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Brad's Page of Australian Banknotes

Hello, and welcome to my page devoted to the interesting world of Australian banknotes. For the time being, only images and information regarding the current series of plastic polymer notes will be displayed until I can gain further information and images of older series of Aussie banknotes.

The $5 note

FRONT: The front of the $5 note features a prtrait of H.M. Queen Elizabeth II, the current head of state of Australia. It also features a gum tree branch.
BACK: The back of the $5 note is dominated by architectural plans for the Australian Parliament House, opened in 1988 to coincide with the bicentenary of European settlement. The old Parliament House (completed in 1927) is also displayed.
CLEARPIECE: The clear plastic window (known to some as the clearpiece) features a stylised gum flower (which complements the gum tree branch on the left of the front of the note).

The $10 note

FRONT: The front of the "tenner" or the "blue tounge" features Australia's best loved poet, A.B. "Banjo" Paterson (1864-1941), who wrote Australia's favourite national song, "Waltzing Matilda" and other poems and ballads such as "The Man From Snowy River" and "The Man From Ironbark". The horse chase on the note is taken from a scene in "The Man From Snowy River".
BACK: This side of the note features Dame Mary Gilmore (1865-1962), noted for her patriotic poems and articles, whose most famous work is the anthology "The Wild Swan". The back of this note also features an agricultural scene, reminding Australians of this important part of the country's economic history.
CLEARPIECE: The clearpiece continues with the rural theme of the $10 note, which features a simplified drawing of an artesian bore windmill (used to pump underground water to the surface), a common sight throughout outback Australia.

The $20 note

FRONT: This note (often known as a "red-back") features Mary Reibey (1777-1855), an English convict transported to Australia as punsihment (for fraud I believe, but I may be wrong on that point) who turned good and built extensive business interests in the fledgling colony of New South Wales. It also features a ship and Georgian era commercial houses, representing this woman's achievements in colonial Australia.
BACK: John Flynn (1880-1951), the founder of the Royal Flying Doctor's Service (an essential service to those living in the 'bush'), features on the back of this note. Also on the back of the $20 note are medical diagrams, a plane used by the RDFS, a pedal-operated radio, and an explorer crossing the desert on a camel.
CLEARPIECE: The clearpiece on the $20 is a simplified compass... perhaps to commemorate the explorers and pioneers who opened up the inland? Or as a statement that, as a nation, we know where we are headed..

The $50 note

FRONT: The front of the fifty features David Unaipon, a nineteenth-century Aboriginal writer and inventor. Also included on the $50 are some of Unaipon's scientific drawings, his writings and a small chapel (I think this is an Aboriginal mission, but I'm not entirely sure).
BACK: Edith Cowan (1861-1932), a prominent social worker and campaigner of the early twentieth-century is honoured on the back of the $50 note. Cowan was also the first female parliamentarian anywhere in Australia (in the Western Australian state parliament, which I believe is the building featured). She is shown on the note speaking to parliament, and a family from the Depression era (or thereabouts) is also depicted.
CLEARPIECE: The clearpiece on this note features the Southern Cross, the pricipal element on the Australian flag and representative of our location (as the Southern Cross can only be seen from the southern hemisphere). The four main stars each have seven points and each star is known as "The Federation Star", with six points to represent each state and one more to represent Australia's territories.

The $100 note

FRONT: Dame Nellie Melba (1861-1931), arguably the greatest opera singer of all time, adorns the front of the largest note of the series, the $100 note. Also featured is Dame Nellie Melba singing on a stage and some opera paraphernalia.
BACK: John Monash (1865-1931) is featured on the back of this banknote. Monash is often seen as the man who won World War One for the allies with his innovations in warfare at the time. Also featured is the badge of the Commonwealth Military Forces (the branch of the military which Monash served), a representation of Simpson and his donkey (yet another legend from the War), and a World War One artillery unit.
CLEARPIECE: The clearpiece cosists of a modern representation of a lyrebird, a native bird similar to a peacock which can be found in the forests of south-eastern Australia. The asme bird also features on the Australian ten-cent piece.

My warmest thanks go to Ben Cooke (aka "Zoltan") for providing me with the scans on this page. He has my eternal gratitude. I also credit the Macquarie Dictionary with providing me with some of the biographical information of most of the people honoured by our plastic polymer series of banknotes.

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