The RBA has released the design of the new $5 banknote. (Contributed)
The RBA has released the design of the new $5 banknote. (Contributed)

Who are the influential Australians on our bank notes?

ON SEPTEMBER 1 the Reserve Bank of Australia will release the first batch of new $5 notes into circulation.

When decimal currency replaced pounds, shillings and pence in 1966 the ‘fiver’ was introduced.

Then when bank notes were changed from paper to polymer construction, the $5 was the first to be issued in 1992.

According to the Reserve Bank there are 165 million $5 notes in circulation worth a total of $865 million.

Due to this volume, it may be weeks or even months before Northern Rivers residents get their hands on one of the new notes.

Who is on Australian bank notes?

AB ‘Banjo’ Patterson: $10 - Born Andrew Barton Patterson, ‘Banjo’ was a journalist, solicitor, poet and horseman who is most well known as the composer of the iconic Australian ballad Waltzing Matilda and the author of The Man From Snowy River.

Dame Mary Gilmore: $10 - An author, poet, school teacher and journalist who campaigned for a wide range of social and economic reforms, such as voting rights for the women, old age and invalid pensions, child endowment, the relief of the poor and the just treatment of Aboriginal people.

Mary Reiby: $20 - Baptised Molly Haydock in Lancashire, England, Mary Reiby was sentenced to seven years transportation to Australia for horse stealing in August 1791. When her husband Thomas Reibey died she took over his transport business and acquired considerable wealth and property around Sydney.

Reverend John Flynn: $20 - After starting the Presbyterian Church’s Australian Inland Mission, Reverend Flynn continued to push for medical services for and is credited as pioneering the world's first aerial medical service, now known as the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

David Unaipon: $50 - A writer, public speaker and inventor, David Unaipon’s inventions include an improved hand tool for shearing sheep, a centrifugal motor, a multi-radial wheel and a mechanical propulsion device. He was a spokesman for Aboriginal people and was often called upon to participate in royal commissions and inquiries into Aboriginal issues.

Edith Cowan: $50 - A social worker, politician and feminist, Edith Cowan advocated for state schooling and for the inclusion of sex education in the curriculum. She was also a dedicated campaigner for women's rights and for the protection of children.

Dame Nellie Melba: $100 - A world renowned soprano singer, Dame Nellie Melba performed in many cities including Milan, Brussels, London, Paris and New York during her 40 plus year career. She also established a singing school at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music now renamed the Melba Memorial Conservatorium of Music.

Sir John Monash: $100 - A soldier, engineer and administrator, Sir John Monash was appointed commander of the Australian Corps as Lieutenant-General in 1918 and he went on to have a succession of victories, culminating in the breaking of the Hindenburg Line.

Sir Henry Parkes: $5 - Centenary of Federation commemorative - Known as the ‘Father of Federation’ for his leadership in advancing the cause for nationhood, Sir Henry Parkes was a journalist and politician who was premier of colonial New South Wales five times between 1872 and 1891.

Catherine Helen Spence: $5 - Centenary of Federation commemorative - a journalist, social and political reformer, novelist and feminist, Catherine Spence was in the vanguard of first-wave feminism seeking equality of opportunity for women in this country, and was lauded as the ‘Grand Old Woman of Australia’.



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