Sydney alights with poppies on Remembrance Day

Sydney harbour was alight with red poppies at sunrise this morning as the sails of the Sydney Opera House projected the iconic image to mark the commencement of Remembrance Day.

Minister for Veterans, David Harris was joined at a Remembrance Day sunrise service by incoming RSL NSW President Mick Bainbridge, who recited the Ode before the Last Post rang out across the harbour in front of the poppies on the Opera House.

For more than a century, red poppies have been used as a symbol of community respect and recognition, marking the end of fighting in the First World War. Poppies have been projected onto the Opera House since 2014 and will light up the sails once again at 8pm tonight.

Large crowds are expected to gather with the Premier and Minister Harris at the State’s Remembrance Day Service at the Cenotaph in Sydney’s Martin Place, as well as local memorials throughout the state to honour the service and sacrifice of Australia’s servicemen and servicewomen.

A minute’s silence will be held at 11am to mark the moment on 11 November 1918 when the guns fell silent on the Western Front at the end of the First World War.

This year we also particularly acknowledge the service of our Korean veterans following the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice of the Korean War, as well as our Vietnam veterans who commemorated the 50th anniversary of the extraction from Saigon.

Schools across NSW received a resource pack from the NSW Office for Veterans Affairs with activities to educate the younger generation on the importance of commemorating Remembrance Day each year. Lest we forget.

Applications for Round 2 of the 2023/24 Community War Memorials Fund also open today with $125,000 available for restoration of our local war memorials.

The grant round will close at 5pm on Sunday 11 February 2023. To be eligible for funding, the memorial must be listed on the NSW War Memorials Register.

For information about the program and to access the application form, please visit

Quotes attributable to the Premier, Chris Minns:

“This Remembrance Day, we reflect on those who bravely laid down their own lives to preserve our way of life and defend our country.

“We acknowledge those who currently serve in our defence, at home and abroad. There is no example of a higher public service than offering your own life to protect your country.

“Our nation also owes recognition to those who have lost a parent, child or family member in the defence our country. They profoundly know the value commemoration of our fallen and recognising those who returned.

“Australia’s free and democratic society is built upon the shoulders of these brave men and women for which we commemorate today. Lest we forget.”

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Veterans, David Harris:

“Today, on Remembrance Day, we remember the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice in serving our country in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping missions, as well as their families.

“On this Remembrance Day, I am feeling grateful. The sacrifice and service of those in the Australian Defence Forces have made our way of life possible.

“I encourage everyone in NSW to observe the minute’s silence at 11am, to remember those who have fought for our country. We owe them an immeasurable debt of gratitude for helping to make Australia the prosperous and free country it is today.”

Rhys Zorro | Premier | 0458 959 423
Alison Ayres | Minister Harris | 0488 463 648

Download the media release