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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 New South Wales Coat of Arms granted by royal warrant of King Edward VII dated 11 October 1906. The shield shows a blue field with a silver cross voided red with a gold star on each arm of the cross and a lion in the centre known as the 'Lion in the South'. There is a golden fleece in the first and fourth quarters, and a wheat sheaf in the second and third quarters. The crest is a rising sun with each of the sun's rays tipped with a little flame on a wreath. The supporters (a lion and a kangaroo) are usually depicted standing upon the motto ribbon as they hold the shield in an upright position. The motto contains the Latin inscription "Orta recens quam pura nites" which, in English, means "Newly risen, how brightly you shine".
CENTENARY OF FEDERATION