Canberra minted with tourism award trifecta

CANBERRA’S Royal Australian Mint has bagged three coveted titles at the annual Canberra Region Tourism Awards, earning the congratulations of Small Business Minister Michael McCormack and the Federal Government.

Open to tourism businesses across the whole Canberra region, the Royal Australian Mint won awards for Cultural Tourism, Tourism Visitor Education and the Visitor Experience Award, which is voted on by the public.

The awards follow an 8.9 per cent increase in visitor numbers on 2014/15 figures, with 299,379 people visiting the key Canberra site.

“These outstanding results show what an important landmark the Royal Australian Mint is on the map of Canberra,” Mr McCormack said.

“As the Minister with responsibility for the Mint, it is great to see its tourism programme recognised, as well as the way it has embraced technology, engineering and its history in showcasing the vital role the Mint plays in the daily lives of Australians.”

With innovative and interactive exhibitions on display, Mr McCormack encouraged more visitors to visit the Mint next time they travel to the capital. Highlights include the independently-valued $21.5 million National Coin Collection, for which the Mint is the custodian.

“Every time I go to the Mint, I learn something new about its operations, its history and its ongoing importance. From that famous song at the introduction of dollars and cents half a century ago to the role the Mint played in the construction of bronze medals for the Sydney Olympics, or the exciting way it is embracing innovation and modern engineering, the Mint’s appeal is very broad.

“No matter your age or the purpose of your visit, the Royal Australian Mint, its roadshows and classroom education programmes are a great day out for all and I am delighted to see it recognised in such a way at these local tourism awards,” Mr McCormack said.

“These awards are a credit to the Mint and I look forward to continuing my work with it as new tourism and education programmes are developed into the future.”

Producing 135 different types of Australian legal tender and collectible coins in 2015/16 to mark significant Australian historical, military, sporting and other key event milestones, the Royal Australian Mint will now represent the Canberra region at the Australian Tourism Awards next year.

Cultural Tourism

The Royal Australian Mint is the birthplace of the coins that Australians spend, save and collect on a daily basis. Visitors come from far and wide to see the coins of yesterday on display, and to marvel at the humans and robots that make the coins of tomorrow. 2016 has been a year-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of decimal currency, highlighted by a road trip around the country. In large cities and little towns, Australians have participated in our travelling events to shop, swap and stamp special mementos of this amazing year.

Tourism Visitor Education

The Royal Australian Mint welcomes school students from around the country to learn the hidden stories of the nation’s coins. Tour guides take students on a journey that begins with the coins of yesterday, featuring tales of pirates, convicts, shipwrecks and gold rushes. As they learn about how our coins illustrate and reflect the Australian story, they jump ahead to the future, where robots are making tomorrow’s coins before their eyes. In the past year, new online resources have taken coin-based education to classrooms around the country.

Visitor Experience Award (voted by the public)

The Royal Australian Mint was recognised for its innovative and interactive visitor experience, which was highlighted by the 2016 roadshow for the decimal currency anniversary and engagement with Australian school students.

Cristy Houghton