This fifty cent coin was issued in 2001 both for general circulation and as part of the program produced by the Royal Australian
Each set included the one Dollar coin bearing the logo of the Centenary of Federation, a twenty cent coin featuring the winning design by a school child and a fifty cent coin such as this one bearing the Coat of Arms of the celebrated State or Territory. The outer packaging for this set is yellow/gold, (as the state colour is gold), featuring an outline of the Coat of Arms of the Australian Capital Territory and including text, which reads Australian Capital Territory 2001 and STATE PROOF COIN SET or STATE UNCIRCULATED COIN SET accordingly.
The second set that includes this fifty cent piece is a 20 coin collection again issued for the Centenary of Federation and also issued by the RAM in 2001. The collection includes all 9 of the fifty cents coins bearing the Coat of Arms of each State and Territory of the Federation and all 9 of the 20 cent coins designed by school children to celebrate their State or Territory. The other two coins included to complete the set of 20 are the one Dollar Centenary of Federation bearing the logo and the fifty Cent Centenary of Federation bearing the Coat of Arms of the Commonwealth of Australia. A metallic-like fabric presentation case large enough to house all 20 coins was issued along with the proof coin set whilst the uncirculated coins were presented in an album on sealed information sheets. Text features on both styles of packaging included Centenary of Federations and States and Territories 20 Coin collection. (Royal Australian Mint, 2001)
Before the continent that we know today as the Commonwealth of Australia formed to become one nation, it was six individual self-governing British colonies. These were the states of New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia which were joined by the Northern and Capital Territories and later Norfolk Island. (Wikipedia, 2013) On the 1st January 1901 Sir Edmond Barton was signed in as the interim Prime Minister of Australia and collectively the colonies became the States of the Commonwealth of Australia.
As the Australian Capital Territory doesn't have it's own coat of arms's this commemorative coin features that of Canberra, which is generally used to represent the ACT. The Coat of arms of Canberra was granted in 1928 by King George V after a competition was held to find the best design, which was won by MR. C. R. Wylie. The shield features a castle, sword, white rose and imperial crown with an imperial crown, portcullis and gum tree on top to form the crest. The supporters are a black swan on one side and a white one on the other. There is motto, written in English reading 'For the Queen, the Law and the People'. The motto has been adapted accordingly and originally read 'For the King...'