• 4th Battalion Parade Ground Cemetery, Gallipoli

  • Menin Gate Last Post, Ypres

  • Rhododendron Ridge, Gallipoli

  • Tyne Cot, Belgium

  • Villers-Bretonneux, France

Gallipoli 2015 – Government Briefings Update

As some of you are aware, the Government has been conducting public briefings over recent weeks regarding the impending ballot system, which the Government has announced for issuing passes to the Dawn Service at the Anzac Commemorative Site at North Beach, Gallipoli in 2015.

John Waller, Managing Director of Boronia Travel Centre, has attended three meetings with Officials from the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) over the past week. The first was a briefing for tour operators, the second was a public briefing, and the third was a private meeting to discuss any concerns, thoughts or ideas that we may have regarding arrangements at Gallipoli for the 2015 services.

The public briefing was interesting as it gave everyone the opportunity to ask questions that mainly related to personal reasons to be considered for a pass. The DVA representative gave a full and comprehensive overview of Gallipoli, the reasons for the ballot and the plans for the next few months. The Minister for Veterans Affairs, Warren Snowden, also addressed the meeting.

Our main point of interest was to understand the expected date for the ballot system to be announced, which is expected to be in July 2013. If all goes according to plan, then it should provide everyone with ample time to decide if they still wish to travel with Boronia Travel Centre to Gallipoli, if successful or not. This means a non refundable deposit of $1,000 will be required by September 2013 at the very latest.

Of the 8,000 passes to be issued, there is also the possibility that representatives will be selected from specific categories. The numbers to be allocated to these categories have yet to be decided, but there is a general consensus that it will consist of the following:

  • Surviving War Widows
  • Defense Force – Consisting of serving and former members from all conflicts
  • Direct Descendants – Although there are approximately 1 Million in Australia.
  • Young Australians - It has been suggested that some 15-18 year olds be selected from around the country.
The balance of these allocations will then be issued to the general public.

Another important question still to be decided is how many people can be linked on the one application to the ballot. This will possibly extend to only two people, but may potentially include four. These categories will all be finalised and hopefully announced by January 2013.

The third meeting was a private opportunity to discuss issues relevant to our operations. We are very confident that we will be able to host a wonderful alternative for those that are unsuccessful, and we can assure you that it will be an unforgettable experience at Gallipoli on the morning of Anzac Day 2015. A final decision on the location will be made in conjunction with the Department of Veterans Affairs after further inspections of the site during 2013.

Please also note that Boronia Travel Centre fully supports the Government in its attempt to provide a safe and secure environment for the maximum number of people allowed to attend the Dawn Service.

All other issues were addressed, and I believe that our proposed operation will be very successful for all those that decide to join us. As mentioned many times, we are the only tour operator that can guarantee accommodation just minutes from the Gallipoli battlefields, and the two in Canakkale, across the Dardanelles, are within two minutes of the ferry, and central to all the restaurants, shops and the waterfront. All of our groups will enjoy lunch together most days on the peninsula at the Kum Hotel, which does not include any boxed lunches.

Due to the poor attendance at the recent public briefings, we would urge everyone to enter the ballot, as we are not yet convinced that it will be anywhere near the numbers the media are quoting. Further updates will be forwarded to you as soon as we hear more information.

We hope this update does assist you and also provides further confidence that you could be successful in the ballot.

Should you require any further information, or wish to discuss anything pertaining to Gallipoli 2015 and the various options, then please do not hesitate to email us or call 1800 035 350.
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