Twelve months on from the devastating bushfires that swept the nation, the Royal Australian Mint (the Mint) launched a coloured $2 commemorative coin honouring Australia’s Firefighters, following the release of a circulating coin of the same design.
Speaking at the launch of the coins, Royal Australian Mint General Manager, Mark Cartwright announced that $125,000 dollars from the proceeds from the sale of the coins will go to fire and emergency service organisations across the country.
“The Mint is immensely aware of the bravery and sacrifice that goes in to being a firefighter. Providing some financial benefit back to the firefighting community is a tangible way for us to assist these critical organisations to prepare for the summer ahead.”
He also noted the significance of releasing these coins.
“These coins serve as an everyday reminder of the ongoing commitment of our firefighters and emergency service personnel to protect our lives and property.”
“We should not forget that it was less than 12 months ago that large parts of Australia was on fire. Our firefighters – both career and voluntary – courageously combated the extreme conditions to keep us safe”.
“Australia’s 170,000 plus firefighters are revered for their bravery and dedication. From the cities to the outback, they protect us from danger and are always prepared to step up when needed” said Mr Cartwright.
“On behalf of all volunteer firefighters, I am very grateful for the Australian Mint to recognise the selfless contribution Volunteer firefighters make to the Australian community. Volunteering is a strong part of the Australian culture, looking after and assisting your fellow neighbour. After a very long protracted fire season, to have volunteer firefighter’s amazing efforts recognised on a struck coin will mean a lot to all volunteers past and present around the country.” A/g Chief Officer ACT Rural Fire Service Rohan Scott.
Using a strong and semi symmetrical design aesthetics, the coin highlights the ‘hero’ statues that firefighters hold in the community.
The new coin design includes stylised representation of two firefights standing back to back, with a coloured fire ball in the centre of the coin.
The identity of the two firefighters is hidden but the figure on the right is shown as masculine and the figure on the left as feminie as a symbol of the diversity within Australia’s firefighting ranks.
The national peak body responsible for representing fire, emergency services and land management agencies in the Australasian region, Australasian Fire Authorities Council (AFAC) partnered with the Royal Australian Mint on this project.
AFAC CEO, Stuart Ellis, said “Firefighters nationally are honoured to be acknowledged in this way and appreciate the support of the communities in doing their job.”
The Australia’s Firefighters – 2020 $2 ‘C’ Mintmark Colour Uncirculated Coin is available in a limited mintage of 40,000 - retailing for $15.00. The 2020 $2 Colour Circulating Coin is also available for purchase for $10.00.
These coins are Australian legal tender and the can be purchased from the Mint’s eShop or Contact Centre (1300 652 020).
To coincide with the launch of the coins, a number of photographs and objects from the previous bushfire seasons will be on display.
Objects including firefighter uniforms, burnt coins from the 2003 Canberra bushfire, and a number of coins and medallions made by the Royal Australian Mint will be on showcased.
These objects and photographs will be on display at the Royal Australian Mint from Tuesday, 3 November 2020 to Thursday, 28 January 2021.