Right on the money
The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has released images of the new design for Australia’s $20 note – the first redesign since 1995. Key aspects of the existing design – colour, size and people portrayed – have been retained for ease of recognition and to minimise the disruption to businesses.
Designed by emerystudio, the new banknote continues to celebrate the two distinguished Australians who feature on the existing $20 note – Mary Reibey, a convict who broke out of rigidly defined social norms to earn a reputation as an astute and successful businesswoman, and the Reverend John Flynn, who pioneered the world’s first aerial medical service in 1928, now known as the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
Reibey’s story is recognised on the banknote through an image of a Port Jackson schooner in Sydney Cove in the early 1800s. Beside it is a traditional Eora nowie (canoe). Aboriginal women fishing from these vessels were a common sight on the harbour in Reibey’s time. There are also images depicting a De Havilland Dragon aircraft and a pedal powered transceiver developed to improve communications in remote areas, representing Flynn’s story.
The banknote also has more anti-counterfeit security features, such as a world-first top-to-bottom clear window, patches with a rolling colour effect, and fluorescent ink which is only visible under UV light. You can read all about the new design and security features on the RBA website.
The new design is fourth in line in the progressive update of all five Australian banknotes. The Reserve Bank announced the new series in 2015, and promised a new tactile feature to help visually impaired people identify the different denominations. On the $20 banknote, this is three raised bumps on each of the long edges of the banknote.
Each banknote in the new series also depicts a different species of Australian wattle and a native bird. On the $20 note, these are the Acacia buxifolia and a Laughing Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae).
The new banknote design will be issued from October 2019, while the existing series of banknotes will remain legal tender. It is expected that the new $100 banknote will be released next year.