Governor-General revisits 50 years of decimal currency at launch of new book


His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (retd), the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, today reflected upon 50 years of decimal currency at the launch of the new book by award-winning author Mr Peter Rees, Inside the Vault: The history and art of Australian coinage.

The Governor-General introduced Inside the Vault, the coffee table book which delves into the interesting world of Australian coinage history along with never before seen sketches and photographs from the vaults of pre-eminent Australian institutions and private collectors.

The Governor-General said that Mr Peter Rees hadcaptured our nation’s rich coinage history, providing such a great historical record for all ages during this anniversary year.

“As we commemorate 50 years of decimal currency, it is important to recognise all who worked so hard to make this anniversary a reality. This book, Inside the Vault, is bursting with insights and stories about Australian coins and the characters behind them. I congratulate Peter on a read that brings our coins and their role in our nation’s development to life,” said the Governor-General.

The Assistant Minister to the Treasurer the Hon Alex Hawke MP said the book was the story of an important historic milestone and complimented the Royal Australian Mint for its commitment to the production of Inside the Vault in 2016, aligning its publication with the 50th anniversary of decimal currency celebrations.

“This history of modern Australian currency has never been told in such detail. Peter Rees has ensured that all of the key developments over more than 200 years are told to unify the story,” said Mr Hawke.

“The history and art of currency is fascinating, yet it has never before been captured in a detailed chronological story, making Inside the Vault such an enjoyable and worthwhile project.”

Peter Rees said Inside the Vault tells not just the story of Australian currency, but also celebrates its unique role in the nation’s past.

“Through interviews with numismatists and wider research, including contact with national institutions, I was able to trace the symbolic journey that coins in Australia have taken.” said Mr Rees.

Inside the Vault follows Australia’s coinage story from the First Fleet, the Rum Rebellion, the role that a convicted forger played in developing Australia’s first dollar currency, the gold rushes, Federation, the story of the elusive 1930 penny, the opening of the Royal Australian Mint, and the behind-the scenes conflict in the move to decimal currency in the 1960s.”

“The book also tells us the story of recent circulating and collectible products in the Mint’s collection and looks at the future of coins.”

Officially launched at the Royal Australian Mint on 11 February 2016 with readings by Mr Rees, Inside the Vault, produced by NewSouth Publishing, is available for purchase for $59.99 via the Mint's eShop:

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For media enquiries contact:
Elyse Moore, Royal Australian Mint - (02) 6202 6975 or (For media only)

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