On April 23, the Royal Australian Mint announced a new circulating colored $2 coin marking the centenary of repatriation for Australian soldiers and nurses after the First World War.
“The coin is an enduring acknowledgment of vital efforts to provide support to Australian service people, while at the same time commemorating a century of service,” said the Royal Australian Mint CEO, Ross MacDiarmid.
The center of the coin depicts a graphic element taken from the First World War ‘Returned from Active Service’ badge.
“As these coins begin to circulate across the country ahead of Anzac Day, we hope the coins will contribute to our nation’s memory of the sacrifices made by service people in this country,” said Mr. MacDiarmid.
Secretary of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA), President of the Repatriation Commission and Chair of the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission, Liz Cosson AM CSC, said from 1919 the Repatriation Department began to facilitate the safe return of tens of thousands of service people.
“The Department provided war pensions, a soldier settlement scheme, and other vital services such as healthcare, education, housing, and official commemorations,” said Ms. Cosson.
“A century later, the now Department of Veterans’ Affairs has continued this legacy, providing essential support to defense force veterans and their families.”
The First World War ‘Returned from Active Service’ badges were issued to returning Australian soldiers between 1914 to 1919; the badge depicts the St. Edward’s Crown with the rising sun. Below is a scroll with the text ‘AUSTRALIAN MILITARY FORCES’. Symbolically, the inclusion of this badge represents the commencement of the repatriation.
The badge featured on the coin is framed by a circular color print depicting black arrows and red and black petal motifs. The arrows, inspired by the iconic Rising Sun, represent the journey home of Australian service personnel over the last 100 years. The petals represent the Flanders Field poppy, an iconic symbol of remembrance, with each petal symbolizing the six states and two territories of Australia.
The coin entered circulation on April 8 and will reach the nation’s wallets and change over the coming months. For those looking to keep the coin, a Coloured Uncirculated ‘C’ Mintmark Coin is available for $15.00 AUD from the Mint’s website or Contact Center (1300 652 020).