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Badge - Wattle Day, South Australia, 1918 Object Reg. No: SH 950370

Alternative Name(s): Button

Wattle Day badge made and used in South Australia in 1918. The use of an Aboriginal child surrounded by wattle as the key image on this badge is interesting as wattle and wattle day were often associated with Australian nationalist movements influenced by the idea of Australia as a 'white' and 'British' nation such as Federation, World War I fundraising and the White Australia policy.

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.
Round metal badge with dark brown border and Aboriginal child surrounded with wattle in centre. Words around border are printed in white. There is a pin at back that fits into a slot.
Acquisition Information:
Transfer from Museum of Victoria Numismatics Collection, 1995
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 3.20 cm (Height), 3.20 cm (Length)

More information

Tagged with: wars conflicts, world war i 1914-1918, indigenous peoples, wattle day
Themes this item is part of: Wattle Day, Getting In, Immigration Museum Exhibition, 2003-2015, Public Life & Institutions Collection
Primary Classification: CELEBRATIONS & TRADITIONS
Secondary Classification: Wattle Day
Tertiary Classification: badges
Inscriptions: Around edge, white text: 'WATTLE DAY LEAGUE. S.A. 1918 .'
Place & Date Made: South Australia, Australia, 1918
Organisation Named: Wattle Day League, South Australia, Australia, 1918
References: GOOD,A.M:nd. Official Record of S.A. Button Days. League of Loyal Women's Rooms. (Sands and McDougall's), Adelaide.

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