Alternative Name(s): Button

Wattle Day badge featuring an illustration of wattle, "Wattle Day for Children", manufactured by A.W. Patrick, North Fitzroy, Melbourne, circa 1914-1918.

Part of the Captain F.S. Laurie Collection. Captain Francis Stewart Laurie served in the Australian Army (regimental #SX619) 17 Nov 1939 - 26 Oct 1945. He was born in Burnside, South Australia in 1917, and enlisted at Woodside, South Australia at the age of 22. He served in Tobruk and New Guinea, and attained the rank of captain. He was in the 9 Division AASC (Australian Army Service Corps) at the time of his discharge. His uniform and other personal effects were donated to Museum Victoria.

The first 'national' Wattle Day was celebrated in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide on 1 September 1910. Wattle had become a symbol of Australia with the approach of Federation. It was particularly promoted by the Australian Natives' Association, established in 1871 and a strong advocate for native-born Australians and Federation. It later became an advocate for White Australia. Public support for Wattle Day peaked during World War I, when it was a potent symbol of home for military personnel serving overseas, and a means of raising money for organisations such as the Red Cross. Beautifully designed Wattle Day badges as well as wattle sprigs were sold. The influence of Wattle Day waned as the 20th century progressed, but in 1992 the Governor-General declared 1 September National Wattle Day.

Physical Description

Circular pressed metal badge with a plastic cover on the obverse and a metal back. The pin on the reverse of the badge is missing. Printed text and an illustration appears on the obverse in brown and yellow ink on a discoloured white background. In the centre of the badge, there is printed text on a banner in front of an illustration of a branch of wattle on brown circular background, and printed text appears below the wattle branch. This scene is enclosed within a white circular border. There is also printed text on the bottom edge of the badge in brown ink. The badge is discoloured and soiled. The reverse of the badge is tarnished, has a patch of rust, and the original silver colour has partly worn away.

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