There are few people who have done more to inspire millions of people to care about animals than The Australia Zoo’s Steve Irwin.
Years ago, I would get home from school and watch Animal Planet for hours every weekday. Between Jeff Corwin, Steve Irwin, and The Most Extreme, there was no shortage of incredible material to learn from.
When Irwin died just over ten years ago, I remember crying in class when I talked about it.
However, some noble Australians have decided to further burnish Irwin’s legacy by trying to get him added to their currency by petitioning the Australian Mint.
The petition reads:
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.
This is a straightforward petition that I think everyone can get behind.
Australia’s policy is to only allow for members of the British Royal Family to appear on its coins, but it does allow for “rare circumstances” to have exceptions made:
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. 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.
These rules would probably allow for Irwin to appear on coins, but the goal of the petition seems to be to secure a place for Irwin to appear on the $100 bill. Hopefully the Australian government follows through with this petition, which you can sign onto here!
For more profiles in nature, from a deadly octopus to how 20% of fish eaten are mislabeled to a fish that weighs more than a pickup truck to a $300,000 fish to a fish named after Obama to a truly living “living fossil,” read here!