The cafe at Melbourne Museum is full of staff each morning seeking a caffeine hit at the start of their workday. This morning, web developer Reuben held out a shiny twenty cent piece, delighted. "Look what I got in my change!"
Centenary of Federation commemorative twenty cent piece with the Royal Exhibition Building in the background.
Source: Museum Victoria
According to the Royal Australian Mint, this coin was designed by Ryan Douglas Ladd and Mark Aaron Kennedy of Lara Lake Primary School as part of a student design competition. It portrays our own Royal Exhibition Building which hosted the opening of the first Commonwealth Parliament, since it was the only building in Melbourne with the capacity to hold the 12,000 people in attendance. After this first gathering on 9 May 1901, the newly-formed Federal Government sat in Melbourne until the opening of Parliament House in Canberra on 9 May, 1927.
As we sat in the shadow of the Royal Exhibition Building this morning, we couldn't resist a picture of Reuben's twenty cents alongside its inspiration. 2.9 million of these coins were minted so check your pocket; you too may have a little piece of World Heritage among your small change!
Old Parliament House (now site of the Museum of Australian Democracy)
Opening of the First Commonwealth Parliament of Australia
Numismatics on Collections Online