2015 $1 Coin - Unlikely Heroes Great and Small - Feline Mascot


2015 $1 Coloured Frosted Uncirculated Coin - Unlikely Heroes Great and Small - Feline Mascot of the HMAS Encounter

As Australia continues to commemorate the Centenary of Anzac, it is not just our diggers whom we remember. Australian heroes came in all different shapes, sizes... and species. Creatures great and small who contributed their strength, energy and lives to the Australian Imperial Forces and the Australian Defence Force helped to define the spirit of our great nation.


On Navy ships, cats have long been regarded as creatures of many talents. Whether they were catching rats and mice to protect food from vermin or using their senses to detect bad weather, they provide hope and comfort to the crews. Whatever happened to them, they would land on their own four feet, fitting much into their nine lives.

With all of their special talents, it is no surprise that cats gained a special status as mascots on these ships, including the HMAS Encounter.

The Encounter was a light cruiser used by the Royal Australian Navy throughout the First World War. Her feline mascot became an iconic symbol after being photographed while innocently peeking out of the muzzle of a six-inch gun. This cat showed that, even when around dangerous and powerful weapons, ‘warm and fuzzy’ feelings of home need never be too far away.


• The 2015 six coin series released as part of the Royal Australian Mint’s $1 coloured frosted uncirculated coin range

• A heartfelt tribute to the sacrifice and effort of Australia’s war heroes, great and small

• The reverse design features a modern interpretation of an Australian war hero: The feline mascot of the HMAS Encounter peering out of the cannon, surrounded by a colour printed barometric scale typical of weather reading instruments

• Obverse features Queen Elizabeth II effigy sculpted by Ian Rank-Broadley

• Australian legal tender