Resolutions / Wellbeing

The new $5 note will feature Indigenous history, not King Charles

new $5 note

As the aftermath of Queen Elizabeth's passing sets in, decisions must be made. In a win for First Nations people, the $5 note will no longer be stamped by the monarchy. This shift comes after the Queen has been featured on the $5 note since July 1992 when she celebrated the 40th anniversary of her accession.

King Charles III will not feature on Australia's $5 note after a decision by the Reserve Bank to replace Queen Elizabeth's portrait with a new design “that honours the culture and history of the First Australians”.

The Australian government has backed the decision to let go of this 'presumed tradition' which of course has sparked fierce debate. Opposition leader, Peter Dutton weighed in shortly after the announcement from Sydney's 2GB reprimanding prime minister Anthony Albanese, “I think it’s another attack on our systems, on our society and our institutions,” he said.

This decision will not only affect the $5 notes. None of Australia's notes will feature UK monarchs after this change has been made. This is not the first note to showcase a First Nations figure. The $50 banknote features David Uniapon, a Ngarrindjeri man from South Australia, who is an author, inventor, activist and musician.

Who will feature on the note?

The Reserve Bank has said it would consult with First Australians on the design of the new note. Australian Greens party senator and Gunnai, Gunditjmara and Djab Wurrung woman Lidia Thorpe called the change a "massive win for the grassroots, First Nations people who have been fighting to decolonise this country”.

Thorpe has previously called for the Aboriginal actor and activist Uncle Jack Charles who died in September to feature on the note.

When will we start to see the new $5 note?

Good things take time so it is expected to be several years before the new note is in circulation. Until then, the current banknote will continue to be printed and issued.

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Image source: One, Two