Australian artist Rolf Harris was featured by video at the launch of the Great Australian Artist series of Kangaroo coins. Held at the Royal Australian Mint in Canberra, Rolf ‘s uniquely styled coin is the first in the new three year series.
At the Mint to launch the coins and the series was the Hon. Chris Pearce MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer. “Each year for the next three years, the silver kangaroo coin series will include images of kangaroos, designed by three prominent Australian artists,” said Mr Pearce. He added, “The Kangaroo series is an award-winning range of collector coins from the Mint.”
Rolf Harris is the first artist to be offered the privilege of designing the new $1 silver kangaroo coin. He commented that it has been an honour to work with the Royal Australian Mint and to contribute a design for this series. Rolf was quick to comment that he was “knocked out with the result”. The remaining two artists will be announced over the next two years as the series is rolled out.
Janine Murphy, CEO of the Royal Australian Mint, said, “After months of careful consideration, three iconic Australian artists were short-listed to be invited to design a new coin in our prestigious kangaroo series. We are extremely pleased that our first invitee eagerly took up the challenge with such a stunning result.”
The face of the coin depicts a kangaroo mother and joey embracing each other under the shade of a gum tree.
A special guest at the launch was Bruce Harris, Rolf’s brother and manager, who resides in Sydney. Bruce was on hand to present a coin and signed artwork as a gift to the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) as a charitable bequest from Rolf. Ms Elizabeth Butcher, General Manager of NIDA, accepted the gift on behalf of the Institute.
Adding a special Australian touch to the launch was a rendition of ‘Tie me Kangaroo Down Sport’ sung by the Canberra Girls Grammar Primary School Choir.