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Newly minted coin on the money for Australian heritage

A coin showcasing Australia's world heritage value has been unveiled as the country hosts a global monuments and sites event for the first time.

Wednesday, August 30, 2023, shows a coin featuring all 20 Australian world heritage properties in celebration of International Council on Monuments and Sites event coming to the country for the first time.. ImageAAP

Australia's prehistoric rainforest, convict sites, the Sydney Opera House and ancient Aboriginal settlements have been etched in history on a freshly minted coin in celebration of the country's heritage value.

All 20 of Australia's world heritage properties feature on the coin, which was on Thursday unveiled at Sydney's heritage-listed Hyde Park Barracks with a supersized two metre-high model.

Images of the heritage sites on the $5 frosted coin framed a central full-colour image of a handprint, a fan palm frond and a shell fossil to represent both natural and manmade "icons" and Australia's Indigenous heritage, the Royal Australian Mint said.

While the Tony Dean-designed coin was not intended for general circulation, the public could buy it from September 7 and it was legal Australian tender, the Mint said.

The coin also featured the Jody Clark-designed Queen Elizabeth II Memorial obverse.

Assistant Treasury Minister Andrew Leigh said Australians were fortunate to live in a country with so much natural beauty.

"By celebrating Australia's world heritage sites through this collectible coin the Royal Australian Mint is doing its bit to help the spread the word about our magnificent natural and built heritage," he said.

The unveiling coincided with a global event kicking off in Australia for the first time - the International Council on Monuments and Sites' 21st General Assembly and Scientific Symposium.

The symposium was slated to bring together up to 1500 professionals from around the globe to discuss the key theme of "heritage changes" and take attendees on a tour of some of Australia's famed heritage sites.

The Mint partnered with the council to make the coin.

An official opening ceremony for the symposium was slated for Sunday at the Sydney Opera House.

The council's general assembly convener Richard Mackay said the coin encouraged awareness about Australia's unique biodiversity, deep Indigenous connections with Country and extraordinary cultural places.

"We are delighted that as cultural heritage experts from all around the world gather in Sydney, this coin celebrates our contribution to the world's heritage," he said.

The coin features Melbourne's Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens, the NSW Greater Blue Mountains, Macquarie Island and the Ningaloo Coast among the 20 depicted heritage sites.


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