The 1982 commemorative fifty cent was issued to commemorate the 1982 XII Commonwealth Games in Brisbane, Queensland. The reverse features the Commonwealth Games logo against a map of Australia with various sports around the center including weightlifting, judo, aquatics, boxing, shooting, archery, cycling, running, table tennis, bowling, rugby and tennis. It also includes the legend XII COMMONWEALTH GAMES BRISBANE 50 CENTS. The obverse features an Arnold Machin portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, right-facing and crowned.
The 1982 Commonwealth Games in Brisbane were opened by the Duke of Edinburgh, closed by Queen Elizabeth II and took place at both the QEII Stadium in Nathan Brisbane and the Sleeman Sports Complex in Chandler. Forty-six Commonwealth nations and territories participated in the Games and sports contested included athletics, boxing, cycling, weightlifting, wrestling, aquatics, table tennis, archery, shooting, bowling and rugby. The medal table for the XII Commonwealth Games in Brisbane showed that Australia had won by the smallest of margins from England. The English team had actually won more medals but fortunately for Australia, they had one less gold medal. These hotly contested games kept all the competing nations on the edge of their seats for the entirety of its duration. Canada were a not too distant third place.
The logo used to represent the Brisbane Games was designed by Hugh Edwards, an Australian and winner of a nation-wide competition. Edward Williams became Australian of the Year for 1982 for his role in the Brisbane Commonwealth Games. He was also Judge of the Supreme Court of Queensland (1971) and chairman of Australia's National Crimes Commission during that time. In 1983, Robert de Castella was Australian of the Year at the age of just 26, having won gold at the XII Commonwealth Games. He went on to win gold at the 1986 Games and became the Director Australian Institute of Sport (1990-95).