Freedom of Entry

The granting or exercising of Freedom of Entry to the City enables Council to honour a distinguished unit of the armed forces, and strengthen the ties between citizens and servicemen and women.

The Freedom of Entry to the City is a right which is granted upon a military unit by a Local Government, authorising that unit to march through the streets of the city on a ceremonial occasion with swords drawn, bayonets fixed, drums beating, guidon/colours flying and band playing. The granting of the Freedom of Entry to the City represents the highest civic honour that the city can confer on a military unit and is a symbolic honour, demonstrating trust, loyalty and sense of community between the city and the military unit. The Freedom of Entry is restricted to Australian military units which have, through their command, a significant attachment to the City.

Freedom of Entry is a formal ceremonial event involving a parade and the ceremonial handing over of a scroll or similar to signify the bestowing of freedom of the City. It also includes a challenge by Queensland Police Service.


  • Freedom of Entry, or as it is more commonly known “Freedom of the City”, is a long standing tradition that can trace its history back to ancient Roman times. During the era of the Caesars, it was against the law for any of the armed legions of the Roman Army to enter the city of Rome due to the fear held by the Senate that some rogue General may invade and take control of the city. The City was protected by the personal body guard of Caesar, the ‘Praetorian Guard’, which numbered approximately 3000 on duty at any given time.
  • As a reward for faithful, heroic and loyal service, regiments whose trustworthiness was beyond doubt might be granted “Freedom of the City”. As a sign of trust, the soldiers so honoured, would not have to disarm or break ranks before the city gates were opened to them.
  • Introduced in Australia in 1958, the military freedom of the city is an entirely ceremonial honour but remains the oldest and one of the highest civic honours bestowed by the elected citizens of a city, town or regional area on a military unit within the Commonwealth of Nations.

Learn more about Freedom of Entry. Watch this short video.