King Charles Omitted from Australia's 5-Dollar Banknote Redesign
by FARUK IMAMOVIC | VIEW 299
The Reserve Bank of Australia, the country's central bank, has announced that the design of its five-dollar bill will pay tribute to the "culture and history of the First Australians", reports Al Jazeera. The current portrait of the British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, will be replaced by a design developed in consultation with the Indigenous community.
The update, which is expected to take several years, follows discussions with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese's government, which supported the change. Treasurer Jim Chalmers said the change offers a good balance, stating, "The monarch will still be on the coins, but the five-dollar note will say more about our history and our heritage and our country, and I see that as a good thing." The British monarch, who is the country's head of state, will no longer appear on any Australian paper currency.
The death of Queen Elizabeth last year has sparked renewed debates over whether Australia should become a republic.
Celebrating Indigenous Culture
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture is already featured on several banknotes in Australia.
The $50 note features David Unaipon, an author, activist, inventor, musician, and preacher who was a member of the Ngarrindjeri Aboriginal people of South Australia. "This decision by the Reserve Bank Board follows consultation with the Australian government, which supports this change," the bank said in a statement.
"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. It will be able to be used even after the new banknote is issued," it added.
A significant referendum on an Aboriginal "voice" in parliament for the Indigenous people is being planned by the Albanese government. A "yes" vote would codify an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representative advisory board for the government. This year is anticipated to see the referendum's holding.