New coin to commemorate centenary of International Women’s Day

March 10, 2011 – The Assistant Treasurer Bill Shorten and the Minister for the Status of Women Kate Ellis today announced that a commemorative 20 cent coin, celebrating the centenary of International Women’s Day, will be released into public circulation. The coin will be issued by the Royal Australian Mint, which is responsible for producing all of Australia's circulating coins.

The Assistant Treasurer remarked that the coin honoured the past and future contributions of women to the development of Australia’s prosperity. “Over one hundred years the development of women’s equality has been celebrated and the recognition of which has grown around the world,” the Assistant Treasurer said. “This coin follows a great Australian tradition of recognising strong, historically significant women, including Mary Reibey ($20 note), who started life as a convict but rose to become a successful businesswoman, and Dame Mary Gilmore ($10 note), a noted writer and poet, on our currency.” “To mark these one hundred years on a coin and have this celebration recognised will help create even more awareness and recognition as the public see this coin in years to come.”

Minister Ellis said that the centenary of International Women’s Day on Tuesday 8 March 2011 was a chance for celebration and reflection. "International Women’s Day is a time for us to recognise the many and diverse achievements of Australian women, both today and throughout our history," Minister Ellis said. “It is fitting for this to be acknowledged on a coin, which will be a constant reminder of how far we have come and how far we still have to go when it comes to gender equality in Australia."

The coin design is being developed in consultation with Mint designers, the Australian Government Office for Women and UN Women Australia and will be seen in public circulation in the coming months. International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated on 8 March across the world.

For more information about the Royal Australian Mint please visit

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