2003 marked the 100 year anniversary of the first opportunity to vote in Federal Australian elections for Australian women. Australian and New Zealand lead the western world in providing voting rights to women, with NZ granting rights in 1893 and Australia in 1903. Rights to vote in Australian State elections began with South Australia in 1894 and right through all the states until Victoria finally came to the party in 1908. To celebrate the Centenary of these momentous events the Government of Australia authorised the minting of a special $1 coin by the Royal Australian Mint. This is known as the 2003 Women’s Suffrage dollar.
The 2003 Women’s Suffrage dollar was a general circulation release (10 million minted) and was struck in the usual aluminium bronze material and with interrupted edge reeding. Seen above the obverse of the coin depicts the Ian Rank-Broadley portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. The reverse of the coin was sculpted by Vladimir Gottwald. It is an interpretation of a banner made by Dora Meeson Coates which hangs in Parliament House in Canberra. The banner was carried by an Australian and New Zealand contingent of women in celebration parades in Great Britain to celebrate womens suffrage there in 1911 and was purchased by the Government of Australia in 1988.
For accurate coin mintage data please see the 2003 Australian 1 Dollar Coin Mintages table.