Kangaroo ditched as Australia’s international trade logo
The iconic Australian kangaroo has been sidelined as the logo to represent the nation's interests overseas in favour of an abstract depiction of the yellow wattle.
The decision to dismiss the kangaroo was made in a report by Australia's Nation Brand Advisory Council, and has been accepted by Trade Minister Simon Birmingham.
The report said that while the animal was internationally recognised, it only reinforced what foreigners already knew about Australia, while we should be pushing our other, lesser-known assets such as technology and education.
"Australia is internationally popular for its friendly people and natural beauty. However, there is room to improve perceptions around our business capability. There is an opportunity to increase foreign investment if we can strengthen awareness of our products and services overseas," it said.
"We love our kangaroo - it is currently the most internationally recognised shortcut to Australia. But we considered whether it would shift perceptions of our nation, or simply reinforce what people already knew about us."
The Advisory Council was set up under former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull and is chaired by mining magnate Andrew Forrest.
It also includes tech billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes, acclaimed playwright Wesley Enoch, Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce and Vogue editor-in-chief Edwina McCann.
McCann said the council opted for the gold wattle because it could be easily incorporated into the emblems of existing brands.
"This is meant to be something that projects the next iteration of 'Brand Australia'," she said. "What (other countries) know less of is how smart we are, how exceptional our universities are, and how hi-tech our manufacturing is."
The logo will be used by business, industry and government agencies, replacing the current one depicting two orange boomerangs that form an outline of Australia.
"The council's preference for the Nation Brand mark was the wattle - it's our national flower and, while it is not immediately recognisable internationally, it will become so over time."
The report said the Australian Made logo featuring a kangaroo would still be used, but the shades of green and gold would be modified.
"Australia is inconsistent with its use of multiple logos, colours and narratives, which dilute our brand offering and confuse our potential audiences. This is why we have modernised our national colour scheme with the use of a deep green and actual gold, rather than yellow," the report said.
Originally published as Kangaroo ditched as Australia's international trade logo