Anzac Day in Melbourne – how to pay your respects

Held on 25 April, Anzac Day commemorates the landing at Gallipoli by Australian and New Zealand forces in 1915. It has evolved to become a day to remember and acknowledge the sacrifice of Australians who served in the First World War and all subsequent conflicts. Find out how you can pay your respects in Melbourne on Anzac Day.

Official events

Anzac Day Dawn Service

The Dawn Service takes place at the Shrine of Remembrance. The preamble address starts at 5.45am, with the formal service from 6am. Thousands of people attend every year, so we recommend assembling in the Shrine Forecourt between 4am and 5am. You don’t need to register.

An old building lit up just before dawn

The Shrine of Remembrance lit up for the ANZAC Day Dawn Service

Anzac Day March

Three veterans from the Second World War will lead this year’s Anzac Day March: Keith Hearne, who joined the Army in 1943 and saw action in Borneo; Navy veteran Robert Jeavons, and Sam Krycer who served in the RAAF. They will be followed by veterans of recent conflicts.

This year’s march starts at the earlier time of 8.30am, and finishes around 11.30am. Show your support along the route, down St Kilda Road to the Shrine. A commemorative service will be held on the Shrine Forecourt at the end of the march.

Other ways to pay your respects

Shrine of Remembrance

For the first time, the Shrine’s Visitor Centre will open immediately after the Dawn Service so that attendees can visit the Galleries of Remembrance. Set in a cathedral-like chamber underneath the Shrine, these galleries feature permanent and special exhibitions such as Resistance: Australians and the European Underground 1939-45, and new exhibition The Korean War 1950-53.

Also on display until the end of April is Everyman, a series of contemporary drawings by Craig Barrett. He was inspired by the wartime poetry of Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen, Britons who served on the Western Front during the First World War.

A flame burning in a metal container. Two people are standing with their backs to the camera looking at it.

The Eternal Flame

Another essential part of your Shrine visit is the Books of Remembrance. They contain the names of the 89,100 Victorians who enlisted during the First World War. The names are in alphabetical order so you can find someone you want to honour and lay a poppy in the book to remember their service and sacrifice.

A wooden paddle boat on display in a gallery

The Devanha lifeboat in the First World War gallery at the Galleries of Remembrance. It carried soldiers of the 12th Battalion and 3rd Field Ambulance into Anzac Cove, Gallipoli, on 25 April 1915. Credit: Susan Gordon-Brown.

Shrine of Remembrance Reserve

The Shrine itself is a poignant space for sharing and preserving stories about war, peace and service, but the surrounding grounds offer many opportunities to learn and reflect as well. Points of interest in the Shrine of Remembrance Reserve include the Eternal Flame, 100 memorial trees, the Women’s Garden and Memorial Cairn, and statues including a Gallipoli Memorial.

Close by, in the Kings Domain park, is a statue of Sir Edward ‘Weary’ Dunlop, a heroic leader and doctor who served during the Second World War.