No Anzac Day dawn services at Miranda and Caringbah and registration required elsewhere

About 5000 people attended this previous dawn service in Monro Park at Cronulla. Picture: John Veage
About 5000 people attended this previous dawn service in Monro Park at Cronulla. Picture: John Veage

Anzac Day dawn services won't be held at Miranda and Caringbah this year and numbers will be restricted at other Sutherland Shire war memorials.

Dawn services have been designated ticketed events and those attending will have to register.

The state government is allowing 10,000 people to participate in the Sydney CBD march and a maximum of 5000 people at other marches or services throughout Sydney, but the number must not exceed one person per two square metres of space.

"The nominated organiser of an outdoor Anzac Day march or service must develop and comply with a COVID-19 Safety Plan required for outdoor protests," the RSL website says.

"Each person participating in an outdoor Anzac Day march or service must provide their name, telephone number of email address to the nominated organiser and take reasonably practicable steps to comply with the COVID-19 Safety Plan developed by the nominated organiser."

Not holding a dawn service at Caringbah is understandable because the war memorial park is very small.

However, the decision not to hold a service at Miranda, on the edge of Seymour Shaw Park, has surprised and disappointed some veterans and their families.

"They could have turned it around, so, instead of having the people in Central Road and at the sides of the war memorial, everyone was spread out in the park," said one veteran.

Miranda RSL sub-Branch president Arie Havenaar said the committee had been working with Sutherland Shire Council towards holding a dawn service, but it became too difficult to meet all the requirements with limited manpower.

"It's very disappointing when you see how many people there are at things like football games and the Gay Mardi Gras," he said.

"But, we usually get 5000 to 6000 people here, including a lot of schoolchildren, and it boiled down to the fact that we couldn't guarantee their safety.

"The rules kept changing - we were even getting emails at 10 o'clock at night.

"We reached a point where we had to make a call and we decided instead to have a breakfast and a small service for our members."

Woronora RSL sub-Branch president Barry Grant said it had been very difficult working to meet the official requirements.

"However, after having to cancel last year, we were determined to have a service this year," he said.

"We are limited to 585 people and we have to tell people it is a ticketed event and they need to register."

Mr Grant said schools had been invited to have representatives lay a wreath, but a school choir would not sing.

The popular Cronulla dawn service will still be held, but with far fewer people able to be present.

In the past, up to 5000 people have crammed into Monro Park.

The RSL's website says this year's numbers have not yet been confirmed.

Sutherland Shire Council's website has listed the following dawn service information, supplied by RSL Sub-branches and clubs.

The website advises registration is required, provides a link and contact details:

  • Bundeena - 6am, Bundeena Reserve, 0404 404 118.
  • Caringbah - No dawn service.
  • Sutherland - 5.15am, Sutherland War Memorial in Eton Street, 9521 4700.
  • Cronulla - 5.30am, Monro Park, 9523 6833.
  • Engadine - 5.30am, Town square, 9548 8100.
  • Heathcote, 5am, Oliver St, Heathcote, 0423 005 597 after 2pm Monday to Friday.
  • Menai -5.15am, Parc Menai, 9532 1800.
  • Miranda - No dawn service.
  • Woronora River - 5.45am, RSL & Citizens Club, Woronora-River@rsinsw.org.au