Days of commemoration in Australia
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.
Victory in Europe (VE) Day
Korean Veterans' Day
Victory in the Pacific (VP) Day
Vietnam Veterans' Day
Malaya and Borneo Veterans' Day
Merchant Navy Day
1st Wednesday of September (5 September in 2021)
Battle for Australia Day
Australian Peacekeepers' and Peacemakers' 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 help us to remember important episodes in Australia's past. They hold enormous importance to those who have served.
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:
Recordings of past services
50th anniversary of the Battle for Long Hai (Operation Hammersley)
National Commemorative Service on 18 February 2020 at the Australian Vietnam Forces National Memorial, Canberra, to mark the 50th Anniversary of Operation Hammersley.
25th anniversary of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Rwanda (Operation Tamar)
National Commemorative Service on 22 February 2020 at the Australian Peacekeeping Memorial, Canberra, to mark the 25th anniversary of Operation Tamar.
Anzac Day 2020
National Commemorative Service on 25 April 2020 at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, commemorating all Australians who have served Australia and its allies in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations.
Pause and Reflect Moment
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Australians at home paused at 11:30am to reflect on the sacrifices made by all service men, women and volunteers.
This 7-minute video has a moment of silence, followed by images of wartime service, a reading of the Ode of Remembrance, a bugler playing The Last Post and 1 minute of silence. The silence is broken by playing of the Reveille.
Victory in the Pacific (VP) Day 2020
National Commemorative Service for VP Day on 15 August 2020 to mark the 75th Anniversary of the end of the Second World War, held at the Aircraft Hall, Australian War Memorial, Canberra.
The video begins with a special screen of ABC TV program, Australia Remembers: End of the Second World War.