Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic restrictions, associated international border closures and uncertainty in the domestic tourism sector have collectively suppressed onsite visitation with multiple periods of closure during the year ending with the relaxation of restrictions and reopening in November 2021. This has had material impact on our self-funding activities. Despite this, success in growing digital programming and innovative onsite programming allowed us to engage 930,000 people.

Ceremonial program

Providing for the commemorative needs of veterans and the community is one of the Shrine’s primary functions: some 77,000 people participated in 175 commemorative services at the Shrine. In addition to onsite attendance, online engagement with the commemorative program remains strong with Remembrance Day and Anzac Day receiving significant online engagement (31,000 views for Remembrance Day and 56,000 for Anzac Day). The innovations introduced with the support of the Victorian State Government were leveraged to deliver live-streaming of all commemorative services, ensuring that engagement in commemoration is accessible for all.

Last Post Service

The Last Post 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.

Major services

  • This year, both the Dawn Service and Veterans’ March returned to their 2019 format with the lifting of pandemic restrictions in April.

    The Dawn Service had its highest attendance since the Centenary of Anzac. An estimated 50,000 attendees joined together on the Shrine’s Second World War Memorial Forecourt in shared remembrance. Onsite attendance across the day exceeded 70,000 as Melburnians embraced the opportunity to engage in commemoration.

  • In an unbroken tradition of honouring service and sacrifice on 11 November, the Shrine’s onsite ceremonial program resumed with the Victorian State Remembrance Day Service 2021. This year we recognised 21 years of Australian Defence Force service in the 21st century.

    The service was notable as we acted in partnership with Elders of the Bunarong People of the Kulin Nation to recognise the traditional custodians of the land on which we honour Victorian service people and demonstrate our commitment to inclusivity through the conduct of a Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony.

    Delivered with the support of the Victorian Government, Remembrance Day was attended by more than 1,000 people. A suite of programming leading up to Remembrance Day resulted in strong engagement online with an additional 30,700 views of the service.

  • The Melbourne Legacy Students' Service on April 6 2022 was attended by more than 3,000 students.

  • Each year, as part of National Reconciliation Week, services are held across Australia to commemorate the service of Indigenous Australians in the Australian Defence Force. The annual service returned to its regular format in May 2021 with more than 250 in attendance and strong digital engagement via live stream.

Friends of the Shrine program

The Friends program directly engages members through Friends socials, public programs, special exhibition launch invitations and priority seating at major services. Friends also receive advance editions of the Shrine magazine Remembrance.

Retail and Tours

Repeated closures resulted in a dramatic reduction in visitation and significant changes to our visitor profile. Visitation remains suppressed following reopening in November 2021. Retail and tour sales have, however, performed strongly against per head conversion—exceeding financial targets. Tour licensing revenue was impacted by closures but was offset by the performance of the Shrine Tour.


The Shrine was delighted to host events supporting our community this year. This included a veteran led concert, Rock for Remembrance and Reflection as part of ANVAM’s March to Art annual program, and the launch of the Legacy Centenary Torch Relay.

Reviewed 06 April 2023

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