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Anzac Day Commemoration


A message from the Bendigo District RSL Sub-Branch Inc.

On Saturday 25 April 2020, Anzac Day will still be just as special to Australia this year as it has been in the past, but it will be unlike any other.  For the first time in a century the Bendigo and surrounding streets will be silent with no official commemorative services being held and no Two-Up being played.  Instead, all Australians have been asked to unite and acknowledge the sacrifice of our current and past service men and women of Australia, New Zealand and all our coalition partners in their own special way.

25 April is and always will be, Anzac Day.  To engage with Bendigo Veterans, RSL members as well as the Bendigo and District community, this year the Bendigo District RSL Sub-Branch President, Mr Peter Swandale, will record his speech and have it available for viewing via Bendigo District RSL social media platforms and website at 7 am on Saturday morning.

The only official commemorative Dawn Service, at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne, will be live streamed via the Internet starting at 06:00 am as it will also be closed to the public on this occasion. The link to this commemorative service will be available directly via the Shrine of Remembrance website as well as being sent via all Bendigo District RSL Sub-Branch social media platforms on Anzac Day.

The Bendigo District RSL Sub-Branch is also supporting the following community initiatives:


This initiative refers to turning out and standing ready at some significant point in a home (preferably a Driveway) at dawn (6 am) on Anzac Day 2020.  It encourages all Australians to share the ANZAC spirit at home. It also encourages all Australians to take a picture and share it on social media using the #STANDTO hashtag.


This refers to standing in your driveway or balcony or a room in your house at dawn (6 am) on Anzac Day 2020 with a lit candle. It encourages all Australians to acknowledge the sacrifice of current and past service men and women at home. It also encourages all Australians to take a picture and share it on social media using the #LIGHTUPTHEDAWN hashtag.


In honour of Anzac Day, we’re asking the Bendigo Community to consider writing a letter to a Veteran.

Normally Veterans would attend an Anzac Day service and we would show our appreciation by attending the service and honouring those that have served, those still serving and those that paid the ultimate sacrifice.

We would like to pass these letters to our Veteran community through our Health & Wellbeing and Welfare teams to show them that their community is still thinking of them.

Completed letters can be submitted via email at


The Bendigo District RSL Sub-Branch President is also calling on the local and regional community to support this year’s Anzac Appeal.  Due to the restrictions caused by the coronavirus situation, this year’s Appeal has been amended to suit the times.  There are no volunteers selling Anzac badges around the streets but a number of local businesses, such as supermarkets, petrol stations and similar have Anzac Boxes from which badges can be purchased.  For the first time ever, the Bendigo District RSL Sub-Branch is also selling Anzac Appeal badges through its ‘virtual ANZAC Appeal eStore’ on its website. Anzac Appeal badges can be purchased via the Bendigo District RSL Sub-Branch Anzac Appeal Shop at . All badges will be posted out as quickly as possible.  If you spend $20 or more, you will receive free postage so there are still several ways in which you can purchase a badge and continue supporting this great and worthy cause.

“By purchasing an Anzac Badge you are not only remembering those who have served and those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, you are also helping to support those who are still serving today, as 100 per cent of the proceeds from the sale of every badge goes towards supporting service men, women and their families in times of need.” Bendigo District Sub-Branch President said.

Mr Swandale added: “Every donation to the Anzac Appeal contributes to the RSL’s vital work and core role of supporting veterans and their families through emergency needs as well as ongoing physical and mental programs.”

“For example, the funds raised by the sale of a single $10 badge may go towards the purchase of mobility items for veterans at home, crisis accommodation and also support health and wellbeing programs which include the likes of float therapy and physical activity for veterans throughout the region,’ he said.

Mr Swandale went on to say that “people should feel proud wearing a badge that demonstrates a commitment and gratitude to those who have served this great nation as your donation will have helped to change a veteran’s life.” he said.