The unique social and business conditions of 2021–22 presented obvious challenges. Nonetheless, the Shrine of Remembrance was successful in achieving most of its objectives.
Responding to Victorian Government COVIDSafe requirements, the Shrine re-opened in November 2021 and has operated under varying coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic restrictions since. Mitigating measures during operations included capacity management, contact tracing, physical distancing and enhanced hygiene protocols. Compliance with restrictions shaped the development and delivery of all aspects of visitor engagement including exhibition, education and ceremonial programs.
Whilst visitation was down more than 500,000 on pre-pandemic levels, total engagement grew through the increasing utility and reach of our digital programming. This was enabled through significant support received from the Victorian Government that funded installation of live streaming infrastructure to maintain and grow our core ceremonial and education programming. These initiatives allowed us to exceed our annual engagement target of 750,000.
Several capital works projects valued at $5.95m commenced during the year—fully funded by the Victorian Government. These included stabilisation and restoration of the Southern and Western monument steps and the four monument light towers; construction of an accessibility ramp between the Shrine’s upper and lower forecourts; and, installation of protective security infrastructure within the Shrine Reserve.
Self-generated funding from donations, retail, tour and licensing fees were all impacted by reduced on-site visitation. Despite this, the Shrine effectively managed its finances to achieve a small operating surplus net of depreciation and amortisation. These results were secured through the aligned decision making and actions of Shrine trustees, Life Governors, Governors, staff and volunteers.
The following review of operations is to be considered in this context of service delivery to a community confronted and constrained by the necessarily mandated responses to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Reviewed 06 April 2023