The matter of adopting a visual representation of Woollahra’s identity was considered early in its history. At a meeting held 7 July 1860 it was resolved to design a Municipal seal "with the following impression or design, Woollahra Municipality". A number of designs were considered and rejected over the ensuing months until one was finally approved in December 1860 and early in 1861 the municipal seal, executed by Messrs. Sands & Kenny, was received and "greatly approved". No detailed description of Council's original seal survives.
1907 Council seal
The current arms of Woollahra Council would appear to have their genesis in a design adopted by Council in 1907 and finally superseded in 1962, when a design drawn up by the College of Arms in London was adopted. The 1962 arms are the result of a decision taken in 1960, Council's centenary year, to commemorate the Municipality's first century of administration with the establishment of an officially patented crest and seal.
According to research undertaken in 1939 by W.H. Pentreath Kinsela the Woollahra Council crest and seal was preserved on an 1896 document showing "a large representation of the Macquarie Lighthouse, with a small sailing ship in the background and a kangaroo in the foreground". These same three motifs – Macquarie Lighthouse, sailing ship and kangaroo – feature in Council's current crest and seal. It is possible that the impression of the seal dating from 1896 may have in fact been the same design adopted by Council in 1861. The account of the meeting at which the 1907 crest was adopted suggests an action authenticating a design which had been in existence for some time.
The motto on the crest reads Peace, Plenty, Progress and interpretation of the meaning and significance of the various elements is as follows:
Emu and kangaroo: traditional supporters of arms granted to Australian bodies.
Sheaf of wheat: denotes 'plenty'.
Sun rising over ocean: represents the location of the municipality on the east coast of NSW.
Trees and grass tufts: alludes to tree-lined avenues and well-kept street and park lawns.
The four quarters of the Shield: