Boys and girls standing with trays of sprays of wattle decorated with small Australian flags ready for their fund raising Wattle Day activities in Adelaide, South Australia, 1914.
Image courtesy State Library of South Australia PRG280_1_10_384
The first Wattle Day was held on 1 September, 1910 in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. Though plans to celebrate Wattle Day nationally were interrupted by the outbreak of the First World War, Wattle Day served as a strong symbol of patriotism during the war with the Red Cross using it as a focus for fundraising for the war effort.
The Golden Wattle, flowering during late winter and early spring, grows around the country and is the national floral emblem. Unlike many other national celebrations at the time, Wattle Day was purely Australian, with no ties to Great Britain.