There’s no denying the fact that Anzac Day looks a little different this year. Due to the global pandemic and tight government lockdowns, we’re unable to attend the Dawn Service or our local RSLs – but that doesn’t mean we can’t still remember and honour the brave soldiers who fought for our country, and just as importantly, check on our mates.
Commissioner of Veterans’ Affairs Don Spinks appeared on the most recent episode of It’s Been A Big Day For…where he shed a little light on the importance of staying connected while social distancing this Anzac Day, and how we can all be there for our mates. Hear about it all below:
“Anzac Day is still on – it hasn’t been cancelled,” Spinks said. “People are encouraged to remember and reflect in their own personal way.”
“I’m seeing a really positive movement even though people can’t go to the march,” he said. “I still think the spirit is strong. It’s much bigger than one day.”
Whether you give an elderly family member or veteran a call, offer to do their groceries, send your mates a letter, or deliver a homemade batch of Anzac cookies – this year is all about the kind of mateship Don Spinks is so proud of.
“It takes a community to support a veteran and their family,” Spinks said. “What we’re asking people to do tomorrow – call a veteran, check how they’re going, show interest.”
“Mateship is what it’s all about,” he said. “It’s part of our culture – taking care of your mates. It’s a really powerful tool.”
There’s also the Australian Department of Veterans’ Affairs Distant but Connected initiative that encourages Aussies to reach out to a mate, and contact Open Arms Support on 1800 011 046 if veterans and their family members need someone to talk to.
If you’re unable to make it out to your driveway, balcony or living room for the broadcasted memorial service at 5am tomorrow, you can take part later in the morning.
At 11:30am on Anzac Day, Spinks is encouraging all Aussies to pause and reflect for a four-minute commemoration including The Ode, The Last Post, one minute of silence and the Rouse.
There are plenty of ways we can stay connected, take care of each other and pay our respects this Anzac Day – it’s the little things that make a world of difference.
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