King Charles will not feature on Australia’s new $5 banknote, following a decision announced today by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA).
The portrait of Queen Elizabeth II first appeared on the $5 note in 1992.
Following her death, the RBA reviewed the design said today that the note would change, following consultation with the Federal Government.
“The Reserve Bank has decided to update the $5 banknote to feature a new design that honours the culture and history of the First Australians,” the RBA statement reads.
“This new design will replace the portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
“The other side of the $5 banknote will continue to feature the Australian Parliament.”
The Australian Republic Movement has welcomed the decision. Chair of the Australian Republic Movement, Craig Foster said the change was an important symbolic step.
“Australia believes in meritocracy so the idea that someone should be on our currency by birthright is irreconcilable as is the notion that they should be our head of state by birthright,” Mr Foster said.
“To think that an unelected king should be on our currency in place of First Nations leaders and elders and eminent Australians is no longer justifiable at a time of truth telling, reconciliation and ultimately formal, cultural and intellectual independence.
“National symbols are important. They communicate to us, and the world, what we value, if and how we appreciate our own achievements and manifest a visible part of our national identity.
“Our contemporary identity is one starting to walk in truth with First Nations and confidently alone, in our multicultural demography.
“This decision by the RBA is a natural consequence of recognising the important place of First Nations Australians in our national story.”
Mr Foster said Australians deserved to see themselves, and only themselves reflected in Australia’s Constitution, system of government and all national symbols including currency.
“We are constructing new stories, new understandings, new heroes and heroines, and a truthful and proud identity based on 65,235 years of shared cultural existence.”
“This is another step on that inspiring journey,” he said.
It is expected to be several years before the new note is in circulation.