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Thousands return to Anzac Day Dawn Services after two years of COVID interruptions

Anzac Day

The New South Wales Dawn Service at Martin Place had a strong attendance this year. Photo: Clover Moore.


Thousands gathered at Anzac Day Dawn Services across Sydney on Monday morning after two years of interruptions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Cenotaph in Martin Place held the New South Wales Anzac Day Dawn Service, which was well-attended despite a rainy morning, and was the first since the pandemic without public restrictions, with the event cancelled in 2020 and delivered under a ticket-only model last year.

Sydney lord mayor Clover Moore, along with NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet and Opposition Leader Chris Minns, attended the event. This Anzac Day was the first since Australia’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, the 80th anniversary of the bombing of Darwin, the Kokoda Campaign and the fall of Singapore.

Later on Monday, veterans who served in Afghanistan, as well as those who served in World War Two, were asked to lead the Anzac Day march on Elizabeth Street this year. It’s estimated that there are 60,000 Australians who are currently serving in the Defence Force.

Anzac Day services held across Sydney

The Coogee Dawn Service resumed this year after undergoing similar COVID interruptions in the past two years, with no tickets required and 3,000 seats available to the public. An Anzac Day march was also held from Coogee Diggers, which would finish at Coogee Beach.

Other Anzac Day events were held in the eastern suburbs at Kensington, Maroubra and Malabar.

In the Inner West, a Dawn Service was held at Balmain’s Loyalty Square and at Petersham RSL.

On Monday, Inner West mayor Darcy Byrne thanked “the thousands of citizens, service personnel, school students and community organisations that came to pay respect” at the Balmain Dawn Service.

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