fifty cent coin is one piece from the 2003 issue of the Royal Australian Mint's six coin year sets. This particular set
was entitled Australia's Volunteers - Making a Difference and as the name suggests the series pays tribute to the unsung
heroes who do in fact form the backbone of Australian Society. When the set was released in 2003 there were a recorded number
of over 4 millions people who volunteered their valuable time for the sake of the community. This coin is a fifty cent dodecagonal
piece and was struck into sterling silver. It is joined in the set by an additional five coins each of different denominations
and featuring a different design depicting the activities of Australia's volunteers. The denominations of these coins are
5c, 10c, 20c, $1 and $2. There was also a Finale Hologram coin that was released separately at the end of the same year.
The reverse of the coin was designed by Vladimir Gottwald. In the
centre is the coins denomination 50 surrounded by the
"AUSTRALIA'S VOLUNTEERS". Surrounding this and filling the majority of the coin is various images that depict the different
activities that are carried out by the volunteers of Australia. The images include that of a firefighter, waves to represent
life guards and leaves to represent agriculture. The obverse of the coin
bears Ian Rank-Broadley's portrait of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and surrounding this is the
"ELIZABETH II AUSTRALIA 2003".
Volunteers play an important role in any community but Australia seems to have a particularly prominent and dedicated
workforce of individuals willing to dedicate their time for the benefit of the community. Australia as a nation has been
built with a significant amount of help from these unsung heroes who choose to sacrifice their free time, skills and knowledge
in order to help others and to strengthen their community. In 2003 the Royal Australian Mint decided it was time to thank
and celebrate these ordinary individuals who together perform the backbone of Australian society
(Royal Australian Mint, 2002)
. The coins issued look at the people and the work they do such as emergency services, carers, conservationist,
charity workers and surf life guards who truly make a positive difference to the nation of Australia.
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