ProvenanceDuring the First World War various fundraisers were held, marking many different days, and Australia Day badges like this were sold to raise money for the war effort. The first Australia Day fundraiser is believed to be have been on 30 July 1915. Numerous people in South Australia joined in these fundraising efforts, both on 30 July 1915 and on a range of dates in following years. In 1918 most places in South Australia held an Australia Day fundraising event on 26 July, though Ambleside (Hahndorf) celebrated on 9 November, and Burra on 10 August. There are a variety of Australia Day and other wartime fundraising badges in the State History Collection.
The first time every Australian state marked 26 January as Australia Day was in 1935. This was after a concerted push from the 'Australian Natives Association' who lobbied to have a 'uniform' celebration across the nation.
The first time 26 January Australia Day was officially recognised as a nation-wide public holiday was 1994.SignificanceIllustrative of the badges that were popular as a means of raising funds to support returned servicemen and women from both the First World War and the Second World War. This and other associated badges are a rich source of evidence on the material and cultural history of fundraising and sporting organisations in Australia. The symbols, colours and mottoes used on the badges themselves also express ideas about the values and identity that Australians held in the early to mid-twentieth century, particularly during wartime.
During the First World War, 1914-1918, a vast array of benevolent societies and privately run patriotic funds and charities were formed to raise money from the public to help support Australia's allies and its soldiers. These private funds filled an important gap by providing the troops with warm clothing and comforts packages, by supervising the care and rehabilitation of returned soldiers and by raising relief funds for civilian wartime victims in Allied Europe. Post war, funds were required for the erection of memorials, the care and upkeep of war graves in Australia and to assist returned war veterans.
The wearing of a badge was seen as evidence of a person's sympathy with the national appeals undertaken during the First World War.DescriptionCircular badge: printed paper between tin base and celluloid cover. Green rim. Inset cart with four horses. Marked 'Australia Day' '1918'.AcknowledgementKeywordsbadgesAustralia DayDate of Creation1918Date of Usage1918Accession NumberHT 1985.2256