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Symbols slideshows

These images of Australian symbols and their various uses over time are drawn largely from the collection of the National Museum of Australia and other national cultural institutions.

Poster with a lifelike illustration of a kangaroo with a joey in its pouch. The kangaroo stands on a mound with the words 'Buy Australian sultanas' printed on it. A circular logo with a crown and the letters 'EMB' appears at the bottom.


The kangaroo was one of the earliest Australian symbols adapted by Europeans. It features on the coat of arms, in the arts, on currency and stamps, logos, and as a mascot for sporting teams.

See the kangaroo slideshow

Circular badge with a blue border and background and the words 'Wattle Day' written underneath the outline of a map of Australia. Yellow wattle blossoms appear inside the map.Painted badge celebrating Walle Day with map of Australia with sprays of wattle inside.


Wattle has long been popularly regarded as Australia's floral emblem. It is seen on the coat of arms, is a popular motif in the arts and is worn in memory of Australians who have died in war and overseas.

See the wattle slideshow

A poster of a young woman, dressed in a cream-coloured off-the-shoulder dress, holding the Australian flag. A group of soldiers march past in the the background to her left. The text reads 'MAKE YOUR MONEY FIGHT. Buy WAR LOAN BONDS'.


Australia's national flag was the Union Jack until it was officially replaced by the blue ensign. The ensign combines the Union Jack with the stars of the Southern Cross.

See the flag slideshow

A mural in three parts, made of hundreds of postage stamps. It shows a contemporary Sydney Harbour scene, with the Opera House, Centrepoint Tower and the Harbour Bridge dominating the city skyline. The harbour appears in the foreground, with several yachts, ships and a ferry. A military flag-raising ceremony is pictured in the left foreground and a Qantas plane dominates the sky.


The Sydney Harbour Bridge became a symbol of Australia's modernity when it opened in 1932. It quickly became a symbol to promote tourism and immigration to Australia.

See the Sydney Harbour Bridge slideshow

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