Age group: 
Social Science

Classroom unit


'Anzac' is a special word for Australians. The Commonwealth Government has actually passed laws to protect the word from commercial use. This is a quirky and light-hearted unit that will help students think about the significance of the name, and its place in our heritage. 

The IP concept contained in this unit is Trade marks.

Learning Objectives

  • Appreciate the significance of ‘Anzac’ in Australian culture
  • Understand the reason why the word is protected against commercial use
  • Apply the law to specific situations involving the commercial use of the word
  • Empathise with the experiences of many Australians during World War 2.

Curriculum Area/s: 

  • History - the significance of ‘Anzac’ in Australian identity
  • Legal Studies - applying laws to specific situations

Year/s: 12-16 years (Secondary)


Duration: 1 -2 x 45 minute lessons

Teacher Prep Time: 5 minutes

Materials required: Online, smart board or hard copies of Worksheets 1-4 


1. Ask students to brainstorm to list as many words as possible that contain 'Anzac', or are associated or connected with it.

2. Have students give their answers - and then ask them: does anyone have anything like the Holden Anzac, or Anzac Fried Chicken, or Anzac Cola, or the Anzac skateboard. Why not? Explain to them that each of these has a commercial connotation, and the word Anzac is legally restricted and protected. Discuss why that might be.

3. So, how can you use and not use the word 'Anzac' in Australia? Have students look at Worksheet 1, the definition of trade marks. Discuss what a trade mark is, and what its purpose is.

4. Now look at the set of regulations in Worksheet 2 and then set them to decide which of the situations in Worksheet 3 would be allowed or not, and why. Small groups can take one situation each and report back to the whole class on their finding. The answers are:

Yes: 2, 8, 12
No: 1, 3. 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11

5. But can you call your child Anzac? Discuss this. You can read out the statement by the Minister for Veterans' Affairs, Danna Vale in 2004:

Minister for Veterans' Affairs, Danna Vale, said she recognised the importance of the word 'Anzac' to the veteran and wider Australian community and supported the Victorian RSL in their views on the use of the word as a child's name. The Protection of Word 'Anzac' Regulations were created in 1921, in recognition of the importance of the word to Australians and the deep and enduring interest of the ex-service and wider community in ensuring that it is not used inappropriately.

The Regulations prohibit, without the authority of the Minister for Veterans' Affairs, the use of the word 'Anzac' or any similar word for any commercial purpose. There are also restrictions on the use of the word 'Anzac' in the name of street, roads or parks.

"The Regulations do not prohibit the naming of a person as 'Anzac', and I understand that after World War I, in the spirit of the times, there were instances of children given the name 'Anzac'. I am not aware of any recent instances other than today's," Mrs Vale said.

"Over the passage of time, views have changed, and I would encourage the family to consider the concerns of the ex-service community on the use of 'Anzac' as a child's name."

6. Optional research. Direct students to Worksheet 4 What happened to the people named 'Anzac' in World War 2?
setting out how to research the list of 324 people in World War 2 who had 'Anzac' as part of their name. Have students select some to research and report back on what their personnel records tell us happened to these people.

Students can also see some historical decisions at:

workshop_1-_trade_marks.pdf PDF in PDF format [174.87 KB]174.87 KB
workshop_2-_what_are_the_laws_about_using_anzac.pdf PDF in PDF format [267.19 KB]267.19 KB
workshop_3-_could_you_use_anzac_in_these_situations.pdf PDF in PDF format [175.7 KB]175.7 KB
workshop_4-_what_happened_to_people_named_anzac_in_world_war_2.pdf PDF in PDF format [174.43 KB]174.43 KB
Last updated: 
Saturday, April 27, 2013