April 25 is ANZAC Day.
ANZAC Day is one of Australia’s most important commemorative holidays. It’s a time of reflection and a way to thank all Australians and New Zealanders who have served or are serving in Australia’s armed forces for the sacrifices they have made to keep Australia safe.
What do we commemorate on ANZAC Day?
ANZAC Day began as a commemorative day to remember the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps soldiers who lost their lives fighting for Australia during world war I. The commemorative date, April 25, marks the date that ANZAC troops landed at Gallipoli, Turkey, in 1915. By the end of the Turkish campaign, over 8000 Australian soldiers had been killed.
In 1916, a year after ANZAC troops landed at Gallipoli, the first ANZAC Day was commemorated to remember the sacrifice of those who died.
World War I left 60,000 Australian soldiers dead, and ANZAC Day soon became a day to remember all those who lost their lives during the war. ANZAC Day was made a national public holiday in the late 1920s, and today is marked as a day to remember the many Australian and New Zealand men and women who perished in armed conflicts around the world.
How is ANZAC Day commemorated?
The day begins with a dawn service, held all around Australia and attended by thousands of people every year. The dawn service includes the laying of wreaths at ANZAC memorial sites around the country.
One other tradition has come to be synonymous with ANZAC Day – two-up. This coin-tossing game is illegal in Australia except on ANZAC Day, when it has become tradition for many to attend their local Returned Service League (RSL) club to watch or play a game or two. Two-up became popular among troops during World War I to alleviate boredom, and many returned service members continued to play the game back home.
Why poppies on ANZAC Day?
The red poppy we have come to associate with both ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day on November 11 is the Flanders Poppy. It grew abundantly in many of the trenches and fields where world war I was fought. It also flowers in Spring in Turkey, when the ANZACs landed at Gallipoli.
Red poppies have come to symbolise the ANZAC legend and are used to remind of the horrors of war and remember those who have suffered and died in armed conflict.
ANZAC Day events
If you’re planning an ANZAC themed event, an ex-military motivational speaker or a military keynote speaker are just a few options you can consider to engage your audience. ICMI has a wide range of speakers available for ANZAC themed events, including female military speakers, military guest speakers, military veteran speakers, and army motivational speakers.
If you’d like your event to feature one or more military veteran motivational speakers, Harry Moffitt is a top speaking choice. A former SAS commander, Harry has seen it all. Now a registered psychologist, Harry knows how to inspire and motivate his audiences. There’s little he can’t do; beyond his military past, he’s also an author, singer and songwriter. You can read an excerpt we published from his latest book here.
If you’re after a speaker who is a trailblazer, veteran, and one of the best military speakers around, look no further than Natalee Johnston. As the first female Royal Australian Navy helicopter pilot, Natalee is well-versed in defying expectations and motivating others. Her passion for safety has led her to become a well-respected consultant in the health and safety space, providing expert advice on accident preventability.
Mark Wales is inarguably one of the toughest men around. He knows his stuff, both in the army and civilian life. Since leaving the military, he has dedicated his life to teaching others to excel while under stress, something he has had many years of practice with himself. He is known to TV audiences thanks to his recent Survivor win. You can read the article he wrote on ANZAC day here.
Daniel Keighran VC is a true war hero, and his story of resilience and courage will resonate with audiences everywhere. Daniel was awarded the Victorian Cross for intentionally drawing enemy fire to himself and away from his fellow soldiers. His bravery is formidable, and he commands respect from both military veterans and civilians alike.
Rabia Siddique has been many things in her life, hostage survivor, British army senior officer and humanitarian lawyer. Her unique experiences mean she has many stories to tell, each more inspiring than the next. Rabia has earned the respect of her peers and friends and if your programme lacks a female military motivational speaker, look no further.
TV audiences around Australia will know Ollie Ollerton from SAS Australia, where the hardened armed forces veteran works with some of Australia’s toughest individuals. Ollie’s belief is that everyone has a breaking point and that this breaking point can be reached and overcome. He believes that inner strength is the key to moving forward and achieving extraordinary results. He leaves audiences inspired to find their own inner strength.
ANZAC Day is an important national commemorative holiday in Australia. Events around ANZAC Day should consider the strong feelings that arise for many Australians around this date. As a nation, Australia is proud of the men and women who have served in the military and sacrificed so much to keep Australia safe, so be aware of this when you’re planning your event. Contact ICMI to secure the best military speakers for your next event and bring your audience inspiration, hope, and motivation.