A Year 5 primary schools student's design to appear on our 50c Coin

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John Serrano, a Year 5 student at St Peter's Primary School, East Keilor in Victoria will have his design minted on an Australian 50c collector coin and possibly also a circulating coin, to be released by the Royal Australian Mint in the second half of 2004.

The name of the winning designer of the Mint's Primary School Student Coin Design Competition was announced by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, The Hon Ross Cameron MP, today, Friday 7 November 2003. The winning design of a wombat, koala and lorikeet was selected by Australians who participated in the voting on the Mint's website choosing from amongst the final top 5 designs submitted.

Ross Cameron in announcing the winner said 'The selection of the designs was very difficult because of the generally high standard for Primary schools and this was shown by the Top 104 designs. I would like to congratulate all who took part in this competition, the young designers who were ranked in the top 5 and especially John for his final design. I am sure the winning school will make good use of the prize money.' He added, 'I also wish to thank the schools and the teachers who encouraged their students to enter this competition. Unfortunately there can only be one winner but all who entered are in a way winners'.

John has won for his school a prize of $10,000 and his initials will appear on an Australian coin. He will also receive a Proof example of the coin as well as a certificate acknowledging his success. John is 12 years old and enjoys drawing, studying nature and animals as well as a wide range of activities such as bike riding and swimming. He also watches sports such as AFL, tennis, soccer cricket and golf. John is not only a sports fan but also enjoys reading books and playing electronic games.

Primary schools throughout Australia were invited in May this year to each enter three of their best designs in the competition. In total just under 2600 designs from over 800 schools were received. John's design was amongst the Top 5 designs selected. The other 4 designs came from two primary school students in New South Wales (Emma Dowsett of Pymble Ladies College and Michael Blythe of Miranda Public School), another Victorian student (Maddy Matthews of Mildura west Primary School) and one student in South Australia (Sheralee Anne Francis of Riverdale R-7 School, Adelaide).

Their designs are included in the top 104 designs which were previously on display on the Mint's website.

The theme of the design competition was "AUSTRALIA" and it was deliberately kept very wide to allow the maximum amount of artistic expression to the young students.

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John Serrano's Winning Student Design John Serrano's Winning Student Design

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