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Preserve ANZAC Day in South Australia: A Call to Action.

By Ray Payne OAM

In a distressing turn of events, there are ominous signs that ANZAC Day may cease to exist in South Australia. ANZAC Day, a day sacred to remembering and honouring the sacrifices of those who served and paid the ultimate price for our freedom, is now under threat. It is imperative that we unite as a community and exert collective pressure on both the South Australian state government and the federal government to preserve this significant day in our nation’s history.

The call for help is not an overstatement; it is a plea for action. ANZAC Day holds profound meaning for Australians, serving as a solemn reminder of the courage and sacrifice displayed by our servicemen and women throughout history. Without a united front advocating for the preservation of this day, the risk of its disappearance looms large.

To effect change, we must recognize the power that lies in numbers. It is the collective voice of a community that can sway decisions and steer the course of policy. Now, more than ever, we need to stand together and demonstrate that ANZAC Day is not just a date on the calendar; it is a symbol of our shared history and the sacrifices made for our freedom.

Allowing ANZAC Day to fade away in South Australia could set a dangerous precedent with far-reaching consequences. The ripple effect of this decision could extend beyond the immediate loss of a day of remembrance. It may diminish the value we place on our veterans and their contributions, eroding the very fabric of our national identity. As custodians of the legacy left by those who served, it is our responsibility to prevent such a detrimental outcome.

As veterans, the burden of ensuring the preservation of ANZAC Day falls squarely on our shoulders. We have a unique perspective on the significance of this day and a duty to honour the memory of our mates. Let us stand united in our commitment to preserving this important tradition, drawing upon our collective experiences to convey the gravity of the situation to decision-makers.

In conclusion, the threat to ANZAC Day in South Australia demands our immediate attention and concerted effort. We must galvanise our community, mobilise support, and engage with both the state and federal governments to safeguard this crucial day of remembrance. Let us not allow the sacrifices of our servicemen and women to be overshadowed by the passage of time. This is not a small issue; it is an urgent call to action, and together, we can ensure that ANZAC Day endures for generations to come.

Voice your opinion to the Premier of South Australia

The Hon Peter Malinauskas MP

Email: [email protected]

Telephone: (08) 8429 3232
(Office hours are 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday)

Postal address
GPO Box 2343
Adelaide  SA  5001



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  • Kenneth Taylor December 2, 2023   Reply →

    It is easy for the Protected to diminish the actions of those who did the protecting. It was once said that cowards hunt in packs and only ever fight in the rear row of the of the mob. To remove ANZAC Day from the annual Cullender of Memorial Days is an act of Brastedry against those who have given all. Now to use that Freedom to reject their sacrifice is beyond the Pale.

  • Keith Jarrett December 2, 2023   Reply →

    Why the bloody hell do we have to keep defending what is the core of Australia?

  • Steve NUGENT December 2, 2023   Reply →


    My 1st Lieutenant 9RAR Platoon Commander in Vietnam in 1969, resides in Adelaide S.A.
    He is the current S.A Ceremonial Officer for the 9RAR Association (S.A.) and I understand for the city Anzac Day march, for the RAR generally.

    Last S.A. Anzac Day, he recognised only two 9RAR returned servicemen from the Vietnam conflict and due to the small numbers that would march from the remaining Battalions of the RAR, he made the decision to amalgamate and that the RAR would march as one unit, in lieu of individual Battalions – the numbers were just not there.

    That above decision was necessary due to the numbers of RAR veterans that are unable to march any longer, due to an increasing number suffering from medical conditions or, in somecases, that have unfortunately, passed away.

    At the Sydney Anzac Day March last year, we had roughly 80 marching behind the 9RAR banner however, only 22 were returned 9RAR veterans. The remainder were family of KIA and family marching on behalf of or, with 9RAR parents/grandparents and on behalf of relatives involved in previous miltary theatres. It is the families that were able to give that support for Anzac Day and it is hopefull that this will continue long after the Vietnam Vets have passed on.

    The declining numbers of Vietnam Vets that could possibly march, was driven home at a 9RAR State Presidents management meeting, held in conjunction with a 9RAR national reunion, held in Maroochydore, November 2022. One of our Patrons said that he had been keeping a tally of 9RAR losses over a 12 month period, to the end of October 2022. That number was 72 deceased, from just one Battalion, in just one year.

    It is apparent that with dwindling Vietnam Vet losses, Anzac Day marches generally, will need the increased support of veterans from later conflicts combined with the families of those that have served in the military from all previous conflicts. In Adelaide’s case, the military ‘connections’ in the area, are not exactly of large numbers these days with the northward shift of military establishments and, when compared to what the connections used to be in S.A. 50 years ago. The change could be compared to the large military presence now evident in area’s such as Townsville or, Darwin that has had a diminishing effect on southern areas, such as Adelaide.

    The hope is that Anzac Day marches will be able to be continued in Adelaide into the future but, it seems that will not be easily achieved with the numbers of people that have ‘strong military associations’, that might still exist in that area.

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