Australia’s involvement in launching the 4th International Polar Year (IPY) was hosted by The Royal Society of Victoria (RSV) in Melbourne today, with a symposium featuring the launch of the Royal Australian Mint’s ‘Polar Series’ coin range.

The Royal Australian Mint joined Antarctic explorers, eminent scientists, and secondary school science students in launching the 4th International Polar Year- 125 years since the 1st International Polar Year in 1882-1883.

Events will be occurring across the globe today to mark this ‘International Polar Year (IPY) Day’, the commencement of the 4th International Polar Year.

The first coin in the ‘Polar Series’, a $1 uncirculated coin design, was unveiled today. This is one of four coins to be released over the next three years.

The ‘Polar Series’ coin range has been produced to acknowledge the International Polar Year (IPY), which aims to increase the awareness and understanding of the impact of the polar regions on the global environment. In this regard, the release of the Polar Series coins will perform a valuable outreach exercise for the youth, the general public and the decision makers of Australia.

“The Royal Australian Mint also believes that it is important that we mark events like this that help increase domestic and international awareness of events of such national and historical significance.” said Janine Murphy, Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Australian Mint.

Mrs Murphy continued “We are delighted to be involved with this world-wide program and to work with an organisation as prestigious as The Royal Society of Victoria”.

The Royal Society of Victoria has a long connection with Antarctic science since 1874, establishing the first Polar Exploration Committee in 1886, which heralded ‘The Heroic Age’ of Antarctic discovery.