The Minister for Superannuation and Corporate Law, Senator Nick Sherry unveiled a fine silver proof $5 2008 Polar Series coin at the head office of the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) in Hobart today.

“The Polar Series of coins marks The 4th International Polar Year 2007-2008. Australia has a proud history of exploration and ongoing involvement in Antarctica, and it is fantastic that the Royal Australian Mint, working with The Royal Society of Victoria, has produced Australia’s coins as part of an international program where a number of countries have issued silver proof coins commemorating the International Polar Year,” Minister Sherry said.

It is the first in a series of three $5 silver proof coins in the Polar Series and features a foreground image of the Antarctic Skua in flight. These large heavily built birds have a reputation of being fierce and aggressive, symbolising the need for strong survival instincts in order to live in the harsh Antarctic environment. The background image shows Australian Antarctic Territory and our scientific research stations.

Minister Sherry was joined by Captain Bill McAuley, Vice President of The RSV, Mr David Dodd, The Society’s IPY Science Programme Advisor, Ms Virginia Mudie, Acting Director of the AAD and Professor Michael Stoddart, Chief Scientist at the AAD and Ms Janine Murphy, Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Australian Mint.

Captain McAuley is the Leader of The RSV’s polar expedition (RSV – INTREPID) which is planned to depart for The Antarctic in December. Professor Stoddart is the leader of another major IPY project – the Census of Antarctic Marine Life.

“The series of IPY coins is a fitting means by which the Australian community can commemorate the International Polar Year 2007-2008 and the hard work and dedication of the many Australians who have explored and studied Antarctica” Minister Sherry said.