Around the Grounds: Nedlands and Perth Bayswater to Host 2024 ANZAC Round Celebrations

Thu, Apr 25, 2024, 2:00 AM
Rugby WA Media
by Rugby WA Media

ANZAC Day will be celebrated on Thursday, 25 April 2024. RugbyWA’s ANZAC Round of competition will fall on April 27, 2024.  


With a rich history of creating community, uniting Australians and driving passion and excellence, rugby has long held alliance with the Australia’s armed forced. The story of rugby union in the Australian Army is a key component of the Services’ rugby tradition, whilst also aligning strongly to the values held within the rugby community – courage, initiative, teamwork and respect. From playing rugby during World War II with French soldiers, to the long-standing Australian Army Rugby Union competition, the Services’ community has embraced the sport of rugby. 


With ANZAC Day falling on Thursday, 25 April, ANZAC Round will be celebrated on April 27, the following Saturday. With a long connection to the services, two clubs, Nedlands and Perth Bayswater will be hosting special ANZAC celebrations, to honour the memory and sacrifice of the ANZACs. 


The Belt Up Colts from Nedlands will be facing off against Associates on April 27. This year, the club has used the opportunity to turn the match into an event of importance. 

“This year, we wanted to hold [the match] with purpose, to hold a meaning and significance behind the games,” Junior President Christine Lawrence shared, “… and celebrate rugby within the junior community.” 

“We’ve got a lot of men and women who have served in the forces here. So, it’s very important.” 

This year, to honour the ANZAC spirit and tradition, Nedlands Colts will be donning a special ANZAC jersey for the round. 

“During our ANZAC games, we will be introducing our jerseys that will be worn on the day. They have been specifically designed to be worn by our Colts, and they’ll be worn during the first game,” Lawrence said. 

“They are a tribute to the unwavering spirit of the ANZACs. They are adorned with the symbols that honour their valour, and sacrifice.” 

“At the heart of the jersey a solemn poppy blooms, a timeless emblem of remembrance and sacrifice, honouring the courage and the selflessness of those who have served.” 

“Silhouettes of soldiers march with determination at the base of the top, a tribute to their steadfast dedication to duty and their enduring legacy.” 

“On the left side of the panel, an Aboriginal design signifies the land they defended, while the right-side panel bears a Māori motif, representing unity in battle. The sleeves proudly bear the flags and emblems of each nation, on the left Australian flag and revered insignia of the Australian Army; on the right, the New Zealand Flag, accompanied by the esteem emblem of the New Zealand Army.” 

“Alongside our own Nedlands club emblem, our Jerseys proudly celebrate our 90th year since its establishment in 1934, intertwining our heritages with the ANZAC spirit with each stitch, our jerseys embody the shared history, strength and camaraderie of the ANZACs, standing as a testament to their valour and enduring bond between our two nations.” 

“These jerseys are more than apparel, they are a tribute to the brave souls who served, reminding us of their sacrifice and the unbreakable bond of the ANZAC spirit on the field of play.” 

Nedland’s ANZAC celebrations kick off at 8:00AM, with junior games of U6’s through to U16’s running until 11:30AM. Following this, there will be an ANZAC Ceremony, with special guests from the RSL, Nedlands Council and Army Cadets from the Irwin Barracks. Then, at 12:00PM, the Nedlands’ Belt Up Colts will kick off against Associates, with the Fourth Grade kicking off at 1:15PM. In addition, the club will be welcoming an U9s team from Singapore to face off against their junior side for the second time. 

For the club, the opportunity to host the event symbolises their dedication to their history and to remember others' sacrifices. With club awards named after fallen soldiers, and many club members having a history with the services, the day is an opportunity for growth and education. 

“When children celebrate ANZAC Day at school, they sit through it and it’s a long day. But if you’re actually doing it, and you’re down at the grounds running around and playing a game, you’re creating a memory, and it’s going to be a memory of significance,” Lawrence said. 

“This will be the first time we’ve hosted an ANZAC Round, so that makes it very significant. I just hope that over the years it will grow and grow.” 


Perth Bayswater will be continuing its ANZAC traditions on Saturday, with an all-day event at the club. ANZAC Day celebrations will be hosted at Pat O'Hara Reserve, where their Fortescue Premier Grade team will be facing off against Southern Lions. 

“We have a massive day planned,” Lowri Connolly said. “It’s our first home game, so it's exciting that the two events coincide.” 

“We have three incredible games of rugby – Third Grade, Reserve Grade and our Fortescue Premier Grade as well. We also have an All Abilities showcase against Southern Lions, which is going to be brilliant.” 

In addition to a brilliant day of rugby, Perth Bayswater is creating a family-friendly ANZAC celebration, with entertainment and special guests. 

“We have a lot of family-friendly entertainment for the kids. We’ve got a bouncy castles, an ice cream van and coffee for the grownups. Our bar and canteen will be open throughout the day. We’ve got a DJ playing throughout the afternoon, and we have a post-match player event as well.” 

“We are most excited, however, about our ANZAC Round service. This year it’s in collaboration with the Bassendean Eastern Regional RSL, which is a new partnership for us, and we are really looking forward to working with them."

"We are honoured to welcome a distiunguished guest this year: John O'Halloran, a Vietnam Platoon Commander now residing in Western Australia. John will be saying a few words and sharing some insights during the service, and then he’s going to be sticking around to watch the match, enjoy some Baysie hospitality and chat with club members and other special guests. We can't wait to welcome him on Saturday the 27th.” 

Similarly to Nedlands, Perth Bayswater will have a special event jersey, in celebration of the ANZAC Spirit. The jersey will feature the silhouette of a digger, indicative of the ANZAC spirit, designed in collaboration with their club designer to be a symbol of all those who have served since 1915 and today. “A team running out in a special jersey is a meaningful way to highlight the spirit of the day, to encourage that connection of tradition." 

The third year of celebrating ANZAC Day at the club, the event is special for all those involved. 

“There’s a lot of people in the club that this event means a lot to. A lot of people have had different involvements, either themselves or through family members,” Connolly shared. 

"The event holds immense significance for the club, the players are excited about their involvement, playing in the match and wearing the jersey. For our juniors, involvement in the service and event, offers a valuable opportunity to learn a little about the historical importance of the Anzac Day, why we commemorate them, and the enduring significance of their sacrifices."


RugbyWA would like to pay our respects to all service men and women of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, past and present, and all who have lost their lives on the frontlines. Lest we forget.