Spring Has Sprung and So Has Wattle!


Yesterday marked the beginning of Spring; a welcome sign of warmer weather and perhaps symbolic of turning the corner on what has been an Autumn and Winter like none other. Spring represents optimism, brightness, colour and hope. The Year 9 students have been exploring the historical symbolism of the Australian iconic Wattle, as the 1st of September is recognised and celebrated as 'Wattle Day.'

The class investigated this beautiful Australian native plant and collaborated to create their thoughts using an online whiteboard platform called Jamboard. The intention is to use the collective thoughts of the students to compose a free verse poem about the Wattle. As the students put together their thoughts, they reflected that Wattle Day is a timely reminded that nature has many hopeful messages for us all, and that even in tough times we have much to celebrate and look forward to.

Wattle Day History

Although wattle was associated with Australia from very early days, its significance increased around the time of Federation. The first celebration of Wattle Day was held on 1 September 1910 in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. Plans in 1913 to proclaim the wattle a national emblem and celebrate Wattle Day nationally were interrupted by World War I, but wattle remained a strong symbol of patriotism during the war years.

Sprigs of wattle and colourful badges were sold on Wattle Day to raise money for the Red Cross. The tradition was virtually lost after World War II. It was only in the 1980s, ahead of Bicentennial celebrations, and in sympathy with rising national concern for Australian flora and the environment generally, did a suggestion to revive Wattle Day receive attention.

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 new life to mention a few. We can celebrate our 'Australianness' on Wattle Day by looking forward to Spring and can celebrate the nation's undoubted qualities of good humour, fairness, generosity, informality and democracy.