This commemorative one Dollar coin is one piece from the 2002 issue of the Royal Australian
Mint's six coin year sets. This particular set was entitled The Year of the Outback and as the name suggests the series pays
tribute to the Australian outback and the way in which it has contributed to defining Australia as a nation. The outback,
also sometimes referred to as the red centre, really is the heart of Australia. This one Dollar coin is joined in the set
by an additional five coins each of different denominations with the 1 dollar and 50 cent coins featuring special design
depicting the outback. The denominations of the coins to complete the set are 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c and $2. There was also a
Finale Hologram coin that was released separately at the end of the same year.
The reverse of this coin was designed by Wojciech Pietranik. In the centre and filling the majority
of the coin is a very stylized impression of the map of Australia. Within the map is the southern cross and lines leading
towards them representing the trails left first by the Aborigines and later by European settlers and explorers. Beneath is
the legend 2002 Year of the Outback and above tight to the edge of the coin is the denomination ONE DOLLAR. The
obverse of the coin bears Ian Rank-Broadley's portrait of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and surrounding this is
the legend ELIZABETH II AUSTRALIA 2002. The six coins that make up the set were presented in a
sealed blue and orange cardboard wallet and includes a descriptive card pertaining to the set. Writing on the outer box includes
Year of the Outback 2002 and Six Coin Proof Set.
The term outback is used to describe the remote and vast amounts of arid land that covers large parts of the continent
of Australia. The terrain is hostile and tough and due to the poor soil and sporadic rainfall inhabitants of the outback
are few and far between. The land in this part of the country is useful mainly for mining industries as well as some tourism
and agriculture. (Wikipedia, 2013) The outback has become representative of Australia and the vibrancy and spirituality that
it offers contributes to the Australian ethos. Exploration of the outback back during the times of the first European settlers
was tough but necessary. The land needed to be mapped out in order to create routes inland between colonies and to set up
transport networks. The Year of the Outback series honors the contribution the outback has provided to Australia national
identity as well as those people who have persevered through harsh environments for the good of the nation. In more ways
than one, for many the outback is the heart of Australia.
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