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Australia’s $2 Coin Makeover: Poignant or Racist

The Australian two-dollar coin has been updated with a new appearance just in time for Remembrance Day. The coin, generally completely gold in colour, will feature splashes of colour on one side with purple flowers and green rosemary leaves.

Two million of the coins will be in circulation before next weekend. This is not the first time the coin has had a makeover. In 2012, the first ever design change for the coin featured a poppy flower, with the words Lest we Forget and Remembrance Day in the background.

The new design was revealed by Small Business Minister Michael McCormack at the pool of reflection at Sydney’s Hyde Park Anzac memorial.

“This is the sixth coloured circulating coin made by the Royal Australian Mint to honour the bravery and sacrifice of our servicemen and women,” said Mr McCormack.

Not everyone has been moved by the new design. Michael Mansell, an Aboriginal activist, says the coin is both racist and a national disgrace.

Though the intention of the design was to honour Australians killed and wounded in military conflicts, Mr. Mansell of the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre, said that the coin was, “promoting white supremacy while ignoring Aboriginal warriors and women and children slaughtered in the white invasion of Australia”.

“The government says the coin honours those killed and wounded in armed conflicts. “What they mean is those killed defending white Australia, not those killed by white Australia.

Tasmanian crossbench Senator and former soldier Jacqui Lambie responded against Mr. Mansell’s statement by saying, “The men and women who have served their country and died defending it, did it for all Australians no matter what race or skin colour.”

The new coin design is intended to honour those who made the ultimate sacrifice and gave their lives during service.

A Royal Australian Mint spokeswoman said: “Other themes have been taken into consideration for future releases.”

The Royal Australian Mint website is selling the coins in packs of five. A contribution from the sales is being made to the Anzac centenary public fund.

Sources: The Mercury and The Advocate

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