Australia and NZ remember Anzacs
Hundreds of people have lined Sydney's Martin Place on Wednesday morning for the Anzac Day dawn service.
The sky was still black when the grandchildren and great grandchildren of the men and women who served in the First World War assembled at the Cenotaph for the ceremony.
This year marks the 97th anniversary of the day Australian and New Zealand troops landed at Gallipoli.
The dawn service begins a day of events to commemorate those who served in the First World War.
New Zealanders have meanwhile also shown the Anzac spirit still runs strong, with thousands gathering at the Wellington Cenotaph for the Anzac Day dawn service.
Defence Force personnel and veterans marched to the war memorial on the corner of Bowen Street and Lambton Quay before a gunshot heralding dawn on the calm on Wednesday morning marked the beginning of the ceremony.
French ambassador Francis Etienne addressed the more than 3000-strong crowd of all ages, which spread into the surrounding closed-off streets.
Wreaths were laid and after a volley of rifle shots, the Last Post echoed through the empty streets around parliament.
NZ Defence Force Chaplain Peter Savage led hymns, and also told the Anzac story story of his great-uncle Thomas Cook, a New Zealander who served in the Australian Imperial Force in WWI, and was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross in 1916 for most conspicuous bravery under fire.
There are no surviving WWI diggers. However about 20,000 ex-servicemen are expected to take part in the Anzac Day march in their honour.
Across NSW, the courage and sacrifice of indigenous warriors are set to be given particular recognition this year, with sub-branches of the Returned and Service League (RSL) conducting special ceremonies.
In Perth, Australian defence forces will lead a parade of veterans, the ex-service unit, corps and regimental associations, as well as crews from four visiting United States Navy ships.
Around 8000 people are expected to gather in Anzac Square at dawn in Brisbane, while Adelaide's 5.45am (CST) morning ceremony follows a 12-hour vigil at the war memorial by young people.
For the first time South Australians will also see shops in the city centre allowed to open from midday following historic changes to the state's retail trading laws.
In Hobart, Governor Peter Underwood will lay wreaths and lead the dawn service from 6am (AEST).
In Darwin, a dawn service will be followed by a march - just months after the Northern Territory commemorated the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Darwin by Japanese aircraft.
The attack on February 19, 1942 killed at least 243 people and caused hundreds more to flee in panic.
Overseas, Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Governor-General Quentin Bryce will be in Gallipoli itself, where the Anzac legend began in 1915.
They will join the thousands of young Australians who travel to Turkey every year to acknowledge the service and sacrifice of Australian Defence Force personnel.
This year's Anzac Day comes as eight Australian soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan in the past year - one quarter of the 32 deaths in the past decade.
They will all be remembered at dawn services by the mates they once served with.