Australians come together to commemorate those who have served our nation and its allies in wars, conflicts and peace operations.
National commemorative program
The Australian Government leads national services and activities each year to commemorate some of the most significant moments in our military history. Some dates remain constant, such as Anzac Day and Remembrance Day. Others are commemorated on significant anniversaries, such as the 25th, 50th, 75th and 100th.
Our commemorations provide recognition, respect and acknowledgement to all Australian veterans. This supports the Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) objectives relating to veteran health and wellbeing.
DVA also undertakes domestic and overseas commemorative activities to give the Australian community opportunities to reflect on the roles that many Australians have played in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations since Federation.
Australia's calendar of remembrance includes officially gazetted days proclaimed by the Governor-General. These dates are formally recognised by the Australian Government, the most well-known of which is Anzac Day.
Here we've listed those gazetted days and some others that your community may wish to commemorate. This is not a complete list of dates, and days may change depending on the anniversaries commemorated each year.
19 February Bombing of Darwin Day
25 April Anzac Day*
27 July Korean Veterans' Day
15 August Victory in the Pacific (VP) Day
18 August Vietnam Veterans' Day
31 August Malaya and Borneo Veterans' Day
3 September Merchant Navy Day
1st Wednesday of September Battle for Australia Day
14 September National Peacekeepers' Day
11 November Remembrance Day
* Anzac Day is gazetted in the Anzac Day Act 1995 as a national event to recognise and commemorate the contribution of all those who have served Australia (including those who died) in time of war and in war‑like conflicts.
Other significant anniversaries
Many other anniversaries are recognised by ex-service organisations, veterans' groups, military formations and unit associations. They are important to veterans and help us to remember important episodes in Australia's past.
If you'd like to check the dates of significant battles and military events in Australian history, we recommend consulting:
- Australia's official war histories
- Coulthard-Clark, Chris. 2010. The Encyclopaedia of Australia's Battles. Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest.
If you'd like to commemorate an event or a particular service in your community, find out about:
- Planning an event
- Personal commemorations
- Commemorative grants
- Anzac Day Kitbag
- Remembrance Day Kitbag
Recordings of past services
50th anniversary of the end of Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War
On 18 August 2023, DVA held a National Commemorative Service at the Australian Vietnam Forces National Memorial on Anzac Parade in Canberra. We honoured the service of some 60,000 Australians who served in the Vietnam War, and the sacrifice of their families. Tragically, 523 Australians lost their lives as a result of the war, and more than 3,000 were wounded. Read more about this service.
75th anniversary of Australian peacekeeping
On 14 September 2022, DVA held a National Commemorative Service at the Australian Peacekeeping Memorial on Anzac Parade in Canberra.
In 1947, Australians were part of the first group of United Nations military observers anywhere in the world, and in the Netherlands East Indies (now Indonesia) became the first peacekeepers to go into the field. Since that time, Australian peacekeepers have served in locations, including the Middle East, Rwanda, Iraq, Afghanistan, Cyprus, East Timor, Bougainville and Solomon Islands. Tragically, 16 Australians have lost their lives during global peace operations.
50th anniversary of Operation Ivanhoe and the Battle of Nui Le
DVA planned a national commemorative service to be held at the Australian Vietnam Forces National Memorial. However, due to COVID-19 restrictions in the ACT, a ‘virtual’ commemorative service was broadcast on the ABC on Monday 20 September . We honoured the service and sacrifice of the 6 veterans who died and all those who served in Operation Ivanhoe and the Battle of Nui Le during the Vietnam War.
50th anniversary of Operation Overlord and the Battle of Long Khanh
On 7 June 2021, DVA held a national commemorative service held at the Australian Vietnam Forces National Memorial on Anzac Parade in Canberra. We honoured the service and sacrifice of those who served in Operation Overlord, including the Battle of Long Khanh – one of Australia’s last major operations in the Vietnam War.
75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War
On 15 August 2020, Victory in the Pacific Day, DVA held a national commemorative service in the Aircraft Hall at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. We honoured all those who served in World War II, and the sacrifice of their families.
The video begins with a special screening of Australia Remembers: End of the Second World War.
25th anniversary of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Rwanda – Operation Tamar
On 22 February 2020, DVA held a national commemorative service at the Australian Peacekeeping Memorial on Anzac Parade in Canberra.
50th anniversary of Operation Hammersley, Long Hai
On 18 February 2020, DVA held a national commemorative service at the Australian Vietnam Forces National Memorial on Anzac Parade in Canberra.