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Visitor and Educational Services

The Mint delivered a range of initiatives to the public and to organised groups. These services included:

  • public, school and special group tours
  • public programs
  • outreach programs
  • online learning resources
  • managing collections, and
  • exhibitions.

VISITOR SERVICES

The Mint welcomed 355 135 visitors to its facility in Canberra during the year—29 088 more visitors over 2017–18 and an increase of 8.92 per cent compared to the previous year. The number of onsite programs increased in diversity attracting audiences from new markets. These were supported by a strong rotating exhibition plan and educational and public tours which helped grow visitation significantly.

The Mint won a Gold award in the Cultural Tourism and Visitor Experience categories at the Canberra Region Tourism Awards.

Cultural Tourism Award

The Cultural Tourism award recognises operations that foster a greater understanding and appreciation of authentic culture, history, heritage and the arts.

Visitor Experience Award

The Visitor Experience award is presented to the top three scoring tourism operators and businesses based on a visitor experience survey program (outrate.com.au) undertaken as part of the Tourism Awards Program.

PUBLIC TOURS

Research conducted during the year showed that the Mint’s free guided public tours were the most enjoyable part of a visit to the Mint, achieving a satisfaction rating of 9.5 out of 10. This year the Mint delivered 1140 public tours (an increase of 28.52 per cent), to an audience of 33 432 people (an increase of 29.72 per cent).

EXHIBITIONS

The 2018–19 temporary exhibits featured:

  • the 2018 and 2019 Mintmark Coins
  • the Mint’s medal designs, and
  • significant collaborations with other major cultural institutions and independent artists.

Rascals and Ratbags

The Mint paid homage to the hundreds of thousands of convicts forced to migrate to Australia to mark 150 years since the last convict ship arrived. The Rascals and Ratbags exhibition was developed to tell their stories and featured eight convict characters on a suite of coins. It included items loaned from the National Museum of Australia, the National Library of Australia, the Gubbi Gubbi Keeping Place in Noosa, and items drawn from the Mint’s own National Coin Collection.

Caina Putut, Ilya, Wartanganha – Long Ago, Today, Tomorrow

Chern’ee Sutton—artist in residence at the athletes’ village for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games—created a nine metre long masterpiece to showcase the story of the games, its medals and the history of Australia using the fingerprints of the medal winners and international delegates. After the games, the artwork was displayed at the Mint.

The Bold, the Bad and the Ugly: Australia’s Colonial Bushrangers exhibition

The Mint commemorated the bushranging era of Australia’s past with the Bushrangers exhibition featuring the death masks of Ned Kelly and Mad Dog Morgan, and Ben Hall’s revolver.

Mr Squiggle, The Man from the Moon exhibition

Celebrating 60 years of the iconic Mr Squiggle, this exhibition included Mr Squiggle, Rocket, Blackboard, Gus the Snail and Bill Steamshovel. It also featured letters sent to and from Mr Squiggle by Australian children alongside finished and unfinished squiggle boards. A Kate Rae portrait of Norman Hetherington, Mr Squiggle’s creator, was lent to the Mint by the National Portrait Gallery of Australia to complete the display.

Invictus Games Sydney 2018 medals

The Invictus Games is an international adaptive multi-sport event, created by the Duke of Sussex, Prince Harry, for wounded, injured or sick armed services personnel. The Mint produced gold, silver and bronze medals for the 2018 games which were displayed at the friends and family hotel partner—the Hyatt—and at the Mint.

Treasures of the National Coin Collection

The Mint exhibited the Treasures of the National Coin Collection as a permanent display in the Visitors’ Gallery. The exhibition featured some of the rarest, most extraordinary and valuable coins in Australia, including:

  • precious gold and silver coins
  • coins with unusual errors
  • a 1930 penny
  • a one-kilogram gold coin, and
  • the famous ‘kookaburra’ pennies.

The National Coin Collection

Items from Australia’s National Coin Collection travelled to several institutions during the year, including Geelong’s National Wool Museum for its Masters – Art of the Precious Metal Object exhibition, which celebrated Stuart Devlin and other noted Geelong artists. The Canberra Museum and Gallery also displayed coins from the National Coin Collection as part of the Total Design: Derek Wrigley and the ANU Design Unit exhibition.

PUBLIC PROGRAMS

The Mint’s public programs were expanded to create a more engaging and accessible visitor experience. Forty five public programs during the year encouraged life-long learning through exhibitions, product releases and the Mint’s strong associations with Australian cultural heritage.

Mini-Minties

The Mint’s preschool program launched in 2018 and was well received by the public. The Mint delivered 15 sessions for 4 to 6 year old children to educate kids through engaging and creative activities. The program encouraged repeat visits from young families and contributed to awareness of the Mint from early learning centres.

Family Tours

The Mint began trialling family tours as a way of telling the history of Australian coins. The paid program included an interactive tour of the visitor gallery where participants dressed-up, touched coin plasters and heard different stories of coins, followed by a relevant craft activity and morning tea.

ANU Student Visit

Students from the Australian National University, undertaking the International Supply Chain Management course, were given a rare insight into the Mint’s supply chain system. Presentations by the CEO and senior Mint staff were followed by a behind the scenes tour of the factory.

Public Lectures

Dr Rick Williams delivered a lecture at the Mint titled Minting classic coins and Australia’s first coins – a comparison. It explored the impressions stamped on coins from southern Italy in the 5th and 6th centuries BC, and how they relate to Australia’s first coins – the Holey Dollar and Dumps. As well as hosting the event onsite, the lecture was livestreamed to the Mint’s Facebook page and received 1700 views.

School Holiday Activities

The Mint continued developing school holiday programs comprising free and paid events, additional tours, competitions, craft activities and repeats of popular public initiatives such as the Mini-Minties preschool program. The activities often focused on current coin releases or exhibitions, including the:

  • Coins commemorating the 60th anniversary of Mr Squiggle
  • Treasured Australian Stories two coin set, and
  • Mintmark Coin commemorating the anniversary of the last convict ship to arrive in Australia.

Junior Minties

The Junior Minties initiative was launched during the Enlighten festival to encourage young people to take up coin collecting. It was repeated during the ACT term one school holidays as part of the Mint’s onsite public programs.

Floriade

Floriade was the venue for the Mint’s promotion of the Treasured Australian Stories two coin set. Visitors were able to purchase the coin set, participate in craft activities, and listen to readings of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie and the Magic Pudding commemorated by this set.

Gallery Floor Talks

This program complimented the display of Chern’ee Sutton’s artwork, Caina Putut, Ilya, Wartanganha – Long Ago, Today, Tomorrow. Six public floor talks were presented on Chern’ee, the link between the Mint and the painting, and the many cultural connotations and iconography included in the work. After the talk, participants donned 3D glasses and used torches to see the black lighting and 3D elements incorporated into the painting.

EDUCATION

School Tours

Student visitation increased by 5.41 per cent in 2018–19 with 66 091 students and 6453 teachers and parents participating in 1683 Mint tours.

Book Canberra Excursions

The Mint partnered with the National Capital Educational Tourism Project and eight other cultural institutions and attractions in Canberra to use the online platform, Book Canberra Excursions. This platform enables teachers and tour operators to book attractions and check-in upon arrival.

GENERAL PUBLIC VISITATION

2011-12

2012-13

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

2017-18

2018-19

212 268

227 208

253 640

274 820

299 379

329 627

326 047

355 135

SCHOOL VISITATION

2011-12

2012-13

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

2017-18

2018-19

33 442

38 961

42 369

49 430

52 189

56 564

62 699

66 091