A coloured $2 coin marking the centenary of repatriation for Australian soldiers and nurses after World War I has been released by the Royal Australian Mint.
From 1919 the Repatriation Department began to organise 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,” Veterans Affairs secretary Liz Cosson said.
Depicting a graphic element taken from the First World War ‘Returned from Active Service’ badge, the coin is an “enduring acknowledgement of vital efforts to provide support to Australian service people, while at the same time commemorating a century of service,” Mint CEO Ross MacDiarmid said.
“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,” Mr MacDiarmid said.
The Returned from Active Service badges, which feature the St Edward’s Crown with the rising sun, were issued to returning Australian soldiers between 1914 and 1919.
The badge featured on the coin is framed by a circular colour print depicting black arrows and red and black petal motifs.
The arrows, inspired by the rising sun, represent the journey home of Australian service personnel over the past 100 years.
The petals represent the Flanders Field poppy, a symbol of remembrance, with each petal symbolising 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.
It follows the release of the Indigenous 50-cent coin in April and the Echoes of Australian Fauna: Lesser
#Bilby coin in May.