The Royal Australian Mint is now offering the 2009 $1 Inspirational Australian Steve Irwin Uncirculated Coin. This coin is the second in a series of Inspirational Australians that last year featured Mary MacKillip, who was beatified by Pope John Paul I in 1995.
Steve Irwin was a well-known celebrity who met an untimely fate in 2006. Host of the popular Crocodile Hunter series, Irwin was enthusiastically supportive of Australia's wildlife.
His parents started the Australia Zoo and Irwin grew up around exotic creatures. He is attributed with wresting with his first crocodile at the age of nine. Not content with merely putting on a show, Irwin was adamant about educating the public about wildlife as well.
His Crocodile Hunter show won him international attention and he was quick to capitalize on it to foster more interest in his home country and what it had to offer.
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.