Australia: the effigy of British sovereigns will disappear from banknotes

Australia: the effigy of British sovereigns will disappear from banknotes


British sovereigns will disappear from banknotes in Australia, where the portrait of Elizabeth II will be replaced on new five-dollar bills with a design honoring indigenous culture, the central bank announced Thursday. country. 

The decision not to feature the effigy of Charles III on the five dollar note means that eventually not a single monarch will be represented on paper money. 

The Central Bank does not however, did not mention plans for the face of the Queen, which appears on some coins in circulation.

The death of Elizabeth II on September 8 was marked by a day of national mourning in Australia, a member of the Commonwealth whose official head of state is King Charles III, represented by a Governor General. 

But some indigenous groups denounced the destructive consequences of British colonization, calling for the abolition of the monarchy.

In 1999, a referendum on the issue saw the Republicans narrowly defeated.


The central bank has claimed that its decision is backed by the centre-left Labor government of Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, which favors a possible move towards an Australian republic.

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) said Indigenous people will be consulted on a new design that “honours the culture and history of early Australians”.

The design and printing of the new banknote will take “a number of years,” she said. Banknotes bearing the likeness of the late Queen already in circulation will continue to be legal tender.

The disappearance of the effigy of the sovereigns was hailed by the Australian Republican Movement (ARM), which pointed out that indigenous peoples predated British colonization by 65,000 years.

“More litigant”

“Australia believes in meritocracy and the idea that someone can be on our currency because of their bloodline is irreconcilable, as is the idea that 'she can be our head of state by birthright,' said WARC President Craig Foster.

“To think that an unelected king should be on our coinage in place of First Nations chiefs and elders and prominent Australians is no longer justifiable in the hour of truth, reconciliation and ultimately peace. formal, cultural and intellectual independence,” he added.

Mr. Foster stressed that such symbols are important to Australians. 

“This RBA decision stems from recognition of the important place of First Nations Australians in our national history.” < /p>

“Australians deserve to see themselves, and only them, reflected in our Constitution, our system of government and all national symbols, including our currency.”

British sovereigns feature on Australian banknotes from 1923 until 1953, the year of the coronation of Elizabeth II, they were present on all denominations. 

The face of the Queen adorned the one pound note, then the new dollar bill from 1966. This first dollar bill also featured images of Aboriginal rock paintings and carvings and designs inspired by a bark painting by indigenous artist David Malangi Daymirringu. < /p>

Since 1992, Australians have been able to admire the Queen's features on the polymer $5 note. 

Three months ago, Central Bank Governor Philip Lowe, said he had entered into discussions with the government to find out whether to give up er to replace the image of the Queen with a portrait of King Charles III.