Civic Theatre hosts 66th annual Combined Schools Anzac Service

05 Apr 2022

More than 1800 students from across Newcastle and the Hunter gathered at Civic Theatre today to share untold war stories through drama and performance to commemorate the region’s military heritage ahead of Anzac Day.

Civic Theatre welcomed the return of the popular annual event, after being cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions in 2021, with more than 50 state, independent and catholic schools attending from as far as Singleton and Rutherford to learn more about the Anzac spirit.

City of Newcastle is a proud long-standing sponsorship partner of the Newcastle and Hunter Combined Schools Anzac Service, and this year marked the 66th anniversary of the commemorative event.

This year's theme, Purple Poppies, recognised animals that served Australia during times of war. Purple Poppies is a growing movement led by the Australian War Animal Memorial Organisation (AWAMO), which issues purple poppies to be worn alongside the traditional red one as a reminder that both humans and animals have and continue to serve.

The commemorative service provides an opportunity for senior students to undertake a leadership role on behalf of their school and the wider community. Students communicate stories through speech, drama, song, dance, and use of audio-visual technology whilst developing a variety of skills such as teamwork, research, development, organisational, meeting and public speaking.

This Anzac Day, City of Newcastle welcomes residents and the community to attend the Anzac Day Dawn Service at Camp Shortland on Newcastle Foreshore. Attendees are encouraged to wear poppies and sprigs of rosemary to let Australia's veterans and service people know that their service will never be forgotten. For those unable to attend in person, the service will be broadcast live on NBN between 5am to 6am.

City of Newcastle is long-standing sponsor of the event and is providing a free Park and Ride charter bus, which will operate on a continuous loop between McDonald Jones Stadium and between Queens Wharf from 3.30am until 12pm

Newcastle Transport will operate additional bus services from 3.30am on Anzac Day to help the community get to the dawn service and other commemorative events on the day.