February 26, 2015 – Australia’s highest awards for civilian bravery has been recognised on the newest coin from the Royal Australian Mint in a very unique event where all living recipients of the prestigious Cross of Valour and George Cross struck their names onto their very own coin.
Marking the 40th anniversary of the Australian Honours System, this special collectible coin acknowledges the fearlessness of those who have received the Cross of Valour and its predecessor, the George Cross.
The George Cross is the highest civil decoration in the United Kingdom and a status it held in Australia up until 1975 when the Cross of Valour was introduced.
The Cross of Valour is awarded for acts of conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme peril. It is the highest Australian Bravery Decoration. Anyone may nominate any other person for a bravery decoration and may be made posthumously. The nomination may be for a brave act by an Australian citizen in Australia or overseas.
Royal Australian Mint CEO Mr Ross MacDiarmid said that the Mint is honoured to be able to continue to share the story of bravery in Australia with the world.
“The George Cross and Cross of Valour recipients have shown an incredible amount of courage, putting themselves in danger in order to protect others,” said Mr MacDiarmid.
“Following the successful release of the Victoria Cross coin last year, we are pleased to be able to make available the Australian Bravery coin to show our appreciation and remember these efforts for years to come.”
Australia / 2015 / 5 Dollar / Gold-plated Fine Silver Frosted / 31.87g / 40mm / Mintage: 5.000.
The Australian Bravery coin utilises the rare technique of gold plating a fine silver coin and features the Cross of Valour and the name of its five recipients on the reverse. The obverse features the George Cross, the names of its 22 recipients and a miniature Queen Elizabeth II effigy.
The George Cross recipient Michael Pratt GC and Cross of Valour recipients Mr Victor Boscoe CV, Mr Timothy Britten CV, Mr Richard Joyes CV, Mr Allan Sparkes CV and Mr Darrell Tree CV participated in the launch, striking their own individual coin in the Mint’s high-security factory.
The recipients of the Cross of Valour and George Cross were accompanied by the official Patrons of the Cross of Valour Association of Australia, the Honourable Dame Quentin Bryce AD, CVO and Mr Michael Bryce AM, AE where the Mint was also presented with some very historic medals for a new upcoming display in its gallery focusing on bravery. This is likely to include some of the Cross of Valour medals in the near future.
“We consider it an absolute honour and privilege to be granted the loan to display these historic medals and continue to share the story of Australian bravery,” said Mr MacDiarmid.
This event was one of the only places where all five Cross of Valour and last living George Cross recipients have been all together in one place. The public were able to view from the observation windows and meet some real life heroes.
Those wishing to purchase the 2015 Australian Bravery coin, can order it on the website of the Royal Australian Mint.
The brave actions of the Cross of Valour recipients are listed on this website.