Paper Money

Queen’s portrait on $5 note to be replaced by native theme

There have been four different $5 bank note designs in Australia since the 1960s. The next one will feature the “First Nations” culture.

Images by Reserve Bank of Australia.

King Charles III will not replace his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, on Australia’s $5 bank note. Instead, the Reserve Bank of Australia started a public campaign to glean ideas from the public to reflect First Nations cultures in the design of an updated $5 bank note. “First Nations” is the preferred term in Australia for “Indigenous Australians” or “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” who as of 2021 made up 3.8% of the national population.

Governor for Business Services Michelle McPhee said in the bank’s press release, “We invite all Australians to reimagine the $5 banknote in the search for themes that reflect our nation’s unique and rich First Nations cultures and history.” Among them, she said, could be stories passed down for generations, a location, an idea, an instrument, or an object that represents a community.

The Reserve Bank is in direct contact with First Nations organizations in every state and territory to create awareness and encourage the submission of ideas.

McPhee also said, “Involving the public in this process is vital, and by actively engaging First Nations communities, we can better capture themes that tell our nation’s story. As times change, so do our banknotes.” The time frame for submissions ends April 30, 2024.

The most recent update to the $5 bank note was in 2016. There have been four different $5 note designs since the 1960s.

Australia’s other note denominations are $10, $20, $50, and $100. All are polymer and feature images of native Australians. The $50 note has David Unaipon (born in 1872) on the face. From the Ngarrindjeri tribal group of southeastern South Australia, he was a preacher, inventor and Australia’s first published Aboriginal author.

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