In 2017, the Royal Australian Mint released a series of circulating and collector coins which highlight one of the country’s newer, though very popular, children’s stories - Possum Magic.
Possum Magic, a book written by Merrion Frances “Mem” Fox, follows the story of two Australian possums, Grandma Poss and her grandchild Hush. Originally written in 1978, the book was rejected by nine publishers until one, Omnibus Books, asked for it to be reduced in size by two-thirds and that all of the animals be Australian animals to focus on the Australian theme. Thus, Possum Magic was published with the story of Grandma Poss using her possum magic to turn Hush invisible to protect the child from the dangers of the Australian Bush. Forgetting how to make Hush visible again, Grandma Poss and Hush set out on an adventure to tour Australia to find a cure.
The coins, which include four $1 coins and three colour-printed $2 coins, depict some of the more memorable original illustrations created by Julie Vivas, whose artwork was included in the published story. She also created a new reverse design which shows Hush reading a book - perhaps her own copy of Possum Magic - which appears on a one cent coin.