Senator the Hon Nick Sherry, Minister for Superannuation and Corporate Law, today launched the first coin in the Inspirational Australians’ coin series which features the Australian people’s saint, Blessed Mary MacKillop.
The Inspirational Australian coin series recognises and celebrates individual achievements and commemorates unique Australians who have made an extraordinary contribution to our society.
"As the Australian people’s saint, and someone who could be called Australia’s saint in waiting, Mary MacKillop is a fitting choice for the first coin in the Inspirational Australian series."
"The Royal Australian Mint’s world class coin designer Vladimir Gottwald has designed a coin which depicts Mary MacKillop guiding future generations.
Mary was an exceptional Australian woman who stands as an example of great courage, trust and compassion and as our first saint, she will forever inspire our nation," said Minister Sherry.
Minister Sherry was joined by Janine Murphy, CEO, Vladimir Gottwald, coin designer from the Royal Australian Mint and Sister Sheila McCreanor, Secretary General of the Congregational Leadership Team of the Sisters of St Joseph.
Mary MacKillop, born in Victoria 1842, was a teacher and Catholic nun. Mary founded the Order of the Sisters of St Joseph and set up a parish school for underprivileged children in South Australia.
This was the first religious order to be founded by an Australian. Under Mary’s guidance, the order established schools and charitable institutions across Australia and was devoted to the care of orphans, neglected children, the homeless, sick and aged.
In 1995, Mary MacKillop was beatified by Pope John Paul II. The process which could lead to her canonisation is underway. It is hoped she will be declared Saint Mary MacKillop.
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Mary MacKillop coin specifications
Coins may be purchased online through the Royal Australian Mint page:
About the Royal Australian Mint
His Royal Highness, The Duke of Edinburgh, officially opened the Royal Australian Mint, Canberra, on Monday 22nd February 1965. The Mint was commissioned to produce Australia’s decimal coinage, which was to be introduced into circulation on 14th February 1966. The Royal Australian Mint holds a place in history as the first mint in Australia not to be a branch of the Royal Mint, London.
Since opening in 1965 the Mint has produced over eleven billion circulating coins and has the capacity to produce over two million coins per day, or over six hundred million coins per year.
The Royal Australian Mint has struck coins for a number of South Pacific nations. Export coins were first struck in 1969 for New Zealand and, since then, coins have been produced for Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Western Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, Malaysia, Thailand, Nepal, Bangladesh, Israel and Tokelau.