Australia’s highest awards for civilian bravery has been recognised on the newest coin from the Royal Australian Mint in a very unique event where all living recipients of the prestigious Cross of Valour and Australian George Cross struck their names onto their very own coin.
Marking the 40th anniversary of the Australian Honours System, this special collectible coin acknowledges the fearlessness of those who have received the Cross of Valour and its predecessor, the Australian George Cross.
Royal Australian Mint CEO Mr Ross MacDiarmid said that the Mint is honoured to be able to continue to share the story of bravery in Australia with the world.
“The George Cross and Cross of Valour recipients have shown an incredible amount of courage, putting themselves in danger in order to protect others,” said Mr MacDiarmid.
“Following the successful release of the Victoria Cross coin last year, we are pleased to be able to make available the Australian Bravery coin to show our appreciation and remember these efforts for years to come.”
The Australian Bravery coin utilises the rare technique of gold plating a fine silver coin and features the Cross of Valour and the name of its five recipients on the reverse. The obverse features the George Cross, the names of its 22 recipients and a miniature Queen Elizabeth II effigy.
The last living Australian George Cross recipient Michael Pratt GC and Cross of Valour recipients Mr Victor Boscoe CV, Mr Timothy Britten CV, Mr Richard Joyes CV, Mr Allan Sparkes CV and Mr Darrell Tree CV participated in the launch, striking their own individual coin in the Mint’s high-security factory.
The recipients of the Cross of Valour and Australian George Cross were accompanied by the official Patrons of the Cross of Valour Association of Australia, the Honourable Dame Quentin Bryce AD, CVO and Mr Michael Bryce AM, AE where the Mint was also presented with some very historic medals for a new upcoming display in its gallery focusing on bravery. This is likely to include some of the Cross of Valour medals in the near future.
“We consider it an absolute honour and privilege to be granted the loan to display these historic medals and continue to share the story of Australian bravery,” said Mr MacDiarmid.
This event was one of the only places where all five Cross of Valour and last living Australian George Cross recipients have been all together in one place. The public were able to view from the observation windows and meet some real life heroes.
Those wishing to purchase the 2015 Australian Bravery coin, retailing for $120, can pre-order by visiting https://eshop.ramint.gov.au/
For coin images please see below or for more information contact Michelle Nakamura: 0418 164 769 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Cross of Valour
The Cross of Valour is awarded for acts of conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme peril. It is the highest Australian Bravery Decoration. Anyone may nominate any other person for a bravery decoration and may be made posthumously. The nomination may be for a brave act by an Australian citizen in Australia or overseas.
Darrell Tree CV
Mr Darrell Tree CV was awarded the first Cross of Valour in 1989. On 14 August 1988 Mr Tree placed his life in danger repeatedly to save a three year old boy from electrocution. Mr Tree was, himself, electrocuted multiple times in his efforts, losing consciousness more than once.
Victor Boscoe CV
Mr Victor Boscoe CV received the Cross of Valour following his heroic actions on the morning of 13 September 1993. Mr Boscoe risked his life repetitively in pursing two armed men when he witnessed them fleeing from the scene of a robbery. Mr Boscoe continued to follow these men even when having multiple shots fired at him. Thanks to Mr Boscoe the police were given a detailed description of these armed robbers which greatly assisted in the conviction of the principal offender.
Allan Sparkes CV
In the morning of 3 May 1996, following extreme rainfalls in Coffs Harbour Mr Allan Sparkes and a colleague responded to an urgent call for assistance to rescue a boy trapped in a flooded underground storm water drain. Due to the strength of the current, and the lack of light, Mr Sparkes was forced to sacrifice his own safety to find and rescue the young boy.
Timothy Britten CV and Richard Joyes CV
On October 2002, Constable Timothy Britten and Richard Joyes placed their lives in danger to save others following a terrorist bombing in Bali. Constable Britten and Mr Joyes repeatedly entered Sari Club in Bali’s tourist centre to rescue a badly injured woman and search for survivors.? Despite being forced back many times by intense flames, these two men continued to return inside and was eventually able to carry the woman to an ambulance. Together these two men worked tirelessly to ensure that the wounded were helped by emergency services.
The George Cross is the highest civil decoration in the United Kingdom and a status it held in Australia up until 1975 when the Cross of Valour was introduced.
Michael Pratt GC
Michael Pratt was awarded the George Cross Medal for putting his life on the line trying to foil an armed robbery. The event took place in Melbourne on 4 June 1976 and Mr Pratt was shot in the back at close range by one of the robbers while trying to detain his accomplice.
40th anniversary of the Australian Honours System
On 14 February 1975, the Australian Honours System was introduced to acknowledge the most outstanding contributions to the nation. In addition to the Order of Australia (for achievement or meritorious service to society) and the National Medal (which recognises 15 years of conscientious contributions in the police, defence or emergency services) are the Australian Bravery Decorations. These prestigious decorations are received in recognition of acts of incredible bravery and selfless heroism.
Prior to 1975, these acts of bravery were acknowledged with the George Cross. With the establishment of the Honours System, the Cross of Valour has been given in its place to honour “acts of the most conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme peril.” In the 40 years that have passed, it has been received by five people, whose courage and bravery inspire us today.
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For media enquiries contact: Michelle Nakamura, Royal Australian Mint, 0418 164 769
2015 $5 Gold-plated Fine Silver Frosted Uncirculated Australian Bravery Coin - Obverse
2015 $5 Gold-plated Fine Silver Frosted Uncirculated Australian Bravery Coin - Reverse
2015 $5 Gold-plated Fine Silver Frosted Uncirculated Australian Bravery Coin - Packaging