Australia’s Emblem by Margaret Shaw

Golden Wattle (Acacia pycnantha) in flower in mid-Jul, Canberra Photo: Mark Tunningley

The wattle is our emblem.
The wattle is gold,
gold signifies richness, the richness of spirit,
the spirit of the aborigines, who knew and loved the wattle
long, but before the white man came; the spirit they
expressed in sharing and caring; the richness of friendship.

The wattle symbolises the spirit of the mountains,
the valleys, the forests, the rocks and rivers, the golden
warmth of sunshine, the richness of the soil, the wealth
of the minerals of the earth, the burnished sand of the
desert, the yellow native grasses, the setting sun
over endless horizons.

The wattle spreads a golden pathway in the
spring. It reminds us there is hope where the past
and present meet, a bright promise for the future.

The wattle weaves all nationalities in Australia,
into one golden web of love and fellowship,
of unity and peace.

Margaret Shaw

Margaret Shaw of Longueville, New South Wales, remembered drawing pictures of wattle with sticks of yellow chalk in her schoolbook and then blowing the excess chalk off her book ‘in golden swirls of powdery dust’. This was in the 1920s at the tiny Bostonbrick bush school near Dorrigo, New South Wales, where there were no crayons, paints or coloured pencils. On Wattle Day the children sang ‘The Wattle Song’ accompanied by a tuning fork

Source: Wattle by Maria Hitchcock