Media Release

Wattle: 100 years on the Coat of Arms but our guide for more than 30 million years

Australians have reason to celebrate the centenary (18 January) of the inclusion of Wattle on the official Australian Coat of Arms in 1913.

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Wattle Day Association President, Terry Fewtrell, says: “It is all the more appropriate that Wattle is the background of our national Coat of Arms, as it has been here for millennia. Wattle has welcomed us all – indigenous, colonial and modern day immigrants.”

National Wattle Day is celebrated across the country on 1st September each year, but every day across Australia there are wattles in bloom. Our national colours are the green and gold from the official floral emblem, Acacia pycnantha.

The Wattle Day Association believes we can better recognise the symbolism and learn from our wattles, especially around the time of Australia Day. President, Terry Fewtrell, says: “Australia Day seems increasingly to be a celebration of imperial red, white and blue, rather than our real colours of green and gold. It is not a day that many indigenous Australians see as a cause for celebration. An increasing number of Australians are looking to Wattle and National Wattle Day as a more authentic celebration of the land, people and spirit of Australia.”

Then Prime Minister, Andrew Fisher, changed Australia’s Coat of Arms in 1913 to include more relevant Australian symbols and made a spray of wattle the background feature. Science has since established Wattle (Acacia) as a remnant Gondwana plant and a feature of our landscape for more than 30 million years. Officially, our national floral emblem and symbol of national unity since 1988, Wattle has much to teach us Australians about resilience and diversity.

Further enquiries: Terry Fewtrell,   PresidentMobile:  0412 823 275

See Coat of Arms at: http://www.itsanhonour.gov.au/publications/symbols/factsheets/commonwealth_coat_of_arms.pdf
17 January 2013

 

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