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Outlook for 2023–24

Success in re-establishing normalised operations in a post-pandemic operating environment will underpin and guide activities in the coming year. The resurgent return of local and domestic visitors are expected to sustain core programs and activities and be extended as international arrivals continue to grow—as forecast by Visit Victoria and Tourism Australia.

The present softening in economic conditions is conducive to the positioning of a free family activity—improving the Shrine’s attractiveness relative to alternative activities. With some advertising expenditure limitations, there might be challenges in fully realising this value, potentially influencing overall engagement and our capacity to explore self-generated funding opportunities.

We will seek to mitigate any underperformance by identifying and further leveraging new and emerging uses of Shrine assets (e.g., venue hire) and act to develop and secure appropriate corporate partnerships.

In preparing the Business Plan and budget management has reviewed the Shrine’s responsibilities—as established in the Act and in the Minister’s Statement of Government Priorities—and the objectives of the Shrine’s 2019–24 Strategic Plan. The Business Plan responds to these inputs in a prudent manner, while recognising some significant, costs associated with required changes in essential maintenance, one-off asset replacement and enhanced IT management to support growing complexity arising from increased reliance on digital program platforms, hybrid working models and increasing cyber-security risks.

FY2024 marks the final year in the Shrine’s current five-year strategic planning cycle and trustees and the executive will engage in visioning the period 2025–30. This work will be informed by the findings of the 2022–23 visitor and non-visitor research studies and framed in context with initiation of the 2025–45 Shrine Master Plan.

To mark the centenary of the design competition leading to the Shrine’s creation we will join with the City of Melbourne to celebrate the architectural genius of First World War veterans and architects Philip Hudson and James Wardrop though a 3D illumination of the Shrine façade in September 2023. We will also plan appropriate promotion and activations to mark the 90th anniversary of the Shrine’s opening in 2024.

Balancing the improving market conditions with increased costs of trading, leveraging and offsetting these through creative programming and close engagement with civic partners and through increased financial support granted by the Victorian Government, we expect to meet our State Grant total engagement target of 750,000 and achieve a small surplus result.

Significant projects planned in the year include:

  • initiation of a value adding corporate partnership program;
  • stakeholder engagement and socialisation of the 2025–45 Shrine Master Plan;
  • completion of the four heritage-listed, external light towers;
  • construction of accessible ramps between the Shrine's lower and upper forecourts; and,
  • construction and installation of security infrastructure to mitigate Hostile Vehicle Attack. 

Significant services will include:

  • Weekly Last Post Services each Sunday
  • Vietnam Veterans' Day, 18 August 2023 
  • Battle for Australia Day, 6 September 2023 
  • Remembrance Day, 11 November 2023 
  • Melbourne Legacy's 92nd Annual ANZAC Commemoration Ceremony for Students, 19 April 2024 
  • Anzac Day, 25 April 2024 
  • Annual Victorian Aboriginal Remembrance Service, 31 May 2024