Coin kicks off UN International Year of Cooperatives

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December 22, 2011 – The Australian launch of the UN International Year of Co-operatives kicked off on November 22, 2011 at Parliament House with the release of a $1 collectible coin produced by the Royal Australian Mint recognizing this auspicious year.

The $1 coin in occasion of the UN International Year of Co-operatives.

“We are the only nation in the world to produce a collectible coin celebrating the UN International Year of Co-operatives in 2012, as we recognize the impact of the co-operative business model on the burgeoning strength of the Australian economy on the world stage,” said The Hon Bill Shorten, Assistant Treasurer.
“It’s very fitting we talk about the important role of cooperatives like credit unions and building societies when launching this collectible coin. While not many of these particular coins will be kept in a cooperative, Australians can be confident their savings will be safe and accessible in a credit union or building society.”

Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, David Bradbury, said that some of Australia’s biggest household names are cooperatives and they provide consumers with a real alternative.
“Cooperatives, including, credit unions and building societies, put their members first. Cooperatives are very closely tied to the communities they serve and they put their profits back into lower prices and better customer service.
“The International Year of Co-operatives is a time for us to recognize the many and diverse national businesses, particularly credit unions, mutuals and building societies, that fit into the co-operative business model in Australia, and their impact on both our local communities as well as our nation as a whole.

As part of its banking reforms announced last year, the Government has been taking action to build a fifth pillar in our banking system from the combined competitive power of the financial cooperative (or mutuals) sector.
“We have put credit unions, building societies and other cooperative financial institutions right at the center of this awareness campaign,” said Mr Shorten. “It is fitting for this Year to be acknowledged on a coin, which will be a constant reminder of the impact co-operative businesses have had in the past and how they will contribute to the future.”

The 2012 International Year of Co-operatives $1 collectible coin will be available from the Royal Australian Mint in January 2012.

For more information or to purchase the coin, please visit the website of the Royal Australian Mint.

The official site of the International Year of the Co-operatives you will find here.

The UN has also put online a site dedicated to this event.