The Official Thylacine

The figure of the thylacine has been used for official purposes since the early years of the twentieth century. In the examples on this page, the thylacine is a container for various messages and ideas aligned with State or regional identity. Logos and emblems establish and reinforce the profile of government, scientific and sporting institutions in Tasmania.

tasmanian coat of arms
Tasmanian Coat of Arms
tasmanian government logo
The Tasmania Government Logo
The motto on the Tasmanian coat of arms with thylacine supporters is 'Fruitful and Faithful'. The arms was proclaimed in 1919, only 10 years after the government bounty on the species was revoked.
Two thylacines hold the shield on which symbols of the State’s prosperity are arranged – including a ram, standing for the pastoral industry that hastened the species’ demise. To fulfil their emblematic function, the form of the thylacines is distorted to convey a power and authority they never held after European settlement of the island.
The Tasmanian government logo was originally designed for Tourism Tasmania in 1996 by Ian Kidd of IKDesign in Adelaide, but it was soon used for all government departments. It is a visualisation of the positioning statement 'Discover your Natural State' and can now be seen on car number plates, frosted on the doors to government offices, printed on tourist brochures and government reports, and adorning parliament buildings.
launceston city council logo
LAunceston Coat of Arms
Launceston coat of arms
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There is considerable irony in the alignment of the thylacine with the governance of Tasmania, as there were few moves to protect the species until its members were close to extinction. It has been suggested that remorse motivated the choice of thylacines for the State’s coat of arms, but there is no evidence to support this theory. The proclamation of the arms in 1919 caused minimal comment in local newspapers.

The University of Tasmania’s ceremonial mace was designed by Peter Taylor and produced by nine Tasmanian artists. It was completed in 1990 and is used in graduation ceremonies and other formal occasions. The University’s mission statement reads:

The University in committed to the creation, preservation, communication, and application of knowledge. It will express this commitment through scholarship which is international in scope but which also reflects the distinctiveness of Tasmania and serves the needs of its community.

Ship's Badge: HMAS Dechaineux, Royal Australian Navy submarine.
From the Navy’s website: The colours of the badge have association with Launceston, Tasmania where Captain Dechaineux was born. The Tasmanian Tiger is derived from the Coat of Arms of Launceston and the sword indicates that Dechaineux was an officer. The motto reads FEARLESS AND FEROCIOUS because Captain Dechaineux was renowned for fairness and compassion towards his men and for his bravery and dedication.
Dechaineux Ship's Badge
Dechaineux Ship's Badge

The Tasmanian Cricket Association

Tasmanian Cricket Logo
tasmanian cricket association logo
Tasmanian Cricket Association logos
Tasmanian Cricket Logo

From David Owen. Thylacine: The Tragic Tale of the Tasmanian Tiger (Allen and Unwin, 2003):

The logo of the Tasmanian Cricket Association (TCA) cleverly integrates the animal with the game by having its stripes represent the wicket and the seam of a ball. The state one-day team - suitably sponsored - is presently known as the Cascade Tasmanian Tigers, with a heavily stylised tiger face projecting the right degree of sporting alertness and aggression.

The TCA's media and public relations manager, the former test cricketer David Boon … explains the 1995 adoption of the name Tasmanian Tigers: “Its purpose was to identify and brand the Cascade Tasmanian Tigers cricket team as distinct from the corporate logo of the Tasmanian Cricket Association. Informal but extensive research showed overwhelming public support for the Tiger image … [it] was used because of its uniqueness. No other state can claim it. It is/was a sleek, cunning and aggressive carnivore - a killer. If it still exists, it is elusive, surrounded by mystery and extremely hard to track down. It certainly projects an appropriate image for our cricket team.”

Royal Society of Tasmania

In 1927 D. Colbron Pearse, a staff member at the Tasmanian Museum in Hobart, designed a seal and medal for the Royal Society of Tasmania with a thylacine at the centre. The medal is awarded to recipients born or resident in Tasmania who have contributed to the research environment of Tasmania over a long period of time. The Royal Society Minutes 9/5/1927.

Royal Society of Tasmania Medal design
Royal Society of Tasmania Medal design
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australian stamps
Australian stamps issued in 1981 and 1962
Tiger Coin
Australian twenty cent coin issued to commemorate the centenary of Federation


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Last updated

24 September, 2007