The Broad Arrow in Australian Colonies

The Broad Arrow is the marking on the pole in picture below. The wooden pole is one of the last wooden poles left of the 13,000 telegraph poles from the first single wire telegraph line connecting Western Australia to the Eastern Colonies and the rest of the world. Hugh Knight and Susan Holland rescued this wooden pole from the edge of a salt lake behind the Bilbunya Sand Dunes east of Israelite Bay, over 300km east of Esperance in 2019.

Samples of the Broad Arrow

Benchmark of c. 1829 on the line of the Great North Road Sydney

The broad arrow was used to denote government property in the Australian colonies from the earliest times of settlement until well after federation. In Britain and her empire, it was commonly used to mark Government and military property e.g. cannons and other weapons. The broad arrow brand was used to mark trees as the property of the Crown and was also used on survey markers.
Australian convict clothing in the early 1800s was commonly marked with the broad arrow and is often associated with prisoners.

Example of Western Australian convict clothing

The broad arrow is still used by the Australian Army to denote property owned by the Department of Defence.
The broad arrow marking, or pheon, was a symbol dating back to the 17th century in England, marking all government property to prevent theft.