Use of the word Anzac

Did you know?

Did you know that the word ‘Anzac’ is protected by legislation?

In 1921, Protection of Word ‘Anzac’ Regulations were put in place to protect the word ‘Anzac’ from inappropriate use. It is not permissible to use the word ‘Anzac’ in connection with any trade, business, private residence, boat, vehicle or charitable or other institution, or any building, without the authority of the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs.

Use of the word ‘Anzac’ is generally approved by the Minister for ‘Anzac biscuit’ and ‘Anzac slice’. However, use of the name also comes with conditions, including the commitment of the product’s sellers to conform to the traditional recipe and shape. Other uses generally approved include the names of committees formed to plan Anzac Centenary events and businesses situated on a road, street, avenue or highway that includes the word 'Anzac'.

Should you wish to use the word ‘Anzac’ in any venture, please first seek approval from the Minister. Enquiries about this can be made by contacting the Anzac Centenary and Communications Branch of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs on 1800 026 185. Further information about this subject can be found on the Department of Veterans' Affairs website.

Where did the word ‘Anzac’ originate?

Historically, ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) was an acronym devised by Major General William Birdwood's staff in Cairo in early 1915.  It was used for registering correspondence for the new corps and a rubber stamp was cut using the letters A.&N.Z.A.C.

After the landing at Gallipoli, General Birdwood requested that the position held by the Australians and New Zealanders on the peninsula be called 'Anzac' to distinguish it from the British position at Helles.  Permission was also sought to name the little bay, where the majority of the corps had come ashore on 25 April 1915, ‘Anzac Cove'.  The letters now were upper and lower case, indicating that the original acronym had already found a use beyond that of a military code word or corps designation. 

The marketing power of the word 'Anzac' itself was realised early on by astute entrepreneurs.  Then there were those who genuinely sought to immortalise lost loved ones by naming their homes 'Anzac'.

Whether its use was well-intentioned or purely commercial, the word 'Anzac' could easily have been exploited, overused or misused.  This was realised as early as 1916 and so legislation was passed to regulate its use and has existed ever since. 

More information about the history of the word ‘Anzac’.