Happy Wattle Day!

Today is National Wattle Day! National Wattle Day has been celebrated across Australia on 1 September since 1992. To celebrate National Wattle Day we hear from Allison Dawn Waterhouse.

Brooke, Common Grace’s Aboriginal Spokesperson, met Allison at the NAIDOC Week service at Canberra City Baptist Church and encouraged Allison to write her very first blog! Thank you Allison for sharing your heart for Aboriginal peoples and your passion for the Wattle. 


Allison Dawn Waterhouse has been enchanted by wattle her whole life. Saddened by the treatment of Australia’s First Peoples and the divisive nature of Australia Day, she has campaigned passionately for Wattle Day as a unifying force we can all be proud of. An Australian Living Treasure, she has written to newspapers, Prime Ministers and other members of parliament over the past 25 years, urging them to adopt Wattle Day as a celebration of this great land and its peoples.


It was after Australia Day in 1989 that I was alerted to the deep sorrow and humiliation created that day in the hearts of the original occupants of our wonderful land. Such friction should never be continued. Reconciliation was, and indeed is, a waiting word. There is need for immediate action.

I decided to express this view by writing to several Australian papers and Prime Ministers. 

“To continue to celebrate Australia Day on January 26 is either political negligence or thoughtlessness. Are the powers that be totally insensitive, or are they so stuck in the mud that they do not have the ability to change the date? 

It is pitiful that on January 26 each year our Indigenous people suffer the opening of an old wound and all endeavours of reconciliation are suddenly so blatantly disregarded. To perpetuate this annual friction is truly shameful.

Also, what inspiration for celebration does January 26 give to the millions of Australians who have arrived here in more recent times, and why should it?”

This I have continued to do every year since. I have spoken at many large and small gatherings and expressed my hopes and without question, every time my views have been applauded by the people. But sadly, not the politicians, who continue to pour money into 26th January celebrations. It has long been my desire that Wattle Day, the first day of Spring, should be the date of our national celebration, as we recognise our bountiful and beautiful land. Together, we could share the loyalty, love, joy and privilege of being part of this great island.

After all, wattle was here before any of us. Its seeds have the property to survive for years before fire springs it to life. That has set us an example – keep up the heat, and Wattle Day will be celebrated by all.

Rejoice - Wattle has turned the grey-green bushland to gold!





Read more about Wattle Day at http://www.wattleday.asn.au/. These ideas on how to celebrate come from the Wattle Day Association Inc.

  • Wear a sprig of wattle or Australia's colours of green and gold

  • Greet each other with 'Happy Wattle Day'

  • Go for a walk to enjoy wattles in flower around your garden, suburb, nearby bush or arboretum

  • Organise a picnic, lunch, morning/afternoon tea, BBQ or dinner for your family & friends



Pray for truth and action and justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and that Reconciliation and Conciliation will no longer be a “waiting word” but achieved in our lifetimes.  



Use Allison’s letter writing as an example - what gifts, skills, and passion do you have to use for advocacy?


Did you know?

The Golden Wattle (Acacia pycnantha) was designated Australia’s national floral emblem in 1988.  There are close to a 1,000 species of Acacia in Australia.