An official striking of Olympic Victory Medals will be carried out at a special function at 10am on Wednesday 7 June, by the Minister for Financial Services & Regulation, The Hon Joe Hockey MP, who is the Minister responsible for the Royal Australian Mint.
The Royal Australian Mint and The Perth Mint, as partners in the Sydney 2000 Olympic Coin Program, are sharing the task of striking Olympic Victory Medals, at no cost to SOCOG, as a joint contribution to the Sydney Games.
The Royal Australian Mint will strike silver and bronze Olympic Victory Medals for the Sydney Games. "This is a significant occasion for the Royal Australian Mint and Australia as a whole, and I am very proud to be a part of it, and part of Olympic History," Minister Hockey said.
"The Medals combine both modern and traditional elements in a very attractive design which includes highly recognisable Australian images, such as the wattle and Sydney Opera House. This will identify the Medals across the world as uniquely Australian," Minister Hockey said.
One side of the Medals will feature images of the Sydney Opera House, the Olympic Torch and the Olympic Rings, and the other side the traditional elements of Olympic Victory Medals, including Nike, the Goddess of Victory. The Medals also feature an outer rim where the name of the sport and the event for which it will be awarded will be engraved after production.
The design was the outcome of a competition conducted in 1998 in which 20 Australian artists and designers were invited to submit a design. Minister Hockey congratulated Mr Wojciech Pietranik, the winning designer, and one of the Royal Australian Mint's own coin and medallion designers, on his achievement.
Minister Hockey said that the silver to be used in all of the Olympic Victory Medals had been donated by BHP, including an ingot of silver donated by the people of Broken Hill. The bronze Victory Medals will also incorporate metal from melted-down 1c and 2c pieces - coins that have been touched by very many Australians over the years.
"The production of the Victory Medals reflects, and is a tribute to, Australian generosity and ingenuity and will symbolically allow every Australian, from all walks of life, to share in the Olympic celebration," Minister Hockey said.
The Medals to be struck on 7 June 2000 are the result of expert technical and creative craftsmanship, which has transformed an ordinary piece of metal into an object of beauty. The development work for Olympic Victory Medals is attributed to the expertise and skill of Royal Australian Mint staff, who devoted hundreds of hours of work to address the many technical problems involved.
The Royal Australian Mint will produce around 1000 Silver and 1100 Bronze medals. The Perth Mint will produce the gold Medals using blanks specially prepared by the Royal Australian Mint.