Why do we celebrate National Wattle Day?

Why do we celebrate National Wattle Day?

Australia’s National Wattle Day on 1 September has been an official national national day since 1992, although it was first celebrated in 1910. Wattle in all its variety symbolises optimism, resilience, renewal, diversity and unity.

Australians have celebrated Wattle Day for different reasons over the last century including patriotism, a reminder of home for those fighting wars overseas, fundraising for community causes and enjoyment of nature. Read more…

Golden Wattle – Australia’s floral emblem

Golden Wattle – Australia’s floral emblem

Acacia pycnantha (Golden Wattle) is Australia’s national floral emblem

Wattles have long had special meanings for Australians, and for more than a century they have been a popular symbol of Australia and Australians. There are more than 1,073 described Acacia species (or wattles) that have evolved across Australia over 35 million years. Amongst these there are many hundreds of species with yellow blossoms that are commonly called golden wattle.

However there is just one, Acacia pycnantha (Golden Wattle) that was officially gazetted as Australia’s national floral emblem in 1988. Why did this wattle become Australia’s floral emblem? Check out this new video made by the Wattle Day Association.


2023 Golden Wattle Award Winner

2023 Golden Wattle Award Winner

The winner of the 2023 Golden Wattle Award, Vanessa Alexander a scriptwriter of Newcastle NSW, has certainly ‘made a statement’ in her work rescuing refugees from Afghanistan. Vanessa Alexander receives the 2023 award for her truly life changing advocacy and activism on behalf of refugees escaping from Taliban-run Afghanistan. Vanessa has been responsible for saving scores of Afghani women and men, whose lives were at risk following the Taliban’s takeover in August 2021.

Vanessa Alexander

The Golden Wattle Award, announced each year on National Wattle Day (1 September), is given to an Australian whose outstanding achievements have brought honour and inspiration to their fellow Australians and the nation. The Award invokes the gold of the Wattle blossom in Spring that stands out in the Australian landscape each year at this time. Determination of the award is made by the Wattle Day Association.

Like other Australians, Vanessa watched media reports of people trying to flee Afghanistan, but instead of just thinking “isn’t that terrible”, Vanessa began a campaign and with the help of a group of friends and contacts, was able to extricate scores of people from the country. Her response to this human tragedy was an emphatic demonstration of compassion in action.

L-R Maryam Sadat, Dr Alissa Coons, Vanessa Alexander, Tooba Azami
Vanessa Alexander stands with her writing colleague Dr Alissa Coons and two of the women they brought to safety in Australia  Photo: Chris Wensrich

In Vanessa’s words:

“The story of what was achieved is not mine. It also belongs to my partner and family, Susan Hutchinson, the man who wrote Vikings, an orphanage in Sydney, a kiwi in Brazil, the Newcastle ukulele orchestra, and tens of mum friends and writing colleagues who worked to help me. The true heroes are those that actually risked their own lives and families, especially Darwish Ahmadzai, Homaira Homaira and all who had the courage to escape.”

Vanessa’s compassion, initiative and resourcefulness demonstrated the best of Australian values, making her a worthy and inspirational winner of the Golden Wattle Award. Vanessa’s achievements have brought Gold to Australia – just as the nation’s floral emblem, the Golden Wattle (Acacia pycnantha), brings Gold to the Australian land each year at this time. Vanessa Alexander – a worthy winner of the 2023 Golden Wattle Award.

The Wattle Day Association Inc. is a volunteer not-for-profit community organisation. It was founded in 1998 in Canberra to promote awareness of National Wattle Day as a unifying day for all Australians on 1 September (since 1992) and that the Golden Wattle (Acacia pycnantha) is Australia’s national floral emblem (since 1988). The association’s website and Facebook page provide factual information about National Wattle Day and the Golden Wattle as well as news and details about upcoming wattle day events around Australia each year. For more about National Wattle Day

W: http://www.wattleday.asn.au/

F: https://www.facebook.com/WattleDay

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wattledayassociation/?hl=en

Wattle on at Redland City Eco Markets Brisbane – Sat. 2 Sept.

Wattle on at Redland City Eco Markets Brisbane – Sat. 2 Sept.

Redland City Eco Markets

Saturday 2 September 2023
8:00am to 12:00pm

17 Runnymede Road, Capalaba, QLD 4157

  • Enjoy eco-friendly. open-air markets surrounded by the beautiful native botanic gardens at IndigiScapes
  • Wear your brightest spring yellow, or a sprig of lovely wattle to celebrate wattle day!
  • Learn about National Wattle Day the Wattle Day Association exhibit from Mike Gilmore, Vice-President of the Wattle Day Association
  • Enjoy wattleseed cake with your coffee
  • Join Ranger Stacey on stage for a conversation with Mike Gilmour about our National Floral Emblem the golden wattle (Acacia pycnantha)

Eco markets wattle day Redland city

More info here about Brisbane and Townsville events


Wattle Day GiveAway to ACT schools

Wattle Day GiveAway to ACT schools

ACT City Services – ACT Urban Treescapes and Yarralumla Nursery

City Services are giving away hundreds of symbolic Golden Wattles (the national floral emblem – Acacia pycnantha) and other wattles next week for planting in school grounds for National Wattle Day.

More than 36 primary schools, high schools and colleges in the ACT have registered to pick up their wattles from the Yarralumla Nursery (28-29 August). These seedlings will be planted for a wide range of purposes for National Wattle Day (Friday 1 September). This first-time give away marks the 35th anniversary of Acacia pycnantha becoming Australia’s official national floral emblem.

These activities include: :

Regenerating native gardens and bushlands on the school grounds
– School gardening clubs
– Preschool environment enhancement
– Improving biodiversity and connecting wildlife corridors
– Lots of working bees
– Maths garden project – interactive learning space focused on mathematics
– Improving wildlife corridors between schools and open spaces
– One school class name is now Gidya “wattle” in Wiradjuri language in celebration of National Wattle Day
Happy Birthday to our Golden Wattle!

All around Australia councils are lighting up their buildings and bridges in green and gold for National Wattle Day 2023 (Friday 1 September). Botanical gardens, arboreta, national parks. nurseries, primary schools, historical and dance societies are all gearing up to celebrate this Australia celebration of Australia and Australian with wattle tree plantings, wattle festivals and wattle walks and talks.


2023 Events around Australia

Wattle Day around Australia

Wattle Day around Australia

All around Australia, botanical gardens, arboretums, nurseries, councils, Landcare groups, national parks, primary schools, folk dancing and historical societies are getting ready for National Wattle Day on Friday 1 September. Friends, families and social groups are getting together to celebrate this happy springtime celebration of Australia and Australians focused on the wattle.

Golden Wattle Award – Call for Nominations

Golden Wattle Award – Call for Nominations

The Golden Wattle Award

Wattle is a powerful symbol of Australia. Its golden blossoms come from this land and speak of and to its people and place. Wattle predates us all and because of its presence in this land for millions of years, it has welcomed us all and unites us all. It is a bridge between ancient and modern, multicultural Australia.

The Golden Wattle Award is a fitting annual acknowledgement of the person(s) who, like the gold of the Wattle blossom in Spring, stands out in the Australian community, and either by actions or excellence,  brings honour and inspiration to their fellow Australians.

The Golden Wattle Award winner is announced each year on 1 September by the Wattle Day Association.

The award is an honorary recognition of the achievements of an Australian whose contributions in the past 12 months deserve special acknowledgement by Australians.

Determination of the award is based on an outstanding achievement by an Australian or Australians on the international stage in any field or exceptional contribution to Australia (the land) or the Australian people.


Call for nominations for the 2023 Golden Wattle Award

Nominations open for the Golden Wattle Award 2023 on 1 July 2023 and close on 31 July  2023. Please email to: wattleday.president@gmail.com

In no more than 250 words please say why this Australian, or Australians, deserve recognition for their work or actions that express the best of the Australian character and values.

Please note that the Wattle Day Committee’s decision is final. The winner will be announced on National Wattle Day (Thursday 1 September 2022).


Previous recipients

Mike Gilmour (left) Vice-President of the Wattle Day Association congratulates Steve Kreig (Mayor of Lismore)

Previous recipients of this award include the Lismore community (2022), Olympic swimming champion, Emma McKeon (2021), tennis greats Ashleigh Barty and Dylan Alcott, (2019), Craig Challen and Richard Harris, underwater rescuers of the young Thai soccer team (2018), Samuel Johnson and his sister, Connie (2017), Melbourne Cup winning jockey Michelle Payne and her champion strapper brother, Steve (2016), surfers Julian Wilson & Mick Fanning (2015), VC winner Ben Roberts-Smith (2014), Mel Irons a Tasmanian student and community activist (2013), Nobel Prize winner Professor Brian Schmidt (2012) and Tour De France Winner Cadel Evans (2011).

Golden Wattle blooms for Australian honours

Golden Wattle blooms for Australian honours

A spray of Golden Wattle in bloom features for the first time in the announcement of the King’s Birthday 2023 Honours List by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.  Acacia pycnantha (Golden Wattle) has been Australia’s national floral emblem since 1988.

To read more: https://www.pmc.gov.au/news/kings-birthday-2023-honours-list

PM&C banner for King's Birthday 12 June 2023