New $5 coin launched to celebrate Australian heritage
Australia’s prehistoric rainforest, detention sites, Sydney Opera House and ancient Aboriginal settlements have been etched into history on a freshly minted coin to celebrate the country’s heritage value.
Australia’s 20 World Heritage properties feature on the coin, which was unveiled at Sydney’s World Heritage-listed Hyde Park barracks on Thursday, along with an oversized two-metre-tall model.
Images of heritage sites on the frosted $5 coin framed a central color image of a handprint, fan palm leaf and shell fossil to represent both ‘icons’ Australia’s natural and man-made and indigenous heritage, said the Royal Australian Mint.
Australia’s prehistoric rainforest, detention sites, Sydney Opera House and ancient Aboriginal settlements have been etched into history on a freshly minted coin.
Although the Tony Dean-designed coin was not intended for general circulation, the public could purchase it from September 7 and it was legal tender in Australia, the Mint said.
The coin also featured the obverse of the Queen Elizabeth II memorial designed by Jody Clark.
Deputy Treasury Minister Andrew Leigh said Australians were blessed to live in a country blessed with such natural beauty.
“By celebrating Australia’s World Heritage Sites through this collector’s coin, the Royal Australian Mint is doing its part to help raise awareness of our magnificent natural and built heritage,” he said.
The unveiling coincided with a global event that first kicked off in Australia: the 21st General Assembly and Scientific Symposium of the International Council on Monuments and Sites.
The symposium was expected to bring together up to 1,500 professionals from around the world to discuss the key theme of ‘heritage change’ and take participants on a tour of some of Australia’s famous heritage sites.
The Mint partnered with the council to manufacture the coin.
An official opening ceremony for the symposium was scheduled for Sunday at the Sydney Opera House.
Chairman of the council’s general assembly, Richard Mackay, said the piece encouraged awareness of Australia’s unique biodiversity, deep indigenous connections to the country and extraordinary cultural places.
“We are delighted that, as cultural heritage experts from around the world gather in Sydney, this coin celebrates our contribution to world heritage,” he said.
The coin features Melbourne’s Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens, the Greater Blue Mountains of New South Wales, Macquarie Island and the Ningaloo Coast among the 20 heritage sites depicted.