Most people wouldn’t know it but there’s a good chance that they have (at least briefly) had in their possession one of Kelly's artworks - on the back of a coin!

The local TV and radio stations and newspaper ran stories promoting me and my design and I received a lot of support from the wider home-schooling community. After 10 days of voting (with more than 20,000 votes cast), on my 16th birthday, I received the news that my design had won!

It was going to be minted on the back of  real

50c coins!

In 2004, the Royal Australian Mint ran a competition for secondary school students to design a 50c coin to commemorate the 2006 Commonwealth Games to be held in Melbourne.

Kelly, then aged 15, submitted a design showing athletes engaged in a range of sports - swimming, diving, running, jumping, etc. – being mimicked by Australian animals such as a kangaroo, platypus and emu.

Her design, along with five others, made the final shortlist and were displayed on the Mint website for the public to vote for their favourite design.

There’s a lot of work that goes into turning a 2D design into a coin: refining the design and then sculpting it in 3D, creating dies (stamps), etc. so it wasn’t until May 2005 that Kelly and her family were invited to the Mint in Canberra where, after being given a behind-the-scenes tour, she was able to mint her very own coin!

Over 20 million coins bearing Kelly's design were released into general circulation so if you keep your eyes open, you just might be lucky enough to find one in your change.

Happy hunting!

Girl holding coin