Why do we celebrate National Wattle Day?
We celebrate National Wattle Day to celebrate Australia and being Australian.
We celebrate National Wattle Day because:
- National Wattle Day includes everyone
- Golden Wattle (Acacia pycnantha) is our national floral emblem. It is a symbol that comes directly from our land;
- Golden Wattle is a unifying symbol of Australia and Australians. There is no other symbol that says so much about us and our land, Australia and
- Wattles are Australian with great diversity (more than 1,073 described species) and resilience like our people;
- Wattle welcomes the spring, and is among the first plants to regenerate after fire, reminding us of the importance of renewal as it paints our national colours across our landscapes; and
- All wattles remind us of Australia and Australians.
So join the national celebration of National Wattle Day – 1 September every year
In 1992, the first day of September each year was officially proclaimed ‘National Wattle Day’ throughout Australia by the Governor-General of Australia.
Before then Wattle Days on different days in different states and territories had been celebrated since 1 September 1910. This was when the first Wattle Day celebration across state borders took place in NSW, Victoria and South Australia.
Wattle days have been celebrated for different reasons over the last century. For example they were linked during WW1 to patriotism, a reminder of home for those fighting wars overseas and fundraising for related community causes.
Perhaps Dr Rod Panter summed it up best when he wrote in 1997 that:
Wattle and Wattle Day can symbolise virtually anything we want, but they relate generally to Spring, being Australian, the Australian environment, and history. Spring has many positive values such as optimism, bounty and abundance, reliability, colour, and so on.
We can celebrate our ‘Australianness’ on Wattle Day in quite a different way from Anzac Day, which in recalling past wars glorifies Australian qualities of courage and mateship.
Wattle day, by contrast, looks forward (to Spring) and can celebrate the nation’s undoubted qualities of good humour, fairness, generosity, informality and democracy.
1995 Rod Panter ‘Australia’s Wattle Day’ P2H20 (1)
1 September has officially been National Wattle Day since 1992
(Before then, Australians in different States and Territories celebrated wattle day on different days between July and September.)
Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, No. S 240, Monday, 24 August 1992
PROCLAMATION of National Wattle Day
Commonwealth of Australia
By His Excellency the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia
I, WILLIAM GEORGE HAYDEN, Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, acting with the advice of the Federal Executive Council, declare that 1 September in each year shall be observed as “National Wattle Day” throughout Australia and in the external Territories of Australia.
(L.S.) GIVEN under my Hand and the Great Seal of Australia on 23 June 1992
By His Excellency’s Command,
Minister of State for Home Affairs
GOD SAVE THE QUEEN