Wattle Day Welcome
Wattles have long had special meanings for Australians
and in 1988 the Golden Wattle (Acacia pycnantha)
was officially gazetted as Australia's national floral emblem.
In 1992, the first day of September each year was officially declared
'National Wattle Day' throughout Australia by the Commonwealth of Australia.
2010 was the centenary of the celebration of the first wattle day on 1 September 1910 that occurred across three states - in NSW, Victoria and South Australia.
National Wattle Day - why do we celebrate?
Wattle is our national floral emblem. It is a symbol that comes directly from our land;
- Wattle is Australian and represents us all. Unlike other national days, National Wattle Day excludes no one;
- Like our people, wattle has great diversity (with nearly 1,000 species) and resilience;
- Wattle welcomes in 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 land; and
- Wattle is a unifying symbol for all Australians. There is no other symbol that says so much about us and our land, Australia.
- Wattle is a symbol of Australia and Australians.
So join the celebration of National Wattle Day - 1 September.
Wattle Day Association Inc.
Wattle Day has officially been 1 September since 1992
Australians in different States have celebrated wattle day on different days between August and September for more than a century. Since 1992, however, National Wattle Day has been 1 September in all of Australia's States and Territories.
ACT Citizenship Ceremony features wattle
Yvette Berry MLA receives a basket of wattle from members of the
Aranda Primary School Choir at the A.C.T Citizenship Ceremony held on 27 August 2015 in the lead-up to National Wattle Day.
Photo: © Mark Tunningley
At Government House
The Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove, receiving a basket of wattle on behalf of all of Australia's schoolchildren from students from Aranda Primary School, Canberra
(25 August 2015).
Photo: © S. D. Searle
This presentation was part of the celebration of Australia's National Wattle Day
during the Week of the Wattle in 2015.
Photo: © S. D. Searle
L to R: Elaine Choi, Ava Vagnarelli, Elijah Witchalls and David Stocks
from Aranda Primary School, Canberra with the basket of wattle
they presented to the Governor-General of Australia.
Another photo can be found at the Governor-General's website
Meet one of the Association's newest members
Tammy Solonec joins the Wattle Day Association during her visit to Canberra. Read Tammy's thoughts about National Wattle Day.
L. to R: Rod Little, Terry Fewtrell, Tammy Solonec & Suzette Searle
Photo: © Tammy Solonec
Want to join us too? Click here to find out more
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Join us - share your enthusiasm, ideas & events
Celebrate National Wattle Day
1 September every year
WEAR a sprig of wattle or Australia's colours of green and gold
GREET each other with 'Happy Wattle Day'
ORGANISE a picnic, lunch, morning/afternoon tea, BBQ or dinner for your family & friends
For other ideas about how to celebrate the 'Week of the Wattle' and National Wattle Day with your friends, family, children and students this coming Thursday 1 September 2016
check out our 'What you can do"
On the eve of Australia Day in 2016 , Terry Fewtrell, President of the Wattle Day Association, suggested that 'we have another way of celebrating Australia, but one that completes rather than competes with Australia Day. Let us think of National Wattle Day as an Australia Day that takes the nation forward'.
Read Terry's article, 'Australian Days' in full - click here.
Wattle - a symbol of Australia for more than a century
Wattle has been a heart-felt symbol of Australian and Australians for more than one hundred years and there are many moving stories from the First World War including the campaign on the Gallipoli Peninsula in what is now modern Turkey.
The Allies landed there on 25 April 1915 and the last troops left before dawn on 20 December 1915. On 16 December 1915, three days before the final evacuation, Chaplain Walter Dexter, walked around the ANZAC cemeteries leaving behind him something of Australia:
…I went up the gullies and through the cemeteries, scattering silver wattle seed. If we have to leave here, I intend that a bit of Australia, shall be here. I soaked the seed for about 20 hours, and they seem to be well and thriving.
[Chaplain Walter Dexter, 16-17 December 1915, AWM PR00248]
Photo: Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial
Walter Dexter departed for Egypt on Saturday 18 December 1915.
[Anglican chaplain Walter Ernest Dexter was one of the longest-serving padres, enlisting in the AIF in September 1914 and serving until July 1920. He was also the most highly decorated chaplain in the Australian Army, being awarded the Distinguished Service Order and Military Cross, as well as being Mentioned in Despatches. He was also responsible for mapping the cemeteries on Gallipoli before the Anzacs were evacuated in 1915.] Source: https://www.awm.gov.au/encyclopedia/chaplains/first/
National Wattle day - a celebration for all Australians
Australia celebrates National Wattle Day on 1 September (the first day of spring) and its significance derives from its simplicity. Terry Fewtrell, President of the Wattle Day Association, says that “Wattle and National Wattle Day are unique celebrations of Australia, uncluttered by historical or cultural baggage because wattle comes from our land and is a symbol of that land”.
Why today (1 September) should be Australia Day
'Is there any more Australian sign of spring than wattle trees blossoming across the country, our national flower’s bright yellow blooms against the green of its leaves, the inspiration for our Australian colours of green and gold?', asks Tammy Solonec, indigeneous Peoples' Rights Manager for Amnesty international Australia.
Celebrations in 2015
2015 Golden Wattle Award winners - Mick Fanning and Julian Wilson
Surfers Mick Fanning and Julian Wilson are joint winners of the 2015 Golden Wattle Award. The award is conferred around the time of National Wattle Day (1 September) each year by the Wattle Day Association to recognise a person who has brought Gold to Australia through their actions or achievements. In the case of Julian and Mick, the award recognises and honours their courage, mateship and fortitude in their responses to the recent shark attack at Jeffreys Bay in South Africa on 20 July 2015.
Julian Wilson (in red) hugs Mick Fanning, who was attacked by a shark
during the fInal of the J-Bay Open at on 20 July 2015. Photo: World Surf League/Kirstin Scholtz
The award is an honorary one, there being no physical prize or monetary component. It does, however, endow the winners with honourable recognition of their work or actions as being noble and expressing the best of the Australian spirit.
Previous recipients of this award have included 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 Cadell Evans (2011).
The Golden Wattle 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 or exceptional contribution to Australia (the land) or the Australian Spirit (the people) in or from any field.