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Honouring Our Anzac Legacy: How Invictus Australia Commemorated a Special Day

Anzac Day holds a profound significance for many Australians. A powerful, sometimes difficult and often emotional day, it is a time to recognise and commemorate those who have made sacrifices through their service. For Invictus Australia it was no different, with many staff being veterans or families of serving personnel, and all passionate about our Defence community.

However it was also a time to reaffirm support from partners and sponsors, facilitate events to give back to local defence communities and for our staff to set time aside for private contemplation.

The day also serves as a reminder that we should acknowledge and support our military personnel every day. So we encourage all Australians to turn commemoration into action, with the launch of the ZERO600 challenge, set to take place from the 1st – 6th June 2024, to help prevent veteran suicide and support our sport services.

Using our voices to commemorate the ANZACs

This year, staff and our board used their voices to commemorate the day, speaking both on personal stories of service and how their experience with organisations like Invictus Australia is so protective to mental & physical health, post service.

Earlier in the week, Invictus Australia had the honour of attending the NRL’s Ted Larkin Oration Dinner. The annual event is held in honour of Edward Rennix ‘Teddy’ Larkin, politician, rugby union representative and Secretary of the NSWRL from 1909-1913. He served in the First World War and was killed on 25 April, 1915 during the Gallipoli landing. Invictus Australia’s Board Chairman, James Brown, was invited to be a guest speaker at the event, where he shared stories of service, remembered Ted Larkin and spoke of Invictus Australia’s work to strengthen the lives of the defence community.

In Melbourne, Lenny Redrose, an inspiring Invictus Games Alumni, brought his unique perspective to the Essendonian’s annual ANZAC Day brunch. As a guest speaker, Lenny, a former army soldier, shared his story of service and eventual discharge due to injury, as well as how he continues to use sport in his everyday life to help combat the physical and mental effects of his spinal cord injury. This event brought together veterans, their families, and members of the Essendon community for a shared experience of remembrance and camaraderie, as well as great support for Invictus Australia’s work.

In Sydney, Invictus Australia Veteran Engagement Manager Jye Martyn took the stage at the Shaw and Partners Chairman’s Club function, held before the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles’ V Parramatta Eels Anzac Day clash. Jye’s powerful story resonated with the audience, shedding light on the transition from soldier to civilian life and the transformative power of sport in his recovery journey.


The NRL Anzac round is one of the most popular rounds in the NRL calendar, where the league and clubs offer its support and commemoration for the ANZACs and all those who serve. We were so grateful to receive commemoration and support from a number of clubs, through various generous initiatives.

Manly Warringah Sea Eagles

As well as inviting Jye to speak pre-game, the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles welcomed Invictus Australia into their 2024 commemorations, to help meet their goal of supporting “organisations that are helping current and former serving Defence Force members, with a particular focus on Defence families and transitional programs.”

An integral part of the ANZAC round is the jerseys each team proudly wears to commemorate the day. This year, Manly donated a percentage of all sales to several ex-service organisations, one of them being Invictus Australia. The funds donated will help our work to strengthen the lives of veterans and family members, something that is important to the entire club:

Manly Warringah Sea Eagles Anzac round jersey

“As a club, Manly Warringah Sea Eagles deeply respects and honours the brave men and women who pull on the uniform of our Army, Navy and Air Force.”


On top of this, veterans and their children were offered free entry to the popular Manly vs Eels match, with their other family members attendance donated by Invictus Australia. Some of the younger children had the incredible experience of being on field alongside the players and Defence community during the reading of the Ode, playing of The Last Post and service, which took place before the match. This heart-warming moment symbolised the enduring spirit of service and sacrifice, passed on to future generations.

Defence family welcomed to Allianz Stadium

For many d=Defence families, sport gives them something to bond over, as well as a way they can maintain their physical and mental health. This is the case for the Wilson Family. Gary Wilson, Invictus Australia community sport attendee, served for 20 years in the Australian army, before a Black Hawk helicopter crash almost killed him, halting his career. Gary, with the support of his wife Renee, overcame all odds, using sport to help aid in his recovery journey.

Thanks to Invictus Australia, footy fanatics Gary, Renee and their children Abbie and Lachie, were invited to the Anzac Day Cup match between the Sydney Roosters and St George Illawarra Dragons. Abbie and Lachie were over the moon when they found out they had the opportunity to walk the cup out at the beginning of the match.

Newcastle Knights welcome Invictus Australia to jersey launch

Support from NRL clubs did not stop there. Veteran Engagement Manager Jye was also present at the Newcastle Knights Anzac jersey presentation, bringing along local veteran Kevin Lomax to share some insight to the players about what it means to serve. Watch part of his address here.  

Invictus Australia is so grateful to have been welcomed into a number of clubs’ Anzac Day commemorations. The NRL’s commitment to remembering the strength and resilience of current and former serving personnel is on full display during the Anzac round, and we thank them for their continued support.  

Kevin Lomax speaks about the importance of Anzac day


Some of our defence staffers were also given the opportunity to share their personal stories and important work with various media outlets.

  • Sky News spoke to James Brown, Invictus Australia’s Chairman, as well as veteran engagement managers Chris and Jye
  • 2GB spoke to Invictus Australia board chair James.
  • 6PR spoke to South Australia’s Veteran Engagement Manager Vanessa about her work in the local community

Private Reflections and Public Service

With many Invictus Australia staff members having ties to Defence communities or being veterans themselves, it is an important day within the organisation. Our entire team commemorated the day in their own ways, with many attending dawn services and taking the time to reflect on their own stories of service.


ANZAC Day reminds us of the lasting wounds, both physical and mental, that veterans endure when they commit to serve. While it is a time to pause and commemorate, we can also take actions that will support veterans in their recovery and rehabilitations journey. This June, you can choose to do this by participating in the ZERO600 challenge.

The challenge encourages participants to conquer their morning by rising at 6am, for 6 days and get active, connected and empowered with an activity of their choice. This accessible and inclusive event offers a fantastic opportunity to:

  • Create a powerful morning routine that supercharges your health
  • Connect with your community and fellow participants
  • Raise funds for Australian veterans, to help prevent suicide

Sign up today at and rise for our Aussie veterans.

Looking to get involved in sport in your region? Connect with our staff through your regions Facebook group or email