Former Australian of the Year, Adam Goodes has been immortalised in gold for the release of his new coin collection.
Melbourne-based artist Aaron Tyler released his ‘Straya Shrapnel’ artwork series on January 26, to poke fun at Australian culture and generate a discussion around ‘who we are?’
But he said his inclusion of Adam Goodes ‘was a serious one’.
“When Goodes made a stand for his rights in a very public way it was an inspirational example, for not only the Indigenous community, but all Australians from every background.”
“I knew including him would be somewhat controversial, but what he did was so important to Australia now and needs to be immortalised,” said Mr Tyler.
Last year, Tyler redesigned Australian banknotes for a project known as ‘Straya Cash,’ where he gave the fifty dollar note a facelift to include Cathy Freeman and Nicky Winmar.
“When I finished the 'Cash', there were plenty of Australian icons left over, so I decided to do the coins as a follow up,” he said.
ACDC, Russell Coight and Toni Colette are just some of the Aussie icons who made it into his latest collection, along with Schapelle Corby, Rebel Wilson and Adam Goodes.
“I had a few Indigenous Australians in consideration for the coins. Archie Roach, Deborah Mailman, even Eddie Mabo, but sometimes a single minded execution has the most impact,” said Mr Tyler.
He decided that 'Goodesy' was the best fit for the two dollar coin.
“Adam Goodes on an Australian coin would continue the conversation about reconciliation. I’d like to think recognising a modern leader on the issue in a permanent way would keep the discussion going.”
Tyler says that with more funding and support he’d consider creating an all-Indigenous collection.