Medallion, Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, with case and certificate of authenticity, silver / cardboard / leather / satin, made by the Royal Australian Mint for the State Rail Authority of New South Wales, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia, 2000
This medallion commemorates the accomplishments of the State Rail Authority of New South Wales in providing a reliable and effective rail transport service to more than 6.1million people during the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. The Games, which were dubbed "the best ever" by IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch, required rail transport to take passengers not only to the main Olympic site at Homebush Bay, but also the sporting venues (for horse riding, white-water rafting, water polo, beach volleyball etc.) at Darling Harbour, Moore Park, Bondi Beach, Ryde, Bankstown, Cecil Park, Horsley Park, Fairfield City Farm, Blacktown and Penrith.
This particular medallion was one of many medallions produced and awarded to all staff members in State Rail serving at the time of the Olympic Games. Each divisional manager presented their team's medallions and certificates at team meetings, with this particular medallion belonging to the Manager of Strategic Communications.
In 1997, the Sydney 2000 Olympic Coin Program was launched through a joint partnership between the Perth Mint and the Royal Australian Mint. This program produced the most significant coin collection ever released in Australia for international distribution, such as this one, and was produced from silver donated by one of Australia's greatest global resources company, BHP.
This commemorative medallion was made by the Royal Australian Mint in Canberra, Australia in 2000.
The Perth Mint and the Royal Australian Mint formed a partnership in the Sydney 2000 Olympic Coin Program, sharing the task of striking Olympic victory and commemorative medals, at no cost to SOCOG, as a joint contribution to the Games. While this particular example was manufactured in Canberra, both logos appear in the presentation case as a testimony to their joint venture.
The silver used in the medallion, as is also the case with the athletes' victory medals, was principally donated by BHP in addition to an ingot of silver which was donated by the people of Broken Hill.
The Sydney 2000 Olympic Coin Program was launched on October 9, 1997 and has been dubbed the most significant coin collection ever released in Australia for international distribution.
This medallion was one of many produced for employees of State Rail who served during the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. The owner of this particular medal was the Manager of Strategic Communications.
From September 15 - October 1, 2000 Sydney played host to "the best Games ever". More than 6 million spectators, 80,000 accredited workers and volunteers, 17,100 athletes and team officials, 3,800 Olympic family officials, 2,500 technical officials and 17,200 accredited media crowded on Sydney and required transport to sporting events at Homebush, Darling Harbour, Moore Park, Blacktown and Penrith. All these people (totalling 6,120,600 in addition to ordinary working commuters) made use of the city and country link rail system provided by State Rail.
State Rail, now better known as RailCorp (the merged entity of the State Rail Authority of New South Wales and the metropolitan functions of the Rail Infrastructure Corporation), was under significant pressure in the lead up to the Olympic Games to cater for this incredible amount of people (which could not really be visualised by anyone, even during normal Sydney peak hour and other major events). However, as stated by the Daily Telegraph on September 23, 2000 "the prophet of doom got it all wrong...Olympic commuters sung the praises of rail staff, both on the trains and at the stations, for their helpful and efficient manner and for their friendly demeanour. The careful arrangement of pedestrian traffic flows at stations...has also resulted in swift and painless progress through ticket barriers...all staff involved should take a bow".
While years of planning were involved on the part of State Rail, the 2000-2001 Annual Report attests their success to more than thirteen different factors. Among these include the recruitment of more staff; high morale; a strong volunteer program; the establishment of a Rail Coordination Centre which strengthened command and control and set up a centralised data collection centre; the upgrade of infrastructure to facilitate train operations and crowd management; a resilient timetable which met customer needs; service reliability and a high fleet utilisation rate. In fact, the Sydney Olympic Games were dubbed from the outset a 'no car' games. Thus, State Rail provided 24 hour per day rail services, necessitating up to 30 trains an hour around the Olympic Park Station loop with each train carrying 1600 people. Separate platforms were also employed to off-load and pick up passengers to avoid congestion and confusion.
A new station at Homebush was also constructed with easy access by stairs, lifts, ramps and escalators. Other key stations also had major renovations. StateRail also attests their success to the strong and visible leadership of the then Chief Executive Simon Lane, the then Chief Operations Manager Arthur Smith and the then Manager of Olympic Coordination Margaret Brazel. Strong relationships were also formed with other agencies like the Olympic Roads & Transport Authority, the Olympic Coordination Authority, the Rail Access Corporation, RAC's main contractor Rail Services Australia and the Olympic Security Command Centre.
This particular commemorative medallion acknowledges the above successes.