A collage of souvenirs from the first 'Australia Day' celebrations, held on 30 July 1915. 30 July 1915 Australia Day.

A collage of souvenirs from the first 'Australia Day' celebrations, held on 30 July 1915

The four ephemeral items are mounted on cardboard-backed black stippled cloth, behind glass in a contemporary simple (black) painted wooden frame (overall dimensions 215 × 165 mm); trifling blemishes to one item, but overall a very rare collection in excellent condition.

'The first Australia Day was held on 30 July 1915. Its objective was to raise funds for wounded Australian soldiers from the Gallipoli campaign.... During the First World War money was often raised for patriotic funds by setting aside a special "day" on which activities such as auctions, street collections, performances and stalls were held to encourage the community to contribute. It was decided that on 30 July 1915 an "Australia Day" would be celebrated across the country, and funds would be raised to help the Australian Division of the Red Cross continue to provide their services. Badges ... along with buttons and ribbons, were commonly sold at these events. Note that Australia Day as we now know it, celebrated on 26 January, was known as Foundation Day until the 1950s' (Australian War Memorial).

The four items in this display are: a handmade cardboard gold cross with red thread, hand-lettered in white ink 'For Our Wounded Heroes. "Australia Day" July 30th 1915' (overall dimensions 63 × 61 mm); a swallowtail white ribbon with 'Dardanelles' printed on it in light red ink (approximately 80 × 42 mm, possibly handmade); a vignette illustration of HMAS 'Sydney' surrounded by the Australian flag and the Union Jack, printed in red, white and blue on thin card (120 × 45 mm, possibly clipped from another source); and a printed Australian flag surmounted by the map of Australia, with the legend 'Australia Day. For Our Wounded Heroes. 30th July 1915' (56 × 95 mm, with a couple of pinholes and other trifling blemishes).

Item #113989

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