On International Women’s Day 2024 (8 March), the Anzac Memorial is holding a series of free special events to commemorate and recognise women who have contributed to the defence of Australia during conflicts and peacetime.
Women have played a significant role in Australian military service, from serving in the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) then Australian Defence Force (ADF) and carrying out nursing duties on frontlines, to undertaking war work on the home front and making invaluable sacrifices as military spouses.
The morning’s program will start with a special commemorative ceremony in the Hall of Memory paying tribute to the service and sacrifices of women who have served, defence spouses, family members and women in civilian organisations which support the defence and veteran communities. Following the ceremony, the stories of service women from across the decades will be explore through a live reading, a talk on women in aviation and a presentation by the WRAAC Association. Morning tea will be provided. All events are free and will take place at the Anzac Memorial with a light morning tea provided.
You can attend the full program or specific events (indicate your attendance preferences as part of the registration process). The morning’s program appears below.
Places are limited.
10.00am | Special Commemoration (Hall of Memory)
A commemorative service held in the Memorial’s Hall of Memory to commemorate and recognise the contributions of women to the defence of Australia.
10.20am | Live Performance – In Their Words: Spoken Histories from the Anzac Memorial’s Collection (Auditorium)
A live reading by one of the Memorial’s talented actors of a wartime letter written by Beryl Joan Crowdy, a physiotherapist from Sydney who served overseas during the Second World War.
11.00am | Morning Tea
11.30am | Talk — Through Adversity to the Stars; Women in Aviation in Australia
Dr Catie Gilchrist will examine the history of women in civil and military aviation in Australia. From the civil aviation enthusiasts of the 1920s, to the air-minded volunteers of the 1930s and the thousands of women who enrolled and later enlisted with the Women’s Auxiliary Australian Air Force during the Second World War to their more recent roles in the Air Force, all of these women have embodied the motto of the RAAF; through adversity to the stars.
12.15pm | Talk and Collection Item Presentation
A talk on the history of the Women’s Royal Australian Army Corps (WRRAC) by Gai Hutchison, President of the WRAAC Association NSW Branch, and a presentation of WRAAC Artefacts to the Anzac Memorial’s collection.