Australia lights up for National Wattle Day

Australia lights up for National Wattle Day

Ask your local council to light up  its local bridges, monuments, fountains, and sculptures for Friday 1 September 2023.

From north to south and west to east, Australia’s cities and towns have been lighting up in yellow and green for National Wattle Day since 2020.

Townsville, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide, Launceston, Hobart, Perth and Bunbury joined in 2021 and 2022.

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

Story Bridge across the Brisbane River Qld Photo courtesy of John

Government House in Paddington Brisbane lights up for National Wattle Day

National Carillon Canberra Photo: Courtesy Professor Robert Care

Matagarup Bridge Perth Photo: Courtesy Main Roads WA
Australia Day – not the only national day for celebration

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.

30th Anniversary of National Wattle Day

30th Anniversary of National Wattle Day

The 30th 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

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

Golden Wattle Award 2022

Golden Wattle Award 2022

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

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

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…

National Wattle Day celebration at Bourke Public School NSW

In celebration of National Wattle Day, Master Bailey Harrod & Miss Maddison Willoughby present a basket of wattle on behalf of the schoolchildren of Australia to the Governor-General, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd), and Lady Cosgrove at Bourke Public School, Bourke NSW.


For more pictures of the children and their Excellencies on this special day, see the Bourke Public School Newsletter (4 September 2017)