The Royal Australian Mint has poured the proceeds of a $2 commemorative coin honouring Australia’s firefighters into emergency service organisations across the country.
The mint launched the coin that went into circulation on Thursday, 29 October, by announcing that $125,000 from proceeds of the sale of the coins will support volunteer firefighters.
Designed by the mint’s coin designer, Aleks Stokic, the $2 coin features a stylised representation of two firefighters standing back-to-back with a coloured fireball in the centre.
Using a strong and semi-symmetrical design, the coin highlights the hero status that firefighters hold in the community. 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 feminine as a symbol of the diversity within Australia’s firefighting ranks.
Royal Australian Mint general manager Mark Cartwright said the release of the coin is extremely significant in acknowledging the bravery and sacrifice that goes into being a firefighter, several months on from the devastating Black Summer bushfires.
He also said that providing some financial benefit back to the firefighting community is a tangible way for the mint to assist preparations for the summer ahead.
“These coins serve as an everyday reminder of the ongoing commitment of our firefighters and emergency service personnel to protect our lives and property,” said Mr Cartwright.
“We should not forget that it was less than 12 months ago that large parts of Australia were 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.”
ACT Rural Fire Service acting chief officer Rohan Scott said he is very grateful to the Royal Australian Mint for recognising the selfless contribution volunteer firefighters make.
“Volunteering is a strong part of the Australian culture; looking after and assisting your fellow neighbour,” he said. “After a very long, protracted fire season, to have volunteer firefighters’ amazing efforts recognised on a struck coin will mean a lot to all volunteers, past and present, around the country.”
The national peak body responsible for representing fire, emergency services and land management agencies in the Australasian region, the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC) partnered with the Royal Australian Mint on this $2 coin project.
To coincide with the launch of the coins, a number of photographs and objects from previous bushfire seasons will be on display.
Objects to be showcased include firefighter uniforms, burnt coins from the 2003 Canberra bushfire, and a number of coins and medallions made by the Royal Australian Mint.
These objects and photographs will be on display at the Royal Australian Mint from 3 November, 2020, to 28 January, 2021.
The Australia’s Firefighters’ 2020 $2 ‘C’ mintmark colour, uncirculated coin is available in a limited mintage of 40,000 for $15. The 2020 $2 colour circulating coin is also available for purchase for $10.
These coins are Australian legal tender and can be purchased from the Royal Australian Mint’s eShop or contact centre (phone 1300 652 020).