Australian Currency



The present series of Australian notes is the first in the world to be printed on polymer substrate instead of paper. It consists of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 denominations.

The $100 note features Dame Nellie Melba (1861-1931), world-renowned soprano, and General Sir John Monash (1865-1931), civil engineer and distinguished soldier.

The $50 note features David Unaipon (1872-1967), Aboriginal writer and inventor, and Edith Cowan (1861-1932) first female Australian politician.

The $20 note features the Reverend John Flynn (1880-1951), founder of the Royal Flying Doctor Service, and Mary Reibey (1777-1855) former convict, pioneer businesswoman.

The $10 note features A.B. ('Banjo') Paterson (1864-1941) poet, author of Waltzing Matilda and Man from Snowy River, and Dame Mary Gilmore (1865-1962) poet and social reformer.

The old $5 note features Queen Elizabeth II, and Parliament House.

The new $5 note features Sir Henry Parkes (1815-1896, politician and architect of Australian Federation, and Catherine Spence (1825-1910) writer and feminist.

Decimal currency was introduced on 14 February 1966. Dollars and cents replaced the pounds, shillings and pence. The new coinage consisted of silver and bronze. In 1996 Australia's paper based notes were converted to polymer in an effort to prevent counterfeiting. The technology which produced the notes was developed in Australia. The 5c, 10c, 20c and 50c coins are made of 75% copper and 25% nickel. The $1 and $2 coins are made of 92% copper, 6% aluminium and 2% nickel.

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