'Our heroes, they still walk among us'
A didgeridoo played in a pre-dawn quiet of the national capital has sounded the beginning of the Anzac Day national commemorative service.
With all public gatherings cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the service is being broadcast around the country from the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.
As well, it's the third time that marches have been cancelled - the last time in 1942 and previously during the devastating Spanish flu outbreak. The service is due to be addressed by Prime Minister Scott Morrison and conclude with The Ode, The Last Post, a minute's silence and Reveille.
Australians have been encouraged to stand in their driveways at 6am with a candle or torch to light up the dawn.
Many plan to play instruments such as bugles and trumpets.
RSL NSW acting president Ray James says the changed schedule will prove difficult for veterans, especially those who are older.
He urged people to call any veterans they know and check on their welfare. "Nothing can ever take away the importance of Anzac Day and what it means to all of us." Governor-General David Hurley and his NZ counterpart Dame Patsy Reddy issued a joint statement to mark the event."