Frequently Asked Questions

Attendance Passes

Is it a ballot?

No, ceremony locations will be filled utilising a ‘first in’ approach.

How can I apply for an attendance pass to France 2016?

Attendance pass applications can only be made online or by post, using the form prescribed by the Australian Government. Individuals can download a form on the Anzac Centenary website or request a form to be sent by email or post.

Applications for attendance passes can be made as from 12:00 hrs AEDST on 4 December 2015. All online and postal applications must be received by the closing date being 11:59 PM AEDST on 31 May 2016 and/or by the time attendance pass allocations are exhausted, whichever is earlier.

PLEASE NOTE: Ceremony locations will be filled utilising a ‘first in’ approach

If I am successful in the application, what does that entitle me to?

Access to the following two commemorative sites (the 2016 Commemoration(s)); 

19 July 2016 – The Pheasant Wood Cemetery, Fromelles, to view;

  • 1:00PM - the Pheasant Wood Headstone Dedication Ceremony at Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery 
  • 5:00PM - the Australian National Commemorative Service at VC Corner on large screens, live. 

23 July 2016 – Australian 1st Division Memorial, Pozières, to view;

  • the Australian National Commemorative Service at Pozières

Each successful applicant will be given one attendance pass per commemorative site. Applicants can attend both commemorations, however must hold an individual attendance pass for each commemoration.

Who can apply for an attendance pass to France 2016?

An attendance pass applicant must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident and hold a current passport, but do not need to be living in Australia at the time of application. If you were not born in Australia you will also need to provide your Australian citizenship certificate number or your permanent resident visa number.

Applicants of other nationalities are encouraged to register their attendance so that they may be kept informed of updated information by the Australian Government. Non-pass holders may be directed to view commemorations at alternative designated locations, which will stream the service live for viewing via large screens. 

19 July 2016 – Alternate Viewing Location: Fromelles Town, next to Pheasant Wood Cemetery.

  • 1:00pm Viewing of the Pheasant Wood Headstone Dedication Ceremony at Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery
  • 5:00pm Viewing of the Australian National Commemorative Service at VC Corner

23 July 2016 – Alternate Viewing Location: Thiepval Memorial to the Missing on the Somme.

  • 4:00pm Viewing of the Australian National Commemorative Service at Pozières

Can I transfer my pass?

No, Attendance passes cannot be traded, offered for sale or exchanged in any circumstances. If you are no longer able to attend the 2016 Commemorations in France, please email us on westernfrontcentenary@ticketek.com.au as soon as possible, so that your attendance pass can be reallocated to the next applicant on the waitlist.

Will the Australian government pay for any of my costs associated with getting to France?

No, Holders of an attendance pass must make their own travel arrangements to France and meet all costs associated with travel.  This includes flights (international and domestic); accommodation; on-ground transport; travel insurance, passport and visa costs (where they apply) and all incidental expenses.

I need to renew my passport.  Do I have to enter my passport number now on the registration form?

No, Once you have submitted your application for France 2016 you have 60 days to provide your passport details. Applicants will receive up to 60 calendar days to confirm their current passport details within their application.  Attendance pass applications are considered ‘unconfirmed’ until the Australian Government has received full passport details.  Should applicants not provide details within the prescribed time, unconfirmed passes will immediately become available to new applicants.

Your name and passport number will be printed on your attendance pass and will be checked against your passport on entry to the commemorative sites in France.

I have already booked a tour to go to France through a travel agency; do I still have to apply for an attendance pass to France 2016 commemorations?

Yes, Individuals must apply for an attendance pass. Only those who are successful in the application will be able to attend official commemorative services in France 2016. 

Tour operators cannot guarantee attendance at the commemorations. Those who have already booked a tour, which includes attending official Commemorations in France 2016, should speak to their travel agent or tour operator regarding arrangements if they are not successful in their application. 

How many times can I apply for France 2016?

Only one registration per eligible person is permitted in the application.

Does my child need an attendance pass?

All individuals over the age of three years, on the day of the commemorative service, must hold an attendance pass to gain access to the 2016 Commemorations. Individuals under the age of three are not conferred the right to any seat at all, and must sit on the lap of an attendance pass holder.

Pass holders and commemorative event attendees who are under the age of 17 must be accompanied by a responsible adult to the 2016 Commemorations and other commemorative events. 

How many places are available at Fromelles and Pozières? 

Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery - There is seating for 3,200 members of public in tiered, grandstand style seating, including a limited number of accessible seats which are available for those who register accessibility requirements.

Pheasant Wood - While there is a capacity for 3,500 members of the public to attend this service, the majority of attendees will need to stand as there will be limited seating available. A limited number of accessible seats will also be available for those who register their accessibility requirements. 

What happens if I am not successful in the France 2016 application?

A waitlist will be held to redistribute any remaining or forfeited attendance passes. If you are unsuccessful in the application, you will not be permitted entry to the commemorative sites to attend the official France 2016 Commemorative services.

Unsuccessful applicants will still be able to attend a viewing of the services from an alternative viewing location where the service will be displayed on large screens via live broadcast.

We strongly recommend that all applicants enter the waitlist.

Successful Applicants

People who have applied for an attendance pass will be advised within 4 weeks of their application by email and letter.  Successful applicants are allocated an attendance pass to attend official France 2016 commemorations, including one or both of the commemorations on; 

19 July 2016 – The Pheasant Wood Cemetery, Fromelles, to view;

  • 1:00PM - the Pheasant Wood Headstone Rededication Ceremony at Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery 
  • 5:00PM - the Australian National Commemorative Service at VC Corner on large screens, live. 

23 July 2016 – Australian 1st Division Memorial, Pozières, to view;

  • the Australian National Commemorative Service at Pozieres

If you are successful in the application, you need to make your own travel arrangements to France and pay for all costs including flights, accommodation, transport, travel insurance and incidentals. 

About your attendance pass

Only my first and last names have been printed on my attendance pass - not my full name (as it appears on my passport) – is this a problem?

No. An attendance pass that includes your first name and last name is a vaild attendance pass. It does not matter whether or not your middle name is printed on the pass.

My attendance pass has been printed with my old passport number – is this a problem?

No.  If your old passport number is printed on your pass, then you should bring the old passport with you, or a photocopy of that passport, along with your new passport to present  at the check points in France.

Do I have to bring my passport with me or will a photocopy of the passport be ok?

A photocopy of your passport, showing the page which includes your photograph, passport number and full name, will be accepted as identification at the check points in France.

What if I lose my attendance pass or it is stolen before I get to France?

If you lose, misplace or your attendance pass is stolen before you arrive at Fromelles and/or Pozières, you must identify this at the first checkpoint.  Processes will be in place for the reissue of attendance passes at the commemorative sites.

If possible, you should contact Ticketek or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to advise that you have lost or misplaced your pass.  If you advise us before you arrive at the commemorative site, it may be possible for a new attendance pass be printed ready for collection when you arrive. See the back of this booklet for contact details.

What if my attendance pass is damaged?

If your attendance pass is damaged before you arrive at the commemorative site, you must identify this at the first checkpoint.  Processes will be in place for the reissue of attendance passes at the commemorative sites.

If possible, you should contact Ticketek or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to advise that your attendance pass is damaged.  If you advise us before you arrive at the commemorative site, it may be possible for a new attendance pass be printed ready for collection when you arrive.

What if I forget to bring my passport with me to the Commemoration?

If you forget to bring your passport or a photocopy of your passport with you for the identification check, you will be asked for other photographic identification documentation, such as a Driver’s Licence.  If you are unable to provide other identification documents, there will be a process in place to attempt to verify your identity.  If your identity can not be verified, you may not be permitted entry to the commemorations.

What if I lose my attendance pass or wristband onsite at the Commemoration?

If you lose your attendance pass or wristband while you are at Fromelles and/or Pozières, you must identify this at one of the check points or event official.  Processes will be in place for the reissue of an attendance pass or wristband at the commemoration.

Travel to France

How do I arrange my travel to France?

Any travel agent can provide you with options and make bookings for flights, accommodation and tours, as well as advise you about passport requirements, entry visas and travel insurance.
The Australian Government cannot assist individuals with organising or booking their travel to France to attend the commemorative services on the Western Front.

You should consider your personal circumstances when making decisions about your travel. It is your responsibility to read the terms & conditions of your booking and make sure all details are correct.

How do you get to Fromelles and Pozières?

The Australian Government does not arrange any form of transport to or from the Pheasant Wood Cemetery at Fromelles or the 1st Division Memorial at Pozières, where the commemorative services are to be conducted, for visitors attending the commemorative services.

The nearest major centre to Fromelles is the city of Lille. Lille is approximately 3 hours’ drive from Paris or an hour on the TGV ‘fast train’. It is a 20 minute drive from Lille to Fromelles. On the morning of the service a shuttle service will be running from Lille to Fromelles. Those self-driving will be directed to a Park and Ride location where they will be shuttled into Fromelles. Tour operators will drop their clients in Fromelles. Details on travel arrangements to the service can be found on the Anzac Centenary website.

The nearest major centres to Pozières are Amiens, a 40 minute drive to the south, and Arras, a 40 minute drive to the north. Amiens is approximately a 1 hour 45 minute drive from Paris and Arras 2 hours 15 minutes from Paris. On the day of the service a shuttle service may be running from these centres. Those self-driving will be directed to a Park and Ride location where they will be shuttled into Pozières. Tour operators will drop their clients in Pozières. Details on travel arrangements to the service can be found on the Anzac Centenary website.

Can the Australian Government help me with my travel arrangements?

No, You must make all of your own travel arrangements and pay all expenses to attend the commemorations in France.

Before you depart home

Where do I apply for an Australian passport?

You will require a current passport to travel outside of Australia and you will need to ensure your passport has at least six months validity after the date you arrive in France.

Contact the Australian Passport Office on 131 232 or visit the Australian Passport Office website for information if you need to apply for a passport or to renew your passport.

Do I need a Visa to enter France?

France is a party to the Schengen Convention, along with a number of other European countries, which allows you to enter France without a visa in some circumstances. Visit the Smartraveller website for more information before you leave Australia. 

Do I need travel Insurance?

Travel insurance can cover the policyholder for insurable events that may occur before or during travel, such as trip cancellation/interruption, medical expenses for injury or illness, theft of valuables, baggage delay or damage and more.

Travel insurance is essential – if you incur medical expenses while overseas and you do not have travel insurance, you are personally liable for covering all costs. The Australian Government cannot pay for medical expenses overseas. Nor will your domestic private health insurance cover you overseas.

Where an individual cannot obtain travel insurance to cover their personal circumstances, they should consider the potential financial and personal risks before deciding whether to proceed with planned travel overseas. Further information on travel insurance is available on the Smartraveller website.

Do I need to register my travel?

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) provides travel advice for France on its Smartraveller website. It is recommended that Australians travelling to France for the commemorations monitor this advice and register their details at the Smartraveller website.

Registration means you will be advised of any changes to the travel advisory and allows DFAT to get in touch with you or your family in the event of an emergency.

Arriving in France 

What should I do before I arrive at services in France?

Prior to arriving at the commemorative sites, all visitors should have their belongings packed in a separate day-pack or carry bag ready to disembark their coach or shuttle. Quick and orderly movement will allow for the continued flow of visitor arrivals.

Visitors should note that after they disembark their coach or shuttle, it is unlikely they will have the opportunity to return to their coach or car to collect any forgotten items or return any prohibited items.  Details of what to take to the commemorations are available on the Anzac Centenary website.   Visitors should ensure they do not have any prohibited items in their carry bag.

What is prohibited at the commemorative sites?

  • Dangerous or hazardous items 
  • Large flags 
  • Advertising or marketing messages 
  • Large cameras with telescopic lenses and equipment 
  • Drones and remote control devices 
  • Large backpacks or luggage 
  • Camping equipment (including tents, folding chairs, camping mats, cooking equipment, etc.) 
  • Opened bottles of liquid 
  • Flammable liquids, weapons or sharp objects including umbrellas 
  • Large objects (for example chairs, musical instruments, etc.) 
  • Hiking poles (Medical and mobility aids such as walkers, walking sticks and wheelchairs will be permitted subject to medical need) 
  • Professional photographic equipment (including large zoom lenses, audio visual or cinematographic equipment) 
  • Alcohol – intoxicated persons will be refused entry 
  • Smoking is prohibited in the stands and enclosed areas 

All visitors to the commemorations may undergo security screening and bag searches by the French authorities on entry to the sites.

Accessible seating and assistance

What does an accessible seating pass provide?

Extremely limited onsite assistance is available to visitors who have a health or mobility issue. Onsite assistance comprises of reserved seating, access to several dedicated toilets and limited on site transport assistance.

Visitors seeking accessible seating will need to apply at the time of registration as places are limited. Spaces will be allocated on a most-at-need basis. Access to this assistance cannot be guaranteed.

Eligible visitors will have their attendance pass appropriately marked and are able to have one carer with them to provide personal assistance.

Who is eligible for an accessible seating pass?

To receive assistance, a person’s mobility status must substantially impair their ability to move safely at and between the commemorative sites. All visitors to the commemorations should be able to walk at least 400 metres unaided along flat ground, as well as be able to climb stairs to access shuttle buses and seating stands.

Visitors seeking accessible seating will need to apply at the time of registration, as places are limited. The number of places available for Assisted Mobility visitors is extremely limited and will be allocated on a most-at-need basis. Access to this assistance cannot be guaranteed.

How do I apply for an accessible seating pass?

Visitors seeking accessible seating will need to apply at the time of registration. If successful in the application visitors may need to provide information in relation to their medical condition/s to assess their eligibility to receive an accessible seating pass.

Are the commemorative sites accessible for visitors with wheelchairs or other mobility aids?

The terrain underfoot in the Fromelles and Pozières battlefield areas ranges from sealed bitumen roads, cobblestone paths, gravel and dirt tracks, to grassed areas which can become sodden, muddy and slippery with overnight dew or rain. The cobblestone paths, grassed areas and gravel covered tracks are particularly difficult for wheelchairs and mobility aids to cross.

Visitors who require a wheelchair or other type of mobility aid will need to arrange to bring this equipment with them to the commemorations. There are no wheelchairs or other equipment available onsite. Visitors who rely permanently on a wheelchair may be unable to access the seating stands via their stairs and the seats are fixed in place. There is a small area reserved at the commemorative sites for visitors in wheelchairs.

A disabled portable toilet, with access via a ramp is located as close as possible to the reserved seating area at each site. The shuttle buses which transport accessible seating pass holders between the commemorative sites have high steps and these may also be difficult to access.

Assistance to the commemorations

How can I assist with the services?

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs receives a great many requests from groups and individuals wishing to contribute to the Centenary services [and Anzac Day services] in France.

The services in France follow a format, structure and content agreed by the governments of Australia and France. As a result, offers of the following items cannot be accepted: Original artefacts or relics, including bugles or other musical instruments; or Songs, poems, speeches or other original content. The Department also receives many requests from individuals to undertake roles in the commemorative services from individuals or those with family links to the campaign.

Given more than 1, 500,000 Australians can claim a direct family link to the Western Front we are unable to provide support or offer roles in the commemorations to anyone apart from the official party and those invited directly by the Australian Government to take part in the services. Unsolicited offers will not be accepted. 

I have heard that volunteers assist at the commemorations. How can I volunteer to help in France?

French labour laws are very strict and complex on volunteer work arrangements. We are therefore unable to use international visitors to volunteer their services at events such as the commemorative services.

How can my choir and or band be involved in the commemorative services in France?

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs undertook a tender process to engage a choir to support centenary services in France from 2015 until (and including) 2018. The successful choir was the Voices of Birralee from Brisbane, Australia.

Under arrangement with Australian Defence Force, musical support for all centenary service will be provided by existing ADF (Army, Navy, and Air Force) bands.

Australian experience on the Western Front

How do I find out more about the Australian experience on the Western Front?

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs has developed the Australians on the Western Front 1914-1918 website, a major educational web site containing text, documents, graphics, timelines, video and audio about Australians on the Western Front 1914-1918.

Further information about the Australia’s wartime experience, visit the Anzac portal website developed by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

What else is being planned to commemorate the centenary of the First World War?

The Government is supporting a program of domestic and international projects and activities to mark the centenary of the First World War from 2014-2018. For further information, visit the Anzac Centenary website.