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$5 banknote redesign to reflect First Nations culture and history

Joseph Guenzler -

The Reserve Bank of Australia has began a public campaign, urging Australians to contribute ideas for the redesign of the $5 note to incorporate Indigenous cultures.

Michelle McPhee, Assistant Governor (Business Services), is encouraging designers to submit ideas reflecting the nation's unique Indigenous cultures and history.

The call extends to stories, locations, ideas, instruments, or objects binding communities.

"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," Ms McPhee said.

"This could be a story passed down for generations, a location, an idea, an instrument or an object that binds a community."

Emphasising inclusivity, the Reserve Bank collaborates with Indigenous organisations across states and territories to raise awareness and garner ideas for the banknote's design.

Ms McPhee highlights the importance of public involvement, saying actively engaging Indigenous communities ensures a comprehensive representation of the nation's narrative.

"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," she said.

The Australian $5 banknote will be updated to a new design that honours the culture and history of First Nations Australians. (Image: Getty)

"As times change, so do our banknotes. The most recent update to the $5 banknote was in 2016, and there have been four different $5 banknote designs since the 1960s."

The $5 banknote's last update occurred in 2016, marking the fifth design since the 1960s.

With changing times, the Reserve Bank seeks to capture evolving themes that resonate with Australia's dynamic story.

The upcoming redesign will replace the portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, while the reverse side will continue featuring the Australian Parliament.

Following the submission period closure, an expert panel, comprised of Indigenous representatives and senior leaders from the Reserve Bank and Note Printing Australia, will evaluate potential themes.

The panel's task is to choose a theme or a combination thereof.

Subsequently, a select group of Indigenous artists will receive invitations to submit design, anticipating completion for these processes by the end of 2024.

Submissions for theme ideas are open from March 1 to April 30, 2024, and can be made online.

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