Alternative Name(s): Button

'Wattle Day' badge featuring branches of wattle inside an outline sketch of a map of Australia.

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, a metal back, and an attached pin. Text and an illustration in green, light green, off-white, yellow and brown ink appears on the obverse. In the centre, branches of wattle are enclosed within an outline sketch of a map of Australia (Tasmania is missing) on a light green background stippled with brown dots. This is enclosed within a green border on the rim. Off-white text appears on the bottom rim of the badge, within the green border. The badge is discoloured and soiled. There are brown stains on the obverse. The reverse of the badge is tarnished, and the original silver colour has partly worn away.

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