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Australia Day – not the only national day for celebration

Australia Day is one of Australia’s few official national days of celebration. National Wattle Day, proclaimed in 1992, is another.
National days come and go as their relevance changes. Who celebrates Empire Day (Queen Victoria’s birthday on 24 May)? This became a commemorative day after the Queen’s death in 1901 for more than 50 years (1903 – 1958). Names change too. January 26 was called ‘First Landing Day’ and ‘Foundation Day’ by the colonists of NSW to mark the beginning of British occupation of Australia. Later it was called ‘Australia Day’, ‘Day of Mourning’, 'Invasion Day', and 'Survival Day'.


Other countries have several national public holidays each year for people to celebrate their history, identity, values, beliefs and nature’s annual cycles. In Australia we have few and room for more.


Pragmatically National Wattle Day (1 September) is well placed to become a national public holiday as there are currently no such days from July onwards and very few state or territory public holidays in the latter part of the year. On the first day of spring, this national day of unity has great symbolism in its timing and the intrinsic messages of Australia’s more than 1,000 wattles (Acacia species) about how to thrive in this great land: diversity, resilience, and adaptation.


To quote Jack Fahy, Wattle Day Association founder, it is also a time for thanksgiving for the great good fortune we share in this country where we aspire to equality of opportunity and the absence of violence to settle disputes.

Dr Suzette Searle
President Wattle Day Association Inc.
Thursday 26 January 2023


ANBG Golden Wattle Planting

Celebrate Australia's National Wattle Day on 1 September 2023

35th anniversary of Acacia pycnantha (Golden Wattle) becoming Australia's national floral emblem

 

The first day of the Australian spring - 1 September - was proclaimed by the Governor-General of Australia, Bill Hayden, in 1992 to be Australia's National Wattle Day for everyone across Australia to celebrate at the same time. This national day was a unifying gesture as many individual wattle days are celebrated on many different dates in different states and territories from July to October when the local wattle flowering is at its best.

National Wattle Day has yet to be declared a national holiday but it has been an gaze

The first celebration of wattle day in more than one state on the same day took place, on 1 September in 1910 in NSW, Victoria and South Australia. And then with the First World War (1914-1918) and the desire to sell wattle sprigs to raise money for the troops overseas and later for maimed soldiers and women and children's charities, the date was changed to 1 August in NSW and other dates elsewhere to coincide with the best flowering of their local wattles from July (Qld) to late September (South Australia).

Want to know more about why we celebrate National Wattle Day?

How you can celebrate National Wattle Day

There is no one way to celebrate National Wattle Day and you are only limited by your imagination.

You might like to:

  • WEAR a sprig of wattle or the uplifting colour of yellow
  • ORGANISE a picnic, lunch, morning/afternoon tea, BBQ or dinner for your family & friends
  • PLANT a wattle in your garden or wattles in a grove or revegetate a landscape
  • GO FOR A WALK to enjoy wattles in flower around your garden, suburb, nearby bush or arboretum
  • REQUEST your local council to light up landmarks in yellow and green on 1 September. (and then send us your  photos to display on this website)
  • ENCOURAGE your local markets to have a wattle theme in the lead-up to National Wattle Day - 1 September
  • SUPPORT your local primary school to celebrate the day.
  • CHECK OUT our 'For Schools' for ideas
  • SING a wattle song with the children in your life or recite a wattle poem
    'The Wattle Blooms' was composed and performed for the celebration of National Wattle Day by Her Excellency Mrs Linda Hurley (pictured below). 


 
Her Excellency Mrs Linda Hurley singing with students

The lyrics, recording and melody score for 'The Wattle Song' and other wattle songs can be found on our 'For Schools' pages.

2022 'Week of the Wattle' around Australia

Queensland New South Wales ACT Victoria Western Australia

WDA logo with Association Inc Text

 

Carillon 1 Sept 2022 lit up ©Howard Moffat

©Howard Moffat

Golden Wattle Award Winner 2022

See the 7 Regional News report on the presentation of the Golden Wattle Award to the Lismore Community

https://www.7regional.com.au/news/7477689-lismore-award


Lismore’s Mayor, Steve Kreig (right) is about to accept the Golden Wattle Award 2022 on behalf of the Lismore Community from Mike Gilmour, Vice-President of the Wattle Day Association.

Golden Wattle Award 2022

Mike Gilmour (left) congratulates Steve Kreig (Mayor of Lismore).

The 2022 Golden Wattle Award honours the Lismore Community, who when
faced with the most challenging and difficult circumstances, displayed the very
best in Australian support for each other and solidarity.

They are an inspiration to the rest of the Australian community. The Golden Wattle Award is
recognition of their courage and resilience during the recent flood events and
the recovery that is still ongoing. Read more...


Government House Canberra

The 30 Anniversary of National Wattle Day was celebrated at Government House where the 60-strong Instrumental Music Program Choir, conducted by Katharine Finlayson, performed a short program that included Her Excellency's wattle song. If you want to learn the words and music click here

Government House Wattle presentation  2022

Governor-General David Hurley, Wattle Day Association president Dr Suzette Searle, Linda Hurley and Instrumental Music Program choir members Maya Tynan-Foster and Alborz Arabzadeh. Picture by Sitthixay Ditthavong

In Qld, the Redlands Deputy Mayor Cr Julie Talty, along with student representatives, planted wattle trees
in the grounds of Mt Cotton State School - Mon 22 August 2022

 

Matilda Rose Levier

Nic Ciccone planted Golden Wattle

Tiny tree planter with her Dad at the Australian National Botanic Gardens. You're never too young to plant a Golden Wattle.
Photo: Courtesy AFP via Getty Images
Nic Ciccone (National Arboretum Canberra) with the Golden Wattle (Acacia pycnantha) that he planted this year.



Australia lights up for National Wattle Day

From north to south and west to east, Australia's cities and towns light up in yellow and green for National Wattle Day.

Ask your local council to light up  its local bridges, monuments, fountains, and sculptures for Thursday 1 September 2022.

Townsville, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide, Launceston, Hobart, Perth and Bunbury joined in last year.

Let us know if your are lighting up this year for National Wattle Day..

Story Bridge in yellow by John

Story Bridge across the Brisbane River Qld
Photo courtesy of John

Qld Government House 1 Sept 2022

Government House in Paddington Brisbane lit up for National Wattle Day

Carillon by Robert Care

National Carillon Canberra Photo: Courtesy Professor Robert Care

Matagarup Bridge Perth

Matagarup Bridge Perth Photo: Courtesy Main Roads WA


 

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Citizenship ceremonies

2015 Citizenship ceremony

Image of the month

Edwin Ride

Edwin Ride wears wattle with style

Information about the Wattle Day Association and wattle day activities around Australia