Prime Minister Scott Morrison has paid tribute to the Ukrainian people while delivering his Anzac Day address at the dawn service in Darwin.
At least 9000 people filled the park in front of the cenotaph on Monday — with the service marking the 80th anniversary of the bombing of Darwin during WWII.
Mr Morrison spoke of the “debt and gratitude” owed to the nation’s veterans, while warning war had returned to Europe under the spectre of the “arc of autocracy”.
“A willingness to live for all of these things that if necessary, to sacrifice to something far greater than ourselves,” Mr Morrison said.
“This morning, far away from here, the people of Ukraine are doing exactly that.
“Our world is changing. War does strike Europe. Coercion troubles our region once more. An arc of autocracy is challenging the rules based order our grandparents had secured.”
A didgeridoo was played to open the ceremony before a welcome to country, with the event finishing with a minute’s silence and The Last Post.
The Prime Minister and Deputy Labor leader Richard Marles shared a handshake as both parties put politics to bed for the morning to commemorate Anzac Day in the Northern Territory.
Mr Marles also paid his respects to those in Ukraine while addressing the crowd and said Anzac day was an opportunity to imagine the “fear, anxiety and anticipation” of Australian troops more than 80 years ago.
“In this very place, people could hear the noise of the aircrafts… and the noise of the bombs,” Mr Marles said.
“Darwin is where war first met Australia. Around us more than 230 people died in the bombing of Darwin.”
The Deputy ALP leader was stepping in for Opposition leader Anthony Albanese, who is currently isolating in his Sydney home after testing positive to COVID-19.
Mr Albanese’s name was still printed on the program.
After the dawn service had finished, the crowd surrounding the Prime Minister for photos where he shook hands with veterans, while Mr Marles left.