RBA launches 'Reimagine the $5' campaign for new banknote design

Public urged to contribute ideas

RBA launches 'Reimagine the $5' campaign for new banknote design


By Mina Martin

The Reserve Bank (RBA) has initiated a public campaign to gather ideas from the Australian community for incorporating First Nations cultures into the new $5 banknote design.

Michelle McPhee, RBA assistant governor for business services, stressed the importance of community involvement.

“We invite all Australians to reimagine the $5 banknote in the search for themes that reflect our nation’s unique and rich First Nations cultures and history,” McPhee said. “This could be a story passed down for generations, a location, an idea, an instrument or an object that binds a community.”

Engagement with First Nations organisations

To ensure the design authentically represents First Nations cultures, RBA is collaborating with First Nations organisations across all states and territories. This direct engagement aims to encourage widespread participation and gather a diverse range of ideas.

“Involving the public in this process is vital, and by actively engaging First Nations communities, we can better capture themes that tell our nation’s story,” McPhee said in a news release. “As times change, so do our banknotes. The most recent update to the $5 banknote was in 2016, and there have been four different $5 banknote designs since the 1960s.”

Australians are encouraged to submit their themes for the new $5 banknote from March 1 to April 1 online.

Background and next steps

The redesign will see the replacement of Queen Elizabeth II’s portrait, with the Australian Parliament continuing to adorn the other side of the note.

Following the submission period, an expert panel, including First Nations representatives and senior RBA and Note Printing Australia leadership, will review the ideas.

A theme, or combination of themes, will be selected, and First Nations artists will then be invited to develop the design. The RBA commits to obtaining the necessary cultural permissions throughout this process, aiming to finalise the design by the end of 2024.

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