Coins commemorate Australian convict era

Christine McGinn
(Australian Associated Press)

 

Australia’s rascals and ratbags will be minted into souvenir coins to mark the 150th anniversary of the last convict ship to arrive in Australia.

The Royal Australian Mint will hit Tasmanian roads to bring the Rascals and Ratbags roadshow to the people for four days until May 24 visiting Port Arthur, Hobart, Launceston and Devonport.

It commemorates the nation’s convict era – including its history and folklore – and has also inspired a range of products with some of the larrikins who left their mark on Australia’s past.

Tasmanians can visit the pop-up shops to get their own Rascals & Ratbags $1 coin which has a tree with a canopy to represent Australia and convict symbols of the broad arrow and chains at its roots.

People visiting the roadshow can opt to put the Australia outline onto it using a mobile coin press, swap coins or cash for freshly minted standard and special coins.

The story of convict John Boyle O’Reilly, who became a well-loved journalist, is on the coin’s packaging.

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