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Shrine of Remembrance
21 Nov 2023

Chair and Chief Executive Officer's Report

Discover the Shrine's transformative year of restoration, engagement, and inclusive commemoration in this report by Captain Stephen Bowater OAM RAN, Chair of the Shrine of Remembrance Trustees, and Dean M Lee, the Shrine's Chief Executive Officer.

On behalf of the Shrine of Remembrance Trustees we are pleased to present the 2022–2023 Annual Report.

The year saw a welcome return to uninterrupted operations. Visitation commenced recovery with more than 500,000 people entering the Shrine monument, including 52,000 students; 75,000 pilgrims participated in remembrance services; and a further 620,000 engagements occurred online. The increasing return of discretionary domestic and, especially, international travellers, support an optimistic outlook for audience engagement and growth in participation in commemoration.

A return to normalised operations also allowed us to grow self-funding. On-site donations, retail, venue hire and tour sales all achieved positive—and in some cases, record—results. These efforts underpinned by financial discipline and ameliorating funding support from the Victorian Government allowed us to achieve an operating surplus before depreciation and amortisation.

We were also able to conduct our delayed visitor intercept and non-visitor market surveys. These confirmed growing levels of understanding, knowledge and engagement with the Shrine and its role as Victoria’s principal place of commemoration. Pleasingly, results also indicated growth in brand equity and awareness with Victorians placing us among the top five cultural attractions in Melbourne. The Shrine continues to play an important role in supporting community recovery, drawing returning visitors to Melbourne.

There was also a strong response to our promotional and advertising campaigns to engage Victorians in commemoration. Melburnians and Victorians comprised a higher percentage of visitation since surveys began in 2016, and 76 per cent of all visitors were making first-time visits. We plan to build on these campaigns in the coming year to continue to reinforce our relevance and grow our reach.

We exceeded visitors’ expectations. While 85 per cent of all visitors expected their experience to be ‘absolutely excellent’ or ‘good’, 8 in 10 considered their visit ‘better than expected’. There was also positive awareness and support for programming initiatives under our five-year public engagement Program Strategy. Fifteen per cent of visitors came specifically to see one of our special exhibitions: Lust Love Loss, For Kin and Country and Defending with Pride.

By embracing and transcending the past we will continue our work to secure and advance the Shrine’s standing and relevance in the context of an evolving and increasingly diverse community. Empowered by the Board of Trustees to extend perceptions of who and what a veteran is, the Shrine executive and staff have pursued an inclusive approach in honouring service and sacrifice. This approach is aligned with the values of the Australian Defence Force and enables the Shrine to better reflect and address the needs and interests of present-day veterans.

Recognising the enduring place of the Shrine within the fabric of Melbourne, the Board gave auspice to the development of a 20-year master plan for the period 2025–45: encompassing both the centenary of the Shrine’s dedication in 1934 and the Second World War (1939–1945). The initial stage of this work is complete and will serve to engage stakeholders in the coming year before implementation commencing in FY2025.

Capital renovation and improvement projects continued throughout the year with restoration of the southern and western monument steps completed; the southern light towers rebuilt; and completion of design for accessibility, ramps between the upper and lower forecourts, with the contract tendered and awarded. Restoration of the northern light towers also commenced, to be completed early in the new year. Design of a hostile vehicle attack mitigation project progressed, with works to begin following Remembrance Day 2023.

The full program of more than 192 remembrance services was conducted across the year with community and veteran participation exceeding targets. More than 50,000 people attended the Shrine on Anzac Day and a cumulative audience approaching 10,000 attended the weekly Last Post Services.

We could not deliver our comprehensive range of programming without our supporters.

We wish to recognise the direct financial and in-kind support of the Victorian Government, and the City of Melbourne whose efforts support our operations and ensure the Shrine Reserve presents as a high quality and valued place for peaceful community reflection: this effort approaches $500,000 in value.

We also gratefully acknowledge and thank our many donors for their generous support.


Captain Stephen Bowater OAM RAN


Dean M Lee

Vision, mission and values


That all Victorians remember, value and commemorate service and sacrifice.


To engage all Victorians in commemoration through reflection, ceremony, education and learning.


The Shrine will adhere to and be known for the values of integrity, loyalty, service, respect and inclusion.

The Shrine of Remembrance Act 1978

The Shrine of Remembrance Act 1978 establishes the Shrine of Remembrance Trustees and it's function.

The Trustees functions are:

(a) responsibility for the care, management, maintenance and preservation of the Shrine of Remembrance –

(i) as a memorial to honour the service and sacrifice of Victorians and Australians in war, conflict, peacekeeping and peacemaking; and

(ii) as a site of national, State and cultural significance; and

(b) the development, promotion, management and the staging of ceremonial activities and events to commemorate the service and sacrifice of Victorians and Australians in war, conflict, peacekeeping and peacemaking, including, but not limited to, wreath laying and other ceremonial or commemorative activities; and

(c) the development, promotion, management and implementation of public programs to inform, educate and promote understanding among Victorians and visitors about the history, experience, service and sacrifice of Victorians and Australians in war, conflict, peacekeeping and peacemaking, including, but not limited to, exhibitions, lectures, publications, school learning and outreach programs.

Our people

The Shrine of Remembrance community comprises Trustees, Life Governors, Governors, staff, volunteers and the Victoria Police Shrine Guard.

Organisational chart of the Shrine of Remembrance community


Life Governors and Governors

Life Governors and Governors are appointed under Section 4 of the Shrine of Remembrance Act 1978. They assist the trustees with the conduct of ceremonial activities at the Shrine and perform other duties as requested by the trustees.

Life Governors

Lieutenant Colonel Adrian Lombardo

Mr Peter Whitelaw


Squadron Leader Steve Campbell-Wright

Colonel Jason Cooke

Colonel John Coulson OAM RFD ED

Lieutenant Commander Janette Gallagher

Group Captain Annette Holian

Squadron Leader Matthew Little (Retd)

Commander Terry Makings AM RAN

Squadron Leader Peter Meehan OAM (Retd)

Mohammed Abdur Rahman

Lieutenant Colonel Neil Smith AM (Retd)—appointment ended 12 April 2023

Air Commodore Rowan D Story AM RFD (Retd)

Captain Tyson Taylor

Leadership Team

The Leadership Team are delegated authority and charged with responsibility to implement the Board’s approved strategy and direct the day-to-day management and operational activities of the Shrine.

Dean M Lee
Chief Executive Officer

Dean is the Shrine’s nominated Accountable Officer and provides governance and strategic support and advice to the Trustees and overall leadership to the organisation. Dean was appointed in July 2015.

Sue Burgess
Director Public Programs

Sue holds overall responsibility for museum and collection management, exhibitions and digital programs and the Shrine’s education and volunteer programs. Sue was appointed in October 2019.

Sue Curwood
Marketing Manager

Sue holds responsibility for all marketing, branding and communications strategy and tactical implementation and functional and campaign advertising. Sue was appointed in June 2020.

Greg Gilmour
Director Corporate Services

Greg holds responsibility for financial control, regulatory compliance, administration and facility functions. Greg was appointed to this role in September 2019.

Naias Mountfor-Davies (1 July 2022—26 August 2022)
Andrew Sivijs
Director Visitor Experience

The Director Visitor Experience holds responsibility for the Shrine’s visitor services, ceremonial program and self-funding activities. Andrew was appointed in October 2022.

Shrine Staff

The Shrine employs 43 staff whose diverse skills and life experiences are brought to bear in the service of the Board’s objectives to care for the Shrine and enrich the experience of ceremonial attendees, visitors and students.

Carolyn Archibald

Carolyn Argent

Danny Arif

Sue Burgess

Nancy Capomolla

Dale Capron

Laura Carroll

Penny Charalampidis

Melissah Crumpton

Sue Curwood

Rebecca Dixon

Fiona Duncan

Kristen Fletcher

Michael Ganey

Voula Gikas

Greg Gilmour

Stewart Green

Peter Harris

Dominic Healy

Chelsea Heaney

Gabriela Istrate

Harriston Lambooy

Dean M Lee

Soo Mei Leong

Peter Luby

Toby Miller

Jay Montgomery

Katrina Nicolson

Tessa Occhino

Nathan Pandazopoulos

Janelle Raines

Blake Randall

Chelsea Rowlings

Karl Sarsfield

Leanne Saward

Neil Sharkey

Andrew Sivijs

Kate Spinks

Laura Thomas

Adrian Threlfall

Melanie Warburton

Sue Wicks

Andrew Wiles


Volunteers engage with visitors and provide support to the education and ceremonial programs, lead on-site community group tours and present talks onsite and offsite. The program normalised this year. Twelve new volunteers joined early in the year and five more commenced from June. Volunteers provided 9,448 hours of service during the year. The Shrine of Remembrance Trustees acknowledge with thanks the dedication of our valued volunteers:

Darcie Apostolou

Betty Appleton

Francesca Atkinson

Barry Aumann

Rohan Badwal

Rodney Bayley

Ella Bibby

Fred Boland

Daryl Bolton

Ralph Boyne

Murray Brassington

Paul Brennan

Bruce Brown

Catherine Brown

Maureen Bugden

John Cahir

Barbara Carpenter

Sofia Castello

Bill Cherry

Caroline Clark

Lorraine Connell

Bill Cornford

Eleni Courvisanos

Cate Cox

Ken Crook

Neville Davis

Jacqui Dekker

Anna Dockendorff

Ian Douglas

Robyn Dunn

Garry Fabian

Wendy Farthing

Caitlin Fankhauser

Sophie Fregon

George Galanopoulos

Peter Geddes

Drew Gordon

Allan Grant

Cooper Hewitt

Christine Hill

John Hills

Robert Hoskin

Russell Hutchins

Alec Huze

Ian Jones

Anne Josefsberg

Petrina Killey

Steven Kyritsis

Rayden Lee

Fred Lehman

Sue Liddell

Judy Llewellyn

Gloria Low

Jenny McCartney

Phill McKenna

Marita Madden

Dianne Manning

Paul Maple

Phil Marshman

Ros Martin

Anne Mathers

Peter Mayhood

Mark Mayne

Graeme Miller

Robyn Miller

David Mitchell

Sam Monk

John Moxey

Sue Mullett

Lynne Nicol

Rick Palmer

Jon Peart

Daryl Pinner

Anne Ramsay

Helen Robinson

Joan Sam

Gary Serpell

Ian Simpkin

Brian Smith

Julia Stockdale

Stephen Stockdale

Zoe Taylor

Kevan Thomas

Kerrie Walker

Mary Ward

Philip Whitehouse

Malcolm Wiltshire

Caroline Winter

George Zagon


It was with much sadness that we marked the passing of volunteer Mac Ford.


million total engagements


first time visitors

attendees at the Anzac ay Dawn Service

people attended 192 onsite commemorative services

million print & broadcast reach

student attendance onsite

Seven regional locations for the Shrine's touring exhibition

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

Review of operations

The following review of operations summarises activities undertaken by the Shrine of Remembrance in pursuit of its enduring purpose—to honour the service and sacrifice of Victorians and Australians in war, conflict, peacemaking and peacekeeping—in the 2022–23 financial year.


The prescribed functions of the Shrine of Remembrance Trustees are controlled and directed through a comprehensive range of interrelated governance and planning instruments. A five-year strategic plan informs programming and marketing strategies; and an annual business plan and budget direct and enable aligned actions and initiatives. The following review of operations summarises activities undertaken by the Shrine of Remembrance in pursuit of its enduring purpose—to honour the service and sacrifice of Victorians and Australians in war, conflict, peacemaking and peacekeeping—in the 2022–23 financial year.

Corporate Services

The Corporate Services team carries responsibility for corporate governance and compliance, finance, HR and facility maintenance. It works closely with the Office of CEO, Visitor Experience and Public Programs teams and external parties to protect and maintain the Shrine. Significant project and improvement work completed in the year include:

Finance and Governance

  • internal audits of Cyber Security and Fraud and Corruption.
  • continued implementation of the Victorian Government Procurement Board Framework.
  • Town planning in relation to local development projects and signage impacting the Shrine Vista Controls.

Human Resources

  • design and implementation of new training register,
  • coordination of significant increases in both compliance and development training,
  • design and implementation of new performance and development plan form to assist with employee performance evaluation.


  • changeover of Galleries cleaning lights to LED technology, to reduce energy costs and increase visibility for cleaning at night,
  • installation and implementation of new phone system,
  • implementation of external IT support Help Desk,
  • installation of new boiler plant,
  • implementation of measures to protect collection from Galleries water leaks,
  • implementation of disability access audit recommendations,
  • quinquennial review of emergency management plan,
  • capital works project—Light Tower Restoration,
  • capital works project—Monument Steps Restoration,
  • capital works project—Accessible Forecourt Ramp,
  • capital works project—Hostile Vehicle Mitigation.

Public Programs

Shrine Collection

The Shrine continues to collect selectively for display. Our current collection priority areas include capturing the experience of all service personnel from Vietnam to the present day, personal letters, diaries, audio-visual records and mementoes relating to recent conflicts. Further development in these areas will enhance the overall collection and further reflect the diversity of the Australian and Victorian experience, at war and on the homefront.

Acquisition highlights include:

  • Medal group awarded to John Sonneveld (including the only Distinguished Flying Cross awarded to an Australian Army pilot flying a Kiowa during the Vietnam War).
  • Contemporary paintings of service by Sean Burton and Sue Jarvis.
  • A collection of oil paintings, watercolours, charcoal drawings and personal papers pertaining to war artist Murray Griffin.
  • 2/4th Anti-tank Regiment funeral pall.
  • Second World War military band tuba owned by Harold Martin of the 2/21st Infantry Battalion “Gull Force” Band.

Shrine Exhibitions

The special exhibition program this year featured two award winning exhibitions: Lust Love Loss won a state Australian Museum and Galleries Association (AMaGA) award for best temporary exhibition in 2022. Our final Identity themed exhibition, Defending with Pride- Stories of LGBTQ+ service, won a National AMaGA award for best temporary exhibition in 2023.

Lust Love Loss — The complex issues surrounding relationships during wartime were explored in this visually stunning exhibition. Through artworks, photography, and personal objects the exhibition explored the issues of love, lust and loss for both service personnel and loved ones at home. The exhibition was supported by a series of conversations with contemporary couples on their own experiences juggling relationships and careers in defence. Exhibition closed in November 2022.

Defending with Pride — This special exhibition is the first of its kind at an Australian War Memorial. It explores the history of lesbian, gay, transgender and queer people in service. The centrepiece of the exhibition are the personal stories of veterans and current serving ADF personnel. Supporting these very personal stories are objects and memorabilia reflecting the often-turbulent history of this community. The exhibition is also supported by a podcast series: Defending with Pride Voices.

For Kin and Country — The history of First People’s service in the Australian Defence Force. This exhibition remained on display throughout the year. The veterans featured come from Countries that lie in the modern state of Victoria, as well as individuals from other areas making Victoria their home. Using portraits sourced from veterans and their families, the Australian War Memorial, Koorie Heritage Trust and the Shrine’s own collection, images are displayed in country groupings. Supported by a series of interviews with veterans and families, we get a sense of the impact of service on families and individuals.

Tours De Force — this exhibition explores for the first time the work of the Forces Entertainment Unit. This unit fosters connections between the Australian Defence Force and the entertainment industry by recruiting, promoting and preparing entertainers to work in foreign war zones. The exhibition holds a wealth of material from rare photo and video footage to personal memorabilia from the entertainers themselves. The generosity of the participating entertainers extended to a live panel presentation to launch the exhibition.

Changed Forever: Legacies of Conflict — This touring exhibition has presented its incredible stories on the impact of conflict on veterans and refugees to 17 Victorian venues over the past three years. It concludes its run in December 2023 with many of the stories to be incorporated within our permanent galleries from 2024.

Student Education

The Shrine’s student education programs are aligned with the national curriculum and engage students onsite and offsite in learning about commemoration, wartime history and the shaping of the Australian nation.

Education programming in 2022–23 returned to prepandemic levels. Onsite visits were enjoyed by over 50,000 students, including 3,350 students on Legacy Student Day. Demand for outreach grew with 608 regional students participating, including special education schools, who have not visited since 2019. We continued to offer the virtual tour for regional and remote schools.

Activities for Families

We engaged families in a combination of self-guided and guided activities. The Explorer Kits for loan returned along with the Shrine Kids activity cards. These remain our always available options.

A highlight in school holiday programming was the reprised Flowers of War activity for families. Families decorated a floral template and placed it on a wreath on display in the Visitor Centre.

Public Learning Program

The Shrine maintained its commitment to provide community education of the highest standard. Public presentations and special events engaged members of the community in Melbourne and in regional Victoria through talks, workshops, and lectures. This year, our highlight event was the Tours De Force Live show to launch the exhibition Tours de Force. Hosted by comedian Merrick Watts, celebrities Tom Gleeson, Charlie Pickering, Little Pattie, Normie Rowe, Ami Williamson, Nick Cody and Lehmo chatted about their experiences of entertaining troops. In the words of an attendee, “A unique group of entertainers bought a much needed burst of humour."

Other events held this year included a panel conversation as part of Midsumma Festival programming, tied with our exhibition Defending with Pride; two live performances—The Mission by First Nations performer Tom Molyneux and a diary recitation, Dispatches from the Frontline. Book talks from Dr Ross McMullin, Andrew Quilty, Commodore Peter Scott and Dr Bronwen Hughes and two film screenings, A Foreign Field and The Waler, completed the year.

Digital Production

Digital programming continued in support of our broader engagement options in 2022–23. Our work with broadcaster Megan Spencer, continued with podcasts for the Defending with Pride exhibition. Other podcasts released during the year included For Kin and Country—Yarns, hosted by Tom Molyneux, two episodes created from the Tours De Force Live performances and a behind the scenes interview about the Forces Entertainment unit.

Video productions this year featured a variety of short and long form styles. Highlights were Restoring Shrine Memories, a focus on the Crypt Casket restoration; In Pursuit of Peace—expert reflections on the hope for peace in the world; and a series of interviews with descendants of Korean War veterans. A video for International Women’s Day featuring female Shrine Guard, gathered the most views for social media content.

Remembrance digital magazine was released in November 2022 and continues to build its presence with increasing numbers of reads, impressions and average read time.


Shrine volunteers demonstrated their ongoing commitment to the Shrine by supporting schools and visitor engagement activities with energy and enthusiasm. Volunteers enjoyed four luncheons throughout the year. Ray of Light expert Frank Johnston was the guest speaker at the February gathering. National Volunteer Week 2023 featured intimate daily lunches for volunteers at the Shrine, a small gift and café coffee on the house. Recruitment of new volunteers is now done on a rolling basis when applications come in, with five new volunteers welcomed into the group this year.

The Shrine Young Ambassadors

The Shrine Young Ambassador program provides an opportunity for up to 10 students in Years 9/10 to participate in programs and commemorative events at the Shrine and to develop leadership skills. This year we have nine Young Ambassadors, and we acknowledge their contributions in 2023.

Visitor Engagement


There was steady growth in onsite visitation throughout FY2023. Domestic markets have returned to prepandemic levels and growth in internationals is returning as airline capacity increases. This has reinvigorated self-funding activities with overall performance significantly improved. Indications are positive for a return to pre-pandemic visitation levels in the next 18–24 months. Our success in growing onsite and digital programming allowed us to reach more than 1.2 million audience engagements in FY2023.

Ceremonial Program

Providing for the commemorative needs of veterans and the community is one of the Shrine’s primary functions: some 75,000 people participated in 192 commemorative services at the Shrine. Live streaming of all commemorative services continues to be an effective way of engaging with audiences and ensuring commemoration is accessible for all.

Last Post Service

The Last Post Service (LPS) successfully delivered on its aims with both veteran participants and attendees reporting positive engagement and feedback. Participation at the weekly Service has been steady with 200 people on average joining us on the Second World War Memorial Forecourt at 4.45pm on Sundays. The LPS is integrated in the Shrine’s Public Program Strategy. Several special exhibitions and other educational programs were successfully linked to commemorative services providing important value add to the event.

Anzac Day

The Dawn Service and Veterans’ March were delivered under a different model in 2022–2023 with the RSL adopting primary event planning, promotion and management responsibility.

More than 40,000 pilgrims joined together in the Dawn Service on the Shrine’s Second World War Memorial Forecourt in shared remembrance. Attendance was down on the prior year which benefitted from a post-pandemic surge in community engagement. Onsite attendance across the day, including the RSL’s commemorative service, exceeded 50,000 and over 9,000 entered the Shrine monument.

Remembrance Day

The historic tradition of honouring service and sacrifice on 11 November, again proved successful with postpandemic commitment to live participation evident with more than 1,500 attending.

The Victorian Government continued its valued support for delivery of Remembrance Day, allowing a broad and diverse audience to engage, including veterans and members of the Australian Defence Force, school students and the public. The Shrine activated a rich programming schedule (11 Days of Remembrance) leading up to Remembrance Day. This consolidated online engagement and drew additional views of the service.

Legacy's Annual Anzac Commemoration Ceremony for Students

The Melbourne Legacy Students' Service on April 5, 2023 was attended by more than 3,000 students. The service featured student guest speakers, school bands, choirs and Australian Defence Force cadets.

Victorian Aboriginal Remembrance Service

As part of National Reconciliation Week, services are held across Australia in May each year to commemorate the service of Indigenous Australians in the Australian Defence Force. The annual service in 2023 was successful with numerous guest speakers and musical performances. The service was well attended with more than 300 onsite 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

A return to normal operations led to strong visitation and commercial performance. Engagement improved steadily across the year. Retail recorded its highest level of annual revenue, exceeding financial targets and tour sales performed strongly—also exceeding financial targets. Tour licensing revenue improved consistently, and the Shrine Tour performed well to budget.


Once again, the Shrine was pleased to partner and host events supporting our community. This included a veteran led concert associated with March for Art — part of ANVAM’s annual program, and the community celebration for the Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces Day in June. Venue hire and events improved with annual budgets exceeded through delivery of a diverse range of events.


The Shrine Foundation attracted significant support through a range of fundraising activities: attracting bequests and donations, and gaining support from philanthropists personally committed to remembrance.


Visitor research was conducted during the year to gain insights into both visitors and non-visitors. The Shrine uses Morris Hargreaves McIntyre's 'Culture Segments', a psychographic profiling system, to better understand and connect with audiences amenable to arts and culture. Brand awareness of the Shrine of Remembrance has lifted significantly since the last research period (2018), increasing the size of the potential market. Research also found that whilst most people expect their visit to the Shrine to be ''good or absolutely excellent''—80 per cent considered their visit, ''better than expected'', with staff and volunteer interactions rated very highly.

The Shrine's special exhibition program, supported with individual marketing campaigns, is a key driver of visitation. Individual campaigns encompassing owned, shared and paid media were conducted for Defending with Pride, For Kin and Country and Tours de Force— the latter receiving front page coverage in The Age Sunday edition on opening weekend.

Major remembrance services provided key moments to attract and reach large audiences both onsite and online. The introduction of a Last Post Service acknowledging War Animal Remembrance Day provided opportunities for new audiences and their furry friends to participate in remembrance, supported by network news coverage.

Personal recommendations remain a key source of information for visitors, with significant growth in visitors who have seen, read or heard about the Shrine on social media. The Shrine maintained a high presence in tourism publications including the Official Visitor Guide and Map.

A new visitor guide was developed to highlight the layered experience of a Shrine visit featuring a commissioned illustration that highlights the Shrine's visitor journey in an inviting and relatable manner.

For a second year, a major outdoor destination campaign positioned the Shrine as, 'Unforgettable’. Placements across large format outdoor advertising, digital and social media, and regional press contributed to a significant boost in onsite visitation in the lead up to Anzac Day.

Digital engagement remained a key focus of marketing activity throughout the year. The website hosted over 260,000 sessions. Live streaming of the Shrine's commemorative services continued, receiving 200,000 video views. Social media activity across Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn saw our social media following increase by 10 per cent, with a combined organic and paid reach of 5.6 million.


Trustee meetings

During 2022–23, the Shrine of Remembrance Trustees held six ordinary meetings.


Committee memberships comprise trustees, Life Governors, Governors and independent members with specific knowledge and skill required by the Board of the Shrine of Remembrance Trustees. The Committees are supported by the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Assistant with Directors aiding as required. Committees may also co-opt external parties with relevant expertise to participate as required. Four committees support the corporate governance framework that provides informed recommendations to the board of the Shrine of Remembrance Trustees.

Audit and Risk Management Committee

The purpose of the Audit and Risk Management Committee (ARMC) is to assist the Board of Trustees in maintaining oversight and providing assurance relating to the integrity and effectiveness of the governance, compliance, financial and risk management processes, systems and reporting of the Shrine. It does this by considering financial and related reports provided by management and internal and external auditors and directing establishment and review of an appropriate risk management framework. Standing Directions under the Financial Management Act 1994, also require the ARMC to oversee and advise the board on matters of accountability and internal control affecting operations.

The ARMC includes independent members who meet the criteria for independence within the Financial Management Compliance Framework guidelines. The Committee met on seven occasions in 2022–23.

Committee Members throughout the period included:

  • Robert Webster (TRUSTEE)
  • Catherine 'Bunny' Carrigan (TRUSTEE)
  • Timothy Holden (INDEPENDENT MEMBER)

Ceremonial Committee

The purpose of the Ceremonial Committee is to assist the Board of Trustees by supporting governance of the Shrine’s ceremonial activities: including the calendar of commemorative services and applications presented by management on behalf of external parties for the introduction of new and/or changed services and memorial plaques. The committee monitors the conduct of Ex-Service Organisations (ESOs) and trustee representatives in the delivery of commemorative services at which trustees are represented and makes recommendations relating to ceremonial policies and practices and the reappointment of Shrine Governors. The Committee met on three occasions in 2022–23.

Committee Members throughout the period included:

  • Tracey Curro (TRUSTEE)
  • Adrian Lombardo (SHRINE LIFE GOVERNOR)
  • John Coulson (SHRINE GOVERNOR)
  • Terry Makings (SHRINE GOVERNOR)

Remuneration Committee

The purpose of the Remuneration Committee is to assist the Board of the Shrine of Remembrance Trustees by considering and making recommendations relating to Chief Executive Officer (CEO) remuneration and the remuneration packages set by the CEO for executives (i.e., employees not covered by awards and collective agreements).

The committee is also responsible for establishing professional development and succession plans for the CEO and considering professional development plans and succession arrangements established by the CEO for executives. The committee met on one occasion during 2022–2023.

Committee Members during the reporting period were:

  • Robert Webster (TRUSTEE)
  • Sue Blake (TRUSTEE)

Occupational Health & Safety Committee

The Shrine’s Occupational Health and Safety Committee meets four times each year and includes nominated and trained Health and Safety Representatives from designated working groups of the staff, volunteer, and Victoria Police (Shrine Guard). Issues covered include WorkSafe matters, OHS incidents and matters of general workplace health and safety. During the 2022–23 reporting period, the Shrine’s OHS Committee met five times.

Pleasingly, no lost time injuries occurred in 2022–23.

Financial Report 2022–23

Audited general-purpose financial statements for the financial year that ended 30 June 2023.

Disclosure index

The Annual Report of the Shrine of Remembrance Trustees is prepared in accordance with all relevant Victorian legislation and pronouncements as far as practicable. This index has been prepared to facilitate identification of the Trustees's compliance with statutory disclosure requirements.


Disclosure of major contracts

The Shrine of Remembrance Trustees have no contracts at or above the prescribed level of $10 million within the 2021–22 reporting period.

Employment and conduct principles

The Shrine of Remembrance is committed to applying merit and equity principles when appointing staff. The selection processes ensure that applicants
are assessed and evaluated fairly and equitably on the basis of the key selection criteria and other accountabilities without discrimination. Employees
have been correctly classified in workforce data collections.

Freedom of Information

The Shrine of Remembrance is subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 1982. The Freedom of Information Act 1982 allows the public a right to seek access to documents held by the Shrine of Remembrance. Requests should be forwarded to Shrine of Remembrance Trustees, GPO Box 1603,
Melbourne, Victoria 3001.

Shrine Trustees received no Freedom of Information requests within the 2022–23 reporting period.

FOI REQUESTS PER PERIOD2020-212021-222022-23
Assessable FOI Request000

Compliance with Building Act 1993

During the reporting period the Trustees have complied with the Building Act 1993 as appropriate.

Compliance with neutrality policy

Shrine Trustees adhere to the principles of the National Competition Policy and Competitive Neutrality Policy (Vic) to ensure where services compete, or potentially compete with the private sector, any advantage arising solely from their government ownership be removed if not in the public interest.

Compliance with the Public Interest Disclosures Act 2012

The Public Interest Disclosures Act 2012 encourages and assists people in making disclosures of improper conduct by public officers and public bodies. The Act provides protection to people who make disclosures in accordance with the Act and establishes a system for the matters disclosed to be investigated and rectifying action to be taken.

The Shrine of Remembrance does not tolerate improper conduct by personnel, nor the taking of reprisals against those who come forward to disclose such conduct. It is committed to ensuring transparency and accountability in its administrative and management practices and supports the making of disclosures that reveal corrupt conduct, conduct involving a substantial mismanagement of public resources, or conduct involving a substantial risk to public health and safety or the environment.

The Shrine will take all reasonable steps to protect people who make such disclosures from any detrimental action in reprisal for making the disclosure. It will also afford natural justice to the person who is the subject of the disclosure to the extent it is legally possible.

Disclosures of improper conduct or detrimental action by the Shrine or any of its employees may be made to the Chairman of Trustees or the Chief Executive Officer. Alternatively, disclosures may also be made directly to:

Independent Broad-based
Anti-Corruption Commission
Level 1 North Tower, 459 Collins Street
Melbourne, Victoria 3000
PHONE 1300 735 135

The number of disclosures made by an individual to the Shrine of Remembrance and notified to the Independent Broad based Anticorruption Commission:

DISCLOSURES PER PERIOD2020-212021-222022-23
Assessable Disclosures000

Compliance with the Carers Recognition Act 2012

The Shrine of Remembrance has taken all practical measures to comply with its obligations under the Carers Recognition Act 2012. These include:
considering the care relationship principles set out in the Act when setting policies and providing services (e.g., reviewing our employment policies such as
flexible working arrangements and leave provisions to ensure that these comply with the statement of principles in the Act).


In 2022–23 there were seven consultancies where the total fees payable to the consultants were $10,000 or more. The total expenditure incurred during 2022–23 in relation to these consultancies was $333,174 (excl GST) (2022: $118,751).

In 2022–23 there were two consultancies where the total fees payable to the consultants were less than $10,000. The total amount spent on consultancies less than $10,000 was $4,993 (excl GST) (2022: $12,097).

Consultant and Service detailsStart dateEnd dateTotal approved fee
(excl. GST)
2021-22 Expenditure
(excl. GST)
Future expenditure
(excl. GST)
Tract Consultants PTY LTD
Shrine Masterplan
Morris Hargreaves McIntyre LTD
Visitor Research
Veris Australia PTY LTD
Feature and Level Survey
Australian Waterproofing Consultants PTY LTD
Waterproofing Investigative Audit
Sandwalk Partners PTY LTD
Strategic Plan Review
Conservation Studio Australia PTY LTD
Stone Condition Assessment Report
Access Solutions National PTY LTD
Disability Action Plan
TOTAL 341,340333,174-

Compliance with the Disability Act 2006

The Disability Act 2006 reaffirms and strengthens the rights of people with a disability and recognises that this requires support across the government sector and within the community.

The Shrine of Remembrance trustees adhere to the requirements of the Act and continue to develop and update their Disability Action Plan as and when required.

Disclosure of Government Advertising Expenditure

In 2022–23, the Trustees did not undertake any government advertising campaigns with total media spend of $100,000 or greater (excl GST).

Disclosure of ICT expenditure

ICT expenditure refers to the Shrine’s costs in providing business enabling ICT services within the current reporting period. It comprises Business As Usual (BAU) ICT expenditure and Non-Business As Usual (Non-BAU) ICT expenditure. Non-BAU ICT expenditure relates to extending or enhancing our current ICT capabilities. BAU ICT expenditure is all remaining ICT expenditure which primarily relates to ongoing activities to operate and maintain the current ICT capability.

During the reporting period, the Shrine of Remembrance had a total BAU and non-BAU ICT expenditure of $158,633.

Statement of Availability of other Information

In compliance with the requirements of the Standing Directions of the Minister for Finance, details in respect of the items listed have been retained by the Shrine of Remembrance and are available on request, subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 1982. During 2022–23:

  • Declarations of pecuniary interests were duly completed by all relevant officers,
  • no shares were held by a senior officer as nominee or held beneficially in a statutory authority or subsidiary.

Reporting of office-based environmental impacts

The Shrine of Remembrance maintains and regularly reviews an environmental practices policy and is committed to minimising the environmental impacts
associated with its activities.

As part of a Social Procurement Framework aimed at supporting local and sustainable suppliers, the Shrine, now uses all biodegradable materials in its wreaths, made from Australian grown flowers and foliage.

The Shrine maintains a 960,000 litre underground water storage tank which is used to store building and hard stand run-off. This water supports irrigation across the site and reduces consumption of potable water. Irrigation is scheduled to occur at night to minimise evaporative loss and drip irrigators are used in densely planted areas to further conserve water.

Within the Shrine monument a building management system allows for efficient control of climate and lighting systems to meet the needs and expectations
of visitors in an energy efficient manner. All public bathrooms utilise auto-operated hand dryers. Newer rooms/areas are also fitted with motion detectors
to turn lights on and off in response to use as a means of reducing electrical consumption. All new and replacement lighting products have been high
efficiency LED products.

Lighting, HVAC and standby utilities were powered down and/or minimised to reduce energy consumption and avoid light exposure to collections items. Further efficiencies were achieved in 2022-23, resulting in a reduction of 14 per cent in energy consumption (138,484 kWH) this financial year. Capital works on the external light towers also resulted in a further energy consumption reduction (3,401 kWH).

The Shrine utilises Microsoft SharePoint electronic document storage and retrieval system to protect document integrity and minimise the use of paper;
this is a cloud based computing solution reducing the requirement for on-site computing hardware thus minimising electrical costs and waste disposal of
aged computer and server hardware. Redundant ICT equipment was e-recycled throughout the year.

All internal communications, including committee and board meeting agenda and minutes, are distributed electronically to minimise the environmental footprint by reducing printer power, paper and ink consumption, and carbon emissions in transportation. Recycling bins are in all office areas to collect paper for re-use. Latex and Nitrile gloves are collected and where possible recycled. The Papercut software solution was implemented to assist our policy of minimising hard copy printing. Since 30 June 2022, printing across the organisation has increased by 5 per cent.

Local Jobs First

The Shrine of Remembrance adheres to the Local Jobs Act 2003 introduced in August 2018 which brings together the Victorian Industry Participation Policy (VIPP) and Major Project Skills Guarantee (MPSG) policy which were previously administered separately.

Social procurement

The Shrine od Remembrance undertook social procurement activities during the year with an aggregated spend of $719,380 with seven social benefit suppliers (2022: Nil).

Workforce data

The Shrine of Remembrance Trustees directly employs a Chief Executive Officer, operational staff, casual and contract employees.

STAFF NUMBERS2021-222022-23
Chief Executive Officer11
Shrine Employees (Total)3843
Effective Full-time equivalent31.3333.28

The salary of one executive employee is reported within note 8.3 of the financial accounts.

The Shrine is also supported by 90 volunteers.

Key supporters

Supporters who have contributed in 2022-23 are italicised.

Key supporters in 2022–23 include:

  • Australian War Memorial
  • Macutex
  • City of Melbourne
  • Victoria Police
  • Multinet Gas Networks and Origin Energy

The City of Melbourne provides grounds maintenance services and grant assistance towards limited administrative and secretarial support including payroll services via a Service Level Agreement.

Victoria Police provide the Shrine Guard.

Multinet Gas Networks and Origin Energy provide gas to the Eternal Flame via a Memorandum of Understanding and the Shrine of Remembrance Act 1978.