Australia's renowned volunteering spirit has been honoured with the launch of the Royal Australian Mint's 2003 collector's Six Coin Set.
The collector set, designed in consultation with Volunteering Australia, the national peak body on volunteering, will be officially launched at a special celebration breakfast at the Mint on Friday 15 November attended by over 100 representatives of volunteer and community organisations.
The tribute set salutes over 4 million Australians who give freely of their time to help others and benefit their communities with the theme: 'making a difference.'
The phrase is featured on a banner gold $1 coin while a dazzling 50c piece depicts a kaleidoscope of volunteers from emergency services, meals on wheels, shelters, charity operations as well as conservationists, sports volunteers, firefighters and surf lifesavers.
In recognition of the outstanding contribution made by Australia's volunteers, the 2003 Six Coin Set is the first year set to feature a third coin specially redesigned to carry the theme.
A 20c piece brings together a 'group portrait' of a tiny cross-section of everyday Australians, showing that anyone can be a volunteer.
Controller of the Royal Australian Mint, Vivienne Thom, said that since the phenomenal success of the Sydney Olympics the world increasingly saw the volunteering spirit as a defining quality in the Australian character.
"But the truth is that volunteering spirit has always been there," she said, "It's just in true laid back Aussie style, these remarkable individuals go about their duties with neither fuss nor fanfare."
She said the glittering coin set "made a fitting and lasting accolade to these dedicated individuals who together form the heart and soul of Australian society."
Sha Cordingley, CEO of Volunteering Australia who will attend the launch, thanked the Mint for the opportunity to be involved in such an exciting project, saying "such a wonderful tribute would only help to inspire more people to recognise the value of volunteering."
The coin sets will be available in Proof and Uncirculated finishes from the Royal Australian Mint from 15 November 2002 (ph 1300 65 20 20 between 8.30am to 4pm EST) and selected coin dealers around Australia.
Price incl GST : Proof set - $73.76 Uncirculated set - $22.70.
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