ANZAC Day is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand that commemorates Australians and New Zealanders who have served in wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations. It is a day for remembering particularly those who, in the course of that service, have made the ultimate sacrifice. ANZAC Day is marked annually on 25 April, the date of the landing of the Allied forces at Gallipoli in World War One in 1915. Because of the solemnity of the day, restrictions are placed on sporting events to prevent distractions from the significance of the day.
In Victoria, the arrangements for ANZAC Day are governed by the ANZAC Day Act 1958. This Act creates legal obligations for the playing of sports on ANZAC Day.
No sporting event for which an admission fee is charged to spectators can be held in Victoria on ANZAC Day without the permission of the Minister for Sport, who is also Minister for Tourism and Major Events and Minister for Veterans. No such sporting event can commence on ANZAC Day before 1.00 pm. Call (03) 9096 9836 for information about the application process or email your applications using the link below:
A share of the net profits (or a suitable donation) from any sporting event in the Melbourne metropolitan area must be donated to the ANZAC Day Proceeds Fund, through Sport and Recreation Victoria (www.sport.vic.gov.au). Outside of the Melbourne metropolitan area (more than 50 km from the CBD), the donation must be to the local branch of the Returned and Services League of Australia (www.rslvic.com.au). These donations go towards supporting veterans’ welfare in Victoria.
Penalties apply to organisations and to the office bearers of organisations that do not comply with these obligations.
In most cases, state sporting associations or the governing body for the sport will apply in bulk for all their events scheduled to occur on ANZAC Day and will coordinate donations to the ANZAC Day Proceeds Fund. Sporting groups are advised to contact their SSA for further information.
Sports organisations conducting events on ANZAC Day are encouraged to incorporate a commemorative element in events taking place on ANZAC Day, in keeping with the spirit of the day. As a minimum, sporting groups would be expected to observe a minute’s silence prior to the event.
Other suggestions include:
- inviting local veterans, and the families of deceased veterans, to attend the event as guests of honour
- inviting a local veteran to toss the coin at the start of a match
- playing of the Last Post after the minute’s silence, prior to the start of a competition
- profiling in game books and other printed materials veterans from the local area, or veterans past and present who have participated in the sport
- consulting with the local RSL sub-branch or other Ex Service Organisation regarding appropriate commemorative activities