The Bicentenary dodecagonal fifty cent coin was issued in 1988 to commemorate 200 years since the arrival of the First Fleet in New South Wales. In 1988 there was much celebration and a number of coins and medallions were issued to pay tribute to 200 years of European settlement in Australia. One example is this
A booklet is included with the coin, which contains a description of the coin and some information pertaining to the First Fleet. The coin was also issued in 1989 as part of the Fifty Cents Masterpieces in Silver collection. There were 11 ships that made up the First Fleet and they all left Great Britain in order to establish the first European Colony on Australia on 13th May 1787. The entire journey which included stops at Tenerife, Rio de Janeiro and the Cape of Good Hope took a total of 252 days. On board all 11 ships were a total of 1044 passengers. This was made up of officers, their families, free settlers and convicts.
The fleet was commanded by Captain Arthur Phillip who would become the first Governor of the colony at New South Wales and included the flagship HMS Sirius, HMS Supply, Charlotte, Scarborough and Friendship. The ships arrived over a 3 day period with HMS Supply arriving first on Botany Bay on the 18th January and the final ships of the fleet arriving on the 20th. Despite 48 people dying on route, the voyage was considered extremely successful as no ships were lost. It soon became evident that Botany Bay was not a suitable location to start the colony as they were unprotected, fresh water was sparse and the soil was poor. Phillip's went searching for somewhere more suitable and on the 26th January the colony was moved to Port Jackson. The 26 of January is celebrated annually as Australia Day.