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Australia Post's gold medal encore

2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne - commemorative stamps2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne - commemorative coins

During the Sydney 2000 Olympics, Australia Post printed stamps celebrating all Australian gold medallists within 24 hours of each medal presentation. Now they're planning to do much the same for Melbourne's 2006 Commonwealth Games (March 15 to 26).

Special stamps will be available at some Melbourne post offices 24 hours after an Australian gold medal win, and throughout the nation within two or three days of the event.

"If Australia matches its effort at the 2002 Manchester Games, designers will have to come up with 82 gold-medal stamps," commented the Herald Sun.

Australia Post's Stamp News says the instant stamp program consists of four different sheetlet releases:

  • Opening ceremony, five 50c stamps
  • Australian champions, issued daily, five or ten 50c stamps
  • Closing ceremony, five 50c stamps
  • Most memorable moment, ten 50c stamps

"Due to the potential high number of Gold Medal wins, and to ensure that we meet the needs of our collectors, a single sheetlet will comprise up to five or 10 Gold Medallists," says Australia Post. "In the event of 15 Gold Medals being won by Australia in a 24-hour period, only two sheetlets (one x 5 and one x 10 stamps) will be produced."

Kelly's winning coin designCollectors will be able to buy special coins as well as stamps. The Royal Australian Mint held a nation-wide competition to find a winning design commemorating the Games. It was won by Kelly Just, a 16-year-old home student from Callignee, Victoria.

Kelly's winning design (right) would be produced as a general circulating coin, said the Mint. "Kelly will also have the rare privilege of having her initials incorporated into the coin."

The Mint also released a Melbourne 2006 three-coin set that includes an aluminium bronze uncirculated coin, a silver proof coin and a tricolour proof coin, representing the gold, silver and bronze medals awarded at the Games.

The tricolour coin has a gold plated silver centre containing the Melbourne 2006 logo, a decorative silver middle ring, and a bronze coloured outer ring containing images of all the 16 sports to be contested.

  • Three Victorian women celebrating their 80th birthdays in 2006 (they were selected by ballot) will meet the Queen at a reception immediately before she opens the Games. The Queen will be 80 on April 21.

Story first posted March 2006

Copyright 2006

Eric Shackle

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