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Visitor Engagement

The Visitor Experience team covers ceremonial programs, retail, revenue development, visitor services and Shrine friends.


Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic restrictions and associated international border closures and uncertainty in the domestic tourism sector have collectively caused visitation to collapse by more than 500,000 people. This has had material impact on our self-funding activities. Despite this, marked success in delivering digital programming has allowed us to engage more than 730,000 people in our commemorative purpose.

Ceremonial program

Providing for the commemorative needs of veterans and the community is one of the Shrine’s primary functions. More than 359,000 people – including veterans, students and members of the public in Victoria, elsewhere in Australia and overseas attended or watched a live stream of the 144 commemorative services delivered at the Shrine or online during the year.

Live streaming of all commemorative services ensured that we maintained our relationships with Victoria’s commemorative community. The Shrine has since become adept at delivering hybrid physical/virtual commemorative programming and, with the support of the Victorian State Government, installed permanent live streaming infrastructure to stream our commemorative program to the world. 

Last Post Service

The Last Post Service was suspended during our closure periods and recommenced in December 2020. The service continues to achieve its aims with both veteran participants and attendees reporting positive engagement and feedback. Participation at the weekly service has been strong with up to 200 people joining us on the Second World War Memorial Forecourt at 4.45pm on Sundays.

The Last Post Service is proving to be an integral pillar to the implementation of the Shrine’s program strategy with events commemorated scheduled to connect with special exhibitions and other programming.

2020–21 major services

Friends of the Shrine program

Active promotion during the year allowed Friends membership sales to exceed targets. The Friends program directly engages members through Friends socials, public programs, special exhibition launch invitations and priority seating at major services. Friends also receive complimentary editions of the Shrine magazine Remembrance.

Retail and tour groups

Repeated closures have resulted in a dramatic reduction in visitation and significant changes to our visitor profile. With suppressed visitation and ongoing border closures both our retail and tour licensing revenue fell short of targets.

A revised Shrine Tour format introduced this year has proven successful. The increase in frequency, updated content and reduction in tour price and duration resulted in increased uptake.