The City of Ballarat is teaming up with Ballarat RSL and the creator of the Driveway at Dawn initiative, Justin Wilbur, to encourage the Ballarat community to recognise and commemorate ANZAC Day 2020 from the safety of their driveways.
As a show of solidarity, at 6am on Saturday 25 April, Australians across the country will stand in their driveways with a lit candle for the duration of the Dawn Service, while tuning in to broadcasts from the Australian War Memorial in Canberra via radio, app or Facebook. Alternatively, Radio 3BA and Power FM will broadcast from a temporary studio a special dawn service presented by representatives from Ballarat RSL.
The Driveway at Dawn initiative is the brainchild of local Ballarat resident, Justin Wilbur via his Facebook page Aussies & Kiwis for ANZACs.
The City of Ballarat supports the RSL in delivering its physical commemoration of ANZAC Day each year. This year Council faced the challenge of how to involve families in commemorations, with traditional ANZAC Day services cancelled or closed to the public due to COVID-19.
Ballarat Mayor Cr Ben Taylor said the driveway Dawn service was a fitting tribute that would allow communities throughout the Municipality to safely pay their respects to the fallen while observing social distancing.
As a further show of respect, musicians young and old can also join in the playing of the Last Post, with consideration of noise levels.
“ANZAC Day will look a lot different this year, but we still have the capacity to Be Kind, and show our respect to veterans and their families in what I believe will be a very moving experience,” Cr Taylor said.
“We may not be able to march beside them or lay a wreath in their honour, but we will remember them by the light of the dawn.”
RSL President, Alan Douglass reiterated the Mayor’s sentiments and urged residents to stay at home this ANZAC Day for the health and wellbeing of everyone.
A range of engagement activities for families to complete in the lead-up to the driveway Dawn service will be available on the City of Ballart/Be Kind website including:
- Downloadable colour-in sheets of poppies and slouch hats supplied by RSL, for parents to generate conversations with their children around ANZAC Day and decorate their windows (similar to the teddy bear movement)
- Bunting template supplied by the RSL to place in windows and on fences
- Links to radio stations and others broadcasting the ANZAC Day Services
- Details of the app developed by Justin Wilbur