Each year The Perth Mint issues an ANZAC Day $1 commemorative coin in tribute to all Australians who have served their country. This year’s Australian legal tender coin salutes the engineers of the Australian Defence Force.
The Royal Australian Engineers (RAE) was officially raised on 1 July 1902 from the permanent and militia engineering units of the separate colonies. Many of these colonial units were descended from the Royal Engineers units that accompanied Governor Arthur Phillip in the First Fleet that landed in New South Wales in 1788.
In 1835, the first engineering officer, Captain George Barney, was appointed to the Australian colonies and raised the first Australian military engineering company.
Today, the RAE is a corps of the Australian Army tasked with providing geospatial, combat and force support engineering capabilities to enable joint manoeuvre and survivability.
Combat engineers of the RAE specialise in bridge-building, minefield clearance, demolition using explosives, field defence systems, water purification, as well as road and airfield construction and repair.
Among other tasks performed by the RAE is geomatic engineering, which includes surveying, cartography, digital maps and other digital topographic projects.
Army engineers are often referred to a ‘sappers’. The term sapper derives from the excavation of trenches, known as saps, designed to advance troops towards the enemy’s fortifications.
The RAE has been involved in many conflicts from the trenches of France in World War I to the jungles of Borneo in World War II.
The corps motto is ‘Ubique’, which is Latin for ‘Everywhere’. The corps also uses the motto ‘Honi Soit Qui Mal Pense’, which is old French for ‘Evil be to him who evil thinks’.