Dec 282011

The British province of South Australia was formally established 175 years ago on 28 December 1836.

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Celebrating South Australia, which with five other colonies formed the independent Commonwealth of Australia in 1901, this silver proof coin from our 2010 catalogue portrays three of the State’s most famous symbols.

The Hairy-Nosed or Plains Wombat is South Australia’s faunal emblem. It is a marsupial mammal indigenous to Australia and totally protected in South Australia. The generic name, Lasiorhinus, means hairy-nosed and the specific name, latifrons, means broad-fronted. Most abundant on Eyre Peninsula, the Gawler Ranges and the Nullarbor Plain, it’s a powerful digger that excavates deep cool, humid burrows for survival in the hot, waterless environment.

Sturt’s Desert Pea is South Australia’s floral emblem. Captain Charles Sturt noted it in 1844 while exploring the colony’s interior. In his journal, Sturt referred several times to the beauty of the red desert pea and the harsh nature of its habitat. Protected in South Australia, it bears the genus name Swainsona honouring botanical garden owner Isaac Swainson, and its specific name formosa is Latin for ‘beautiful’.

The South Australian capital was named in honour of Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen, queen consort to King William IV. Otherwise known as the ‘City of Churches’, one of the city’s most famous landmarks is St Peter’s Cathedral. The historic building, which is said to share similarities with Notre Dame in Paris, was consecrated on 1 January 1878.


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