The COVID-19 outbreak meant that traditional Anzac Day gatherings could not be held this year, but this did not stop Queenslanders around the world from marking this important day. In London, the Agent-General laid a wreath at Australia House on behalf of all Queenslanders and the Queensland Government, and shared an Anzac Day message.

A message from the Agent-General for Queensland

ANZAC Day commemorative services, at home and abroad, will be different this year.

However, their purpose and significance will remain the same. ANZAC Day is an important part of Australia’s story since the first commemorations in 1916. As always, we will mark this special date by honouring those who served and are serving.

In London, the Australian community in the United Kingdom traditionally gathers at dawn at the Australian and New Zealand war memorials at Hyde Park Corner. This is followed by a wreath-laying at The Cenotaph in central London, with the ceremonies concluding with a Service of Commemoration at Westminster Abbey.

As Agent-General for Queensland, it is normally my honour to publicly lay a wreath and attend these services on behalf of the people and government of Queensland. While I will not be able to do that this year, I am pleased to have participated in alternative arrangements made by the Australian and New Zealand High Commissions and other Veterans’ Affairs organisations to pay our respects.

As we mark this Anzac Day and reflect upon its purpose, its meaning and how it shapes our future, there has never been a more significant time to do so, especially during this tragic and unusual peacetime setting. Perhaps not since World War II has there been a global crisis like the one we are facing today. Although we are currently facing a different fight, we should consider the important sacrifices made in the past by individuals, communities, nations and international allies during hard times.

As Queenslanders and global citizens, I hope we can take a moment to remember these past sacrifices – particularly those who have made the hardest sacrifice of all – and to contemplate the future as we seek to build safer and better lives for all.

I have been encouraged by the great, resilient spirit of Queenslanders and our friends in the United Kingdom who are maintaining connections, supporting each other, and planning to make this important day differently but in equally meaningful ways. During these unprecedented times it is that notion of service and community, demonstrated more than 100 years ago by our kin and allies across Australia and New Zealand, that will guide us forward, together.

Lest we forget.

Linda Apelt,

#ANZACday2020 #wewillrememberthem #ANZACspirit