State Emblems
A web-based activity exploring the emblems of the state of Western Australia

Introduction | Task | Process and Resources | Conclusion


You are a member of a committee which has been asked to recommend to the Premier and cabinet of your state a mineral and/or a gemstone and/or a fossil emblem for the state. Only 4 states of Australia currently have such emblems:

Queensland has thesapphireas its gemstone emblem
South Australia has theopalas its gemstone emblem
Tasmania has thecrocoiteas its mineral emblem
Western Australia has theGogo fishas its fossil emblem

You and your team members are experts in developing and marketing corporate symbols and each of you has a solid background in Science.

Before you start looking at the states of Australia, you may wish to look at the emblems of Colorado, a state in the United States of America. They can be found at the Colorado State Archives Symbols & Emblems web site.

Some of the states of America have a variety of emblems which can be found from US State Facts, Map and State Symbols at Enchanted Learning.


You are asked to prepare for the Premier a pamphlet to brief the cabinet on:

In order to brief yourself on existing state emblems, find out whether your state has any of the following symbols:

Obtain an image of each of these from the web, for your pamphlet. From information about them on the web, explain why each one was chosen as a symbol for your particular state. Find out and include in what year each of these emblems was officially or unofficially adopted as a state symbol. Depending on how large your team is, each of you will become an expert about at least one of the state emblems.

Make sure you keep details of the source of all the information used for a bibliography.

In deciding on your state fossil, you might consider the following criteria:

In deciding on your state gemstone, you might consider the following criteria:

In deciding on your state mineral, you might consider the following criteria:

Process and resources

Access the web sites indicated below each question in order to construct answers to the following questions. It may not be necessary to access all the web sites. You may find an appropriate answer by visiting one site, however, you may find other resources such as photographs and sketches at some of the alternate web sites. You may find additional information, a different explanation or a different point of view, by visiting a number of the sites. Be sure to read all the questions before starting because you may find the answer to later questions in some of the web sites for earlier questions.

1. Draw a table to summarise the animal, plant, bird of each of the Australian states. Add any other emblems for each state that you find.

2. Western Australia was the first state in Australia to adopt an official state fossil emblem. Find out what is the fossil emblem of Western Australia. Do you think it was a good choice? Give your reasons or can you suggest an alternative fossil emblem.

Here are some internet sites to get you started but also visit libraries, museums, national parks and nature reserves.

3. Select a gemstone that you think represents Western Australia and would be a suitable gemstone emblem.

Here are some internet sites to get you started but also visit libraries and museums.

4. Select a mineral or rock that you think represents Western Australia and would be a suitable mineral or rock emblem.

Here are some internet sites to get you started but also visit libraries and museums.


You have all learned about a different aspect of your state's geology and how your state has changed over time.

As a group you should discuss recommendations that you would put to the Premier regarding ...
  • a state fossil emblem
  • a state gemstone emblem
  • a state mineral emblem
Some of the criteria you might consider in your discussions are:
  • Is it commonly found in your state? Where? The more common it is in your state, the better it is as an emblem.
  • Is it found in your state, but rare in other parts of the world? The more unique the fossil, gemstone or mineral is, the better it is as an emblem.
  • Is there a special site where the fossil, gemstone or mineral can be accessed by interested community members?
  • Could the locations be promoted as a tourist destination, so that visitors could learn more about science and the geological history of you state?
  • Is there a special example of the fossil, gemstone or mineral that could be used for marketing it as a state emblem?

You and your teammates have learned a lot by dividing up into different roles. Now's the time to put your learning into a presentation for real world feedback.

Together you will prepare a presentation to either support your recommendations for your proposed state symbols. The proposal may be in the form of a letetr to the Premier, brochure, electronic presentation, or video.

The proposal should include:
  1. common and scientific names of the fossil, gemstone, mineral and/or rock;
  2. description;
  3. how it was formed;
  4. where it is found;
  5. why it is appropriate as a state emblem;
  6. what it tells us about the geological history of the area in which it is found, your state, and Australia in general;
  7. what has happened that it can be found in the particular area; and
  8. details of where further information can be obtained, (web site, personal contact or institution).

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Last Update: Monday, 30-Apr-2012 14:52:22 AEST