Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

$1 coin to commemorate the centenary of women’s suffrage

The Australian Government will celebrate the Centenary of Women’s Suffrage by minting for general circulation a $1 coin commemorating women’s suffrage The Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Status of Women, Senator Kay Patterson, announced today.

In December 2003, Australia will celebrate the centenary of most women’s first opportunity to exercise their right to vote and stand in federal elections.

“The circulation of a $1 suffrage coin demonstrates the Howard Government’s recognition of this important event,” Senator Patterson said today.

“This $1 coin will be an enduring reminder to all Australian’s of the efforts of the suffragettes in winning the right to vote and stand in federal elections,” she said.

The design for the $1 coin will be based on a representation of the Dora Meeson suffrage banner ‘Commonwealth of Australia: Trust the Women Mother As I Have Done’, which is on display in Parliament House.

The Banner was carried at the head of the Australian and New Zealand contingent of women suffragists in the Women’s Suffrage Coronation Procession in London in 1911 and is widely recognised as a celebration of women’s suffrage in Australia.

Approximately 10 million of the $1 suffrage coins will be minted in December 2003 and subject to demand from the banks for new $1 coins to go into circulation, they will be available in general circulation from early 2004.

The $1 suffrage coin will not be directly available from the Royal Australian Mint and any media inquiries should be directed to Senator Patterson’s office.