All National Library reading rooms will be closed on the Anzac Day public holidays, Sunday 25 April and Monday 26 April. The exhibition galleries and Bookshop will be open from 9am to 5pm, and Bookplate cafe will be open from 9am to 3pm. Regular hours will resume on Tuesday 27 April. See our public holiday opening hours for more information.


1. Display this painting, explaining to your students that it is from the first years of European settlement in Australia. Discuss the following questions with the class:

  • Have you ever seen a waratah? Why do you think Raper chose to paint this flower when he first saw it?
  • What are some other animals, birds and flowers that Europeans might have seen for the first time when they arrived in Australia?
  • Are there plants, animals and birds that are unique to your part of Australia?

Invite students to draw a picture of a plant, bird or animal that is distinctly Australian.

2. Display the following three images of artworks for your students.

As a class, try to identify some of the different plants and animals that have been used in these artworks. Then ask students to select their favourite piece and write a short explanation about why they like it.

3. Conduct a class brainstorm about emblems:

  • What are emblems?
  • Why do we use emblems?
  • What are some examples of emblems (e.g. school emblem, club emblem)?

Research Australia’s national emblems and official symbols, and the emblems of your state or territory.

4. Invite your students to design an emblem for their family. Encourage students to think about plants, animals or other objects that have relevance to them and their family.