To mark the 50th anniversary of the 1967 referendum and the 25th anniversary of the High Court Mabo decision, award-winning contemporary artist and grand-daughter of Eddie Mabo, Boneta-Marie Mabo, collaborated with the Royal Australian Mint (the Mint) in the design of Australia’s newest 50c circulating coin.
The commemorative coin was officially launched today by the Minister for Indigenous Affairs Senator the Hon Nigel Scullion in the company of those who were part of the 1967 referendum campaign, Ms Mabo and her family, and other guests at a celebration marking the anniversaries.
Royal Australian Mint Chief Executive Officer Mr Ross MacDiarmid said that these anniversaries were two of the most significant events in Australia’s history.
“The 1967 Referendum recognised First Australians in the Census and gave the Commonwealth a Constitutional role in relation to their fellow Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians and the Mabo High Court case was a landmark moment in the history of Indigenous land rights,” Mr MacDiarmid said.
“When people receive this coin in their change, they will be prompted to take some time to learn about the progress of reconciliation and our shared histories.”
The coin design was created in collaboration with Boneta-Marie Mabo and features Eddie Mabo as representative of the plaintiffs from the High Court case, the Torres Strait Islander and Australian Aboriginal flags, and iconic pamphlets from the 1967 referendum.
Ms Mabo said she was proud to represent her family to commemorate such significant milestones in Australia’s history.
“I am so honoured that the Royal Australian Mint invited me to work with them as an artist to design the coin and that they have given me the opportunity to be a part of such a nationally recognised celebration which means so much to me and my family,” said Ms Mabo.
Mr MacDiarmid said that the commemorative coin will go out into circulation over the coming weeks however, they will first be seen in the tills around the nation’s capital.
“The national cultural institutions have formed a National Reconciliation Week Trail delivering a week-long program of special events to the public, who may find one of these coins in their change after making transactions with these institutions,” said Mr MacDiarmid.
These special coins will enter circulation through the cashier tills of the following cultural institutions in Canberra:
- Royal Australian Mint Coin Shop
- Australian Parliament House
- Museum of Australian Democracy
- National Film and Sound Archives
- National Library of Australia
- National Portrait Gallery
For those who are not in Canberra but want to be able to get the coin before it goes into circulation, sachets of $10 can be purchased. A fine silver proof collectible coin with the same commemorative design has also been produced and it includes a bonus circulating coin. Both products are available for purchase from the Mint’s eShop eshop.ramint.gov.au, Contact Centre on 1300 652 020 or in store at the Royal Australian Mint, Deakin.
For more information on the National Reconciliation Week Trail please visit www.reconciliation.org.au/nrw/
Media enquiries: Michelle Nakamura, 0418 164 769 or email@example.com
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