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2019 50c Mint Bag – International Year of Indigenous Languages
To recognize 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages, the Royal Australian Mint has issued two 50 cent coins in collaboration with the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS). The coins acknowledge Australia’s unique Indigenous languages, and the efforts being undertaken to preserve these important parts of Australian Indigenous culture.
The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages. In Australia, as in the world, Indigenous languages are under threat. From over 250 individual language groups in Australia in 1788, almost 130 are now extinct and many of those that remain are identified as threatened. Languages are crucial to the identity of Indigenous Australians as well as being an important part of Australia’s history and culture.
In order to protect, preserve and revitalize Indigenous languages, a number of important resources have been developed in Australia. These include the Australian Indigenous Languages Collection, the Australian Indigenous Languages database, and the map of Aboriginal Australia developed in 1994 that demonstrates the number and diversity of Australian Indigenous languages.
These coins sample the diversity of existing Indigenous languages in Australia, recognizing the importance of protecting these languages for all Australians.
· Reverse design inspired by Australia’s many and varied existing Indigenous languages
· Produced in collaboration between the Royal Australian Mint and the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
· Obverse features Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II effigy by Ian Rank-Broadley
· Australian legal tender coin