Coins on sale dur­ing mint’s Mid West visit

Geraldton Guardian - - News - Jon Sol­mund­son

The Royal Aus­tralian Mint will be vis­it­ing Geraldton on July 11 to cel­e­brate the 50th an­niver­sary of Aus­tralia’s switch to dec­i­mal cur­rency.

Called “The Changeover Tour”, the mint will be tour­ing WA to ed­u­cate peo­ple on the na­tion’s dec­i­mal­i­sa­tion in 1966, and sell­ing lim­ited-re­lease com­mem­o­ra­tive coins.

Mint chief ex­ec­u­tive Ross MacDiarmid said the idea came from the high level of de­mand the mint re­ceived from the pub­lic to visit Aus­tralia’s re­gional cen­tres with the lat­est coins.

“Born out of Aus­tralia’s pas­sion for col­lectible com­mem­o­ra­tive coins, The Changeover Tour is vis­it­ing all States and Ter­ri­to­ries to cel­e­brate the 50th an­niver­sary of dec­i­mal cur­rency and gives the Aus­tralian pub­lic a spe­cial ex­pe­ri­ence,” Mr MacDiarmid said.

The tour will be by the clock tower on Marine Ter­race from 10am to 4pm and lo­cals can buy spe­cial com­mem­o­ra­tive packs of mint’s re­cently re­leased 50th dec­i­mal­i­sa­tion an­niver­sary cir­cu­lat­ing 50c, 20c, 10c and 5c coins.

The pub­lic will also be able to op­er­ate the mint’s coin press to stamp the out­line of Aus­tralia into a 2016 com­mem­o­ra­tive $1 coin for the cen­te­nary of Anzac.

A new ex­hi­bi­tion on Dutch ex­plo­ration of Aus­tralia’s “Western Edge”, most of which makes up the mod­ern Mid West, has opened in the State Li­brary.

The ex­hi­bi­tion is part of this year’s com­mem­o­ra­tions to mark the 400th an­niver­sary of Dirk Har­tog’s land­ing in Shark Bay on Oc­to­ber 25, 1616 – mak­ing him the first Euro­pean recorded on Aus­tralian soil.

Open­ing the ex­hi­bi­tion last Fri­day, Cul­ture and the Arts Min­is­ter John Day said one of its most sig­nif­i­cant pieces was a 263-year-old map, one of two rare doc­u­ments re­cently ac­quired by the li­brary and on dis­play for the first time.

“This pre­cious map was the first de­tailed draw­ing of the WA coast­line and is a key part of our doc­u­men­tary her­itage,” Mr Day said.

“It was pre­pared in 1753 by Jo­hannes van Keulen, map­maker for the Dutch East In­dia Com­pany, us­ing ex­plorer Willem de Vlam­ingh’s man­u­script chart of his 1696-97 voy­age.

“Also on dis­play is the his­toric 1703 Thorn­ton map, which in­cludes many Dutch dis­cov­er­ies along the WA coast.”

Mr Day said the van Keulen and Thorn­ton maps would un­dergo con­ser­va­tion work, be­fore be­ing digi­tised for free ac­cess on the State Li­brary web­site.

“While it ex­plores in de­tail these early mar­itime links, this ex­cit­ing ex­hi­bi­tion also in­cludes many in­spir­ing and en­gag­ing sto­ries high­light­ing more con­tem­po­rary Dutch con­nec­tions with WA,” he said.

“Recog­nis­ing the im­por­tant con­tri­bu­tion that mi­grant com­mu­ni­ties have made to this State, the ex­hi­bi­tion uses in­no­va­tive dis­plays to help bring 400 years of WA’s Dutch his­tory to life.”

The Abrol­hos Is­lands, off the coast of Geraldton, were among the first parts of WA to be mapped by the Dutch.

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