British monarchy will no longer appear on Australian banknotes

The Reserve Bank of Australia „has decided to update the $5 banknote to feature a new design that honours the culture and history of the First Australians,” instead of the British monarchs.

Currently the Australian 5$ banknote features a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on the front, and a depiction of Parliament House in Canberra on the back, and is part of the country’s series of polymer banknotes introduced in 1992. “This new design will replace the portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The other side of the $5 banknote will continue to feature the Australian Parliament,” the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) said in a statement.

Australia, as a former British colony, has a long history of using British monarchs on its currency. Nowadays the 5$ bill is the only note still showing a portrait of the monarch, meaning once the new one comes out, there will be no portraits anymore. Coin wise, the portrait of the late Queen will be replaced with a portrait of King Charles III, later this year.

“The Bank will consult with First Australians in designing the $5 banknote. The new banknote will take a number of years to be designed and printed. In the meantime, the current $5 banknote will continue to be issued,” said RBA. First Australians are the Indigenous peoples of Australia, who have a long and continuous history that dates back over 60,000 years, making them the oldest continuous cultures in the world.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers said “this is a good opportunity to strike a good balance between the monarch on the coins and a First Nations design on the fiver. The monarch will still be on the coins, but the $5 note will say more about our history and our heritage and our country, and I see that as a good thing,”