Obverse: Captain Matthew Flinders RN (16 March 1774 – 19 July 1814) was one of the most successful navigators and cartographers of his age. In a career that spanned just over twenty years, he sailed with Captain William Bligh, circumnavigated Australia and encouraged the use of that name for the continent. He survived shipwreck and disaster only to be imprisoned for violating the terms of his scientific passport by changing ships and carrying prohibited papers. He identified and corrected the effect upon compass readings of iron components and equipment on board wooden ships and he wrote what may be the first work on early Australian exploration A Voyage to Terra Australis.
Reverse: Parliament House Canberra – After World War I the Federal Capital Advisory Committee was established to prepare Canberra to be the seat of government, including the construction of a Parliament House. The committee decided that it would be best to erect a “provisional” building, to serve for a predicted 50 years until a new, “permanent” House could be built. In the event, Old Parliament House was Parliament’s home for 61 years. It was officially opened in 1927.
Watermark:Captain Cook in left hand oval . The word ’Half’ also sits behind each of the signatories.
Flinders’ work had come to the attention of many of the scientists of the day, in particular the influential Sir Joseph Banks, to whom Flinders dedicated his Observations on the Coasts of Van Diemen’s Land, on Bass’s Strait, etc.. Banks used his influence with Earl Spencer to convince the Admiralty of the importance of an expedition to chart the coastline of New Holland. As a result, in January 1801, Flinders was given command of the Investigator, a 334-ton sloop, and promoted to commander the following month.
The Investigator set sail for New Holland on 18 July 1801. Attached to the expedition was the botanist Robert Brown, botanical artist Ferdinand Bauer and landscape artist William Westall. Due to the scientific nature of the expedition, Flinders was issued with a French passport, despite England and France then being at war.
*All biographical details are taken from Wikipedia for education purposes only.