell happy to be allowed to march again for Anzac Day. Picture: Alex Coppel

 

Victoria

In Melbourne, its iconic Anzac Day march will be allowed to go ahead but restricted to 5500 people. There will also be a Dawn Service held at Shrine of Remembrance but only 1400 people can attend the ticketed event, although it will also be livestreamed on social media channels.

The Government has encouraged people to stay local and head along to services at their nearest RSL.

Dawn Services and Commemorative Services will also be able to go ahead with smaller numbers, while others can access them via livestream on Facebook.

"We've worked closely with RSL Victoria to ensure the march and Dawn Service could go ahead this year - but there are many ways to honour the hard work and sacrifice of our returned service men and women closer to home," Victorian Veterans Minister Shaun Leane said.

"With hundreds of local services across Melbourne and Regional Victoria, I encourage people to stay local this Anzac Day."

 

ACT

 

The War Memorial will hold a ticketed event with numbers capped at 4200 for the Dawn Service and 3000 for the national ceremony, which traditionally includes the veteran's march. Tickets are available now with priority given to veterans.

A spokesperson for the War Memorial said the fact they can host an event like this is an "incredible achievement" in the global conditions.

"The minute after last year's event, our ceremonies and events team started preparations for 2021," they said.

"We discussed with ACT Health from an early stage about how it could look and that has developed over time. Last year was the first time the Memorial had not entertained welcoming tens of thousands of attendees. This year we will be celebrating the 106th anniversary of the landings of Gallipoli and all our staff have put in a lot of work to allow thousands to attend in a safe manner."

Once all tickets have been allocated, people will be encouraged to commemorate at home.

 

Anzac Day Dawn Services will be mainly ticketed events this year. Picture: News Regional Media
Anzac Day Dawn Services will be mainly ticketed events this year. Picture: News Regional Media

 

Western Australia

Full Anzac Day services return this year to WA: The Kings Park Dawn Service; the Gunfire Breakfast at Government House which will cater for 2000 people; the march through the CBD; and the Commemorative Service at Perth Concert Hall. The Dawn Service will be limited to 10,000 attendees.

Last year's hugely successful driveway service, Light Up The Dawn, will stay - so people unable to attend services will be encouraged to stand in their driveways at dawn for a silent and deeply personal commemoration.

South Australia

Attendance at the Adelaide Dawn Service and Service of Remembrance will be controlled by numbered bookings and contact tracing records. Booking details will be released in early April.

The RSL Youth Vigil and march will also go ahead.

Northern Territory

Anzac Day commemorations are on track to be held as normal. No detailed information has been released yet.

Darwin RSL President Stephen Gloster told the NT News he was happy to see the ceremony return to normal after the coronavirus pandemic reduced last year's Anzac Day ceremony at the Darwin Cenotaph to a select few ex-service people and dignitaries.

Tasmania

This year, the Hobart Anzac Day parade and commemorative service will go ahead but numbers will be limited.

Those wishing to participate are required to register their attendance in order to receive an official entry ticket.

 

 

Originally published as Most Aussies won't get Anzac Day holiday



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