Lake Macquarie History

Lake Macquarie Coat of Arms

photo: lake macquarie coat of arms

In December 1970, Council's Armorial Bearings were issued by the College of Arms in London

  • The main portion of the shield represents the waves of the lake.
  • The two-masted schooner on the shield represents the “Martha”, which Captain William Reid commanded when he first sailed into Lake Macquarie in 1800.
  • A fish in the top-centre of the shield represents the fishing industry and the city’s marine life.
  • On either side of the fish is a black diamond featuring a cross-section of a tree representing the coal and timber industries respectively.
  • The base of the shield represents the entrance to Lake Macquarie from the Pacific Ocean, with the surf breaking on the golden sands of the beaches, bordering the fertile green land.
  • The iguana (monitor lizard or goanna), which stands on the helmet and wreath, was important to the Awabakal Tribe, the original inhabitants of Lake Macquarie. The liizard holds a Waratah bloom in its mouth. A goanna is any one of several species of lizard of the genus Varanus found in Australia and Southeast Asia. The name 'goanna' is derived from the word 'iguana'. The early european settlers called the monitor lizards 'iguanas' when first arriving in Australia. The word 'iguana' eventually became corrupted into the word 'goanna'.
  • A pelican and black swan support the shield on either side. Both these birds are found in Lake Macquarie.
  • A cross, usually located on either side of the scroll, represents the earliest settler, Reverend Threlkeld, a Missionary of the London Bible Society.
  • The motto - "Respice, Aspice, Perspice" - means "Survey the Past, Examine the Present, Look to the Future".

Note: The cross has been re-located from the scroll to the helmet in this depiction.

Acknowledgement of Country

We remember and respect the Ancestors who cared for and nurtured this Country. It is in their footsteps that we travel these lands and waters. Lake Macquarie City Council acknowledges the Awabakal people and Elders past, present and future.

Council acknowledges traditional custodians throughout Australia. We commit to listening deeply to and collaborating with First Peoples in our work.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website and Council's cultural collections may contain images, voices or names of deceased persons in photographs, film, audio recordings or printed material.

This website may contain place names, opinions and terms that reflect authors' views or those of the period in which the item was written or recorded. These may not be considered appropriate today.

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