News • 03 Aug 2021
My Wattle Day - Celebrating Australia, its people, and the roots of Open Minds
National Wattle Day is celebrated on 1st September each year, it’s a growing celebration for Australia and our people. Learn how you can get involved with Wattle Day this year, and find out how Open Minds started it’s 100 year history as the Queensland Wattle Day League.
The Golden Wattle is Australia’s national floral emblem, it’s a symbol of Australia, our national colours that our sporting teams proudly display, and it represents us all.
Wattle has bloomed across the land for over 30 million years, and there are currently 1,070 different species of wattle.
It represents the coming of spring and resilience, as it’s even been known to withstand bushfires and drought.
In 1912 the Wattle was added to the Australian Coat of Arms, and this is when the Queensland Wattle Day League was formed with the objective of celebrating Wattle Day nationally on the 1st September, and a way of fundraising to support art scholarships.
Some highlights from the fundraising activities of QWDL include
- A scholarship to study overseas to Daphne Mayo, who went on to sculpt the tympanum over the entry to Brisbane City Hall and the Banjo Paterson statue at Winton
- Funding of the Hospital Orthopaedic ward for returned service men missing limbs (now part of the RB&WH)
After branching out to help people living with disabilities, it wasn’t until 2003 that the League became the Not-For-Profit we all know so well today – Open Minds.
Today, Open Minds is a registered NDIS provider and charity still based in Queensland, and it’s purpose is enabling a positive and independent future for people living with mental illness and disabilities.
Read more about the history of the Queensland Wattle Day League here.
Get involved with Wattle Day 2021 in Queensland
Below is a summary:
On 31 August and 1 September 2021, watch Story Bridge as it lights up in the colours of the Wattle
You can also see the Wattle colours lighting up Victoria Bridge, Kurilpa Bridge, and the Reddacliff Place statues.
Guided walks will be taking place at Mt Coot-Tha Botanical gardens. Call to book a tour on 3403 2535, and see if you can spot the Queensland Silver Wattle and the Brisbane Golden Wattle, (pictured below) on your walk!
Watch for the Wattle colours lighting up the Townsville sign; Victoria Bridge; Wharton Reef Lighthouse; George Roberts Bridge; Old Magistrates Court House; and Little Fletcher Bridge.
Wattle Fun day 4 September
Choir songs; morning tea
On 31 August and 1 September 2021, watch Victoria Bridge as it lights up in the colours of the Wattle
Wattle Day is gaining momentum: unlike other national days, Wattle Day truly includes all Australians.
How to celebrate Wattle Day
If you’re wondering how you can get on board and celebrate Wattle Day, here’s the top suggestions from the Wattle Day Association:
- WEAR a sprig of Wattle or Australia’s national colours of green and gold.
- PLANT a wattle in your garden – they are fast growing, low allergy and good for the soil
- GO FOR A WATTLE WALK – to enjoy wattles in flower around your garden, suburb, nearby bush or arboretum
- SUPPORT the celebration of Wattle day in schools – the Wattle Day Association has resources online to assist you including games, posters, downloadable badges, poetry and songs.
- FIND OUT about indigenous uses of Australia’s many Wattles
- ORGANISE a picnic, morning tea, BBQ or dinner with friends or colleagues
- GREET others with “Happy Wattle Day”
- CHECK OUT www.wattleday.asn.au for more ideas and resources
- JOIN the Wattle day Association Inc