There may soon be a new face on Australia’s currency.
According to a new petition on Change.org, thousands of Australians are hoping the late Steve Irwin, aka the Crocodile Hunter, will be added to Australia’s currency by the Royal Australian Mint, who is responsible for producing Australia’s circulating coinage. The petition was created by Australian Kyle Ryan, and has 26,285 supporters to date.
Read the petition below.
“It’s about time we payed our respects to the all time greatest Australian bloke, Steve Irwin. Let’s make a change for something in the history of our country. It’s been ten years without the Aussie icon and although he’s been recognised in many ways I’d imagine we could all support the idea of going one step further (well deserved). With a list a mile long of all the good Steve had accomplished in our world let’s show our appreciation to a great true blue Australian by putting Stephen ‘Steve’ Irwin on our country’s currency.
Only everyone’s support can make this happen!”
Ryan, along with Jake Ryan, Riley McConville, Daniel Brown, and Luke Brown, also created a Facebook page to help garner support for their petition.
Steve Irwin died 10 years ago, at the age of 44, after being injured by a stingray while he was filming a documentary titled Ocean’s Deadliest in Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef. Since then, his legacy has lived on through his family, specifically his daughter Bindi Irwin, who said she is thrilled that so many people want to honor her late father.
“It is such an honour that Dad is being considered to be remembered forever on Australian currency. His legacy will continue to inspire us all, he truly changed the world,” Bindi told News Corp Australia.
It’s been 10 years since Steve Irwin died???? pic.twitter.com/J2WvN9EUP1
— Animal Baby Pix (@AnimalBabyPix) September 16, 2016
The Royal Australian Mint receives many suggested themes for commemorative circulating coins each year, according to their official website. The Mint welcomes suggestions, but reminds those making them that a “suggested theme and when a commemorative coin enters circulation can be up to two years.” The Mint also has specific policies for featuring images of individuals on their currency.
A petition is calling for the “all time greatest Australian bloke” to be on banknotes https://t.co/wMSRRJ0NHa
— BBC News Ents Team (@BBCNewsEnts) September 15, 2016
“In general, circulating coins will not feature individuals whether living or deceased other than Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and other members of the British Royal Family,” the website reads. “In the rare circumstances that a commemorative circulating coin design does feature the image of an individual, the coin would mark the anniversary of the birth or significant historic event in the life of that person. Coins will not commemorate the death of an individual. Alternatively, an individual may be included on a coin where an individual is associated with the organisation, event or object being commemorated on the coin.”
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“We started this petition because the newer generation barely knows who is representing our currency,” Ryan told the BBC. “We believed that having a childhood icon and conservationist like Steve would be a great idea for his 10th anniversary.”
If The Royal Mint decides to honor the petition, it will mark the second time he has been represented on their currency. In 2009, Irwin’s face appeared on a series of dollar coins commemorating inspirational Australians.
“We acknowledged the integral role Mr Irwin played in wildlife conservation as well as his positive influence on Australian culture by producing a special release commemorative coin in 2009,” Royal Australian Mint CEO Ross MacDiarmid said.
Do you think Steve Irwin should appear on Australia’s currency? Leave your comments below.
[Featured Image by Justin Sullivan/ Getty Images]