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The Federation of Australia was the process by which the six separate British self-governing colonies of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia, and Western Australia agreed to unite and form the Commonwealth of Australia, establishing a system of federalism in Australia. Fiji and New Zealand were originally part of this process, but they decided not to join the federation. Following federation, the six colonies that united to form the Commonwealth of Australia as states kept the systems of government (and the bicameral legislatures) that they had developed as separate colonies, but they also agreed to have a federal government that was responsible for matters concerning the whole nation. When the Constitution of Australia came into force, on 1 January 1901, the colonies collectively became states of the Commonwealth of Australia.
In 2001 there were many coins released into circulation by the Royal Australian Mint commemorating the Australian Centenary of Federation. A one dollar coin, ten 50 cent coins and nine 20 cent coins. Nine of the 50 cent coins depicted the coat of arms of each state and territory of Australia that were joined together in 1901 at Australia's Federation.
Fourth crowned portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II facing right, wearing the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland tiara.
ELIZABETH II AUSTRALIA 2001
The reverse design features the Norfolk Island Coat of Arms, representing one of 9 states and territories that make up Australia and features a Norfolk Pine growing on a rocky mound with a book (almost certainly the Bible) inside the shield with two 5-pointed stars representing the Coats of Arms of Australia, New South Wales and that of Captain James Cook who discovered Norfolk Island in 1774. Supporting the shield are Britain's Lion and Australia's Kangaroo holding Naval anchors. The Lion above a Naval Crown holds a covered cup. In the banner "Inasmuch" is taken from the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament. Flanking the Coat of Arms are the dates 1901 and 2001. Around above, CENTENARY OF FEDERATION. Below the Coat of Arms, NORFOLK ISLAND. Around below, the denomination FIFTY CENTS.
CENTENARY OF FEDERATION