The Reserve Bank of Australia has announced that the new $100 banknote will be released into general circulation on October 29, 2020. Existing $100 banknotes retain legal tender status and can continue to be used.
The new banknotes have been in production since mid-2019 and will soon be distributed ahead of their release into general circulation. With more than 400 million $100 banknotes in circulation, the release is a big logistical exercise. As with any new banknote, it will take time for them to be widely available.
The new $100 banknote celebrates the contributions of two outstanding Australians, Sir John Monash and Dame Nellie Melba.
Sir John Monash was an engineer, soldier, and civic leader. He was a significant figure in the building-construction industry. Monash is also widely recognized for his service as a commander in the First World War.
Dame Nellie Melba was an internationally renowned soprano who performed in Australia, Europe, and the United States of America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Melba also made important contributions to the arts through teaching at the Melba Memorial Conservatorium of Music, now the Melba Opera Trust, in her home town of Melbourne.
As with the previously released denominations, the new banknote includes representations of Australian flora and fauna. The $100 features the Australian Masked Owl (Tyto novaehollandiae) and Australia’s national floral emblem, the Golden Wattle (Acacia pycnantha), which is native to south-eastern Australia and southern inland areas of New South Wales. The wattle frames the edges of the top-to-bottom window on the banknote, which features a number of dynamic security elements such as the flying owl, and a reversing number ‘100’.
All of the banknotes in the Next Generation Banknote Program have a ‘tactile’ feature to help people who are blind or who have low vision to distinguish between different denominations. There are five raised bumps on each of the long edges of the new $100 banknote.
The Reserve Bank has been working closely with manufacturers of cash-handling machines and businesses that use the machines to prepare for the new banknotes.
New $100 banknotes can be purchased over-the-counter at the Reserve Bank’s Sydney Head Office (65 Martin Place) and Canberra branch (20-22 London Circuit). Consistent with current health measures, customers will need to provide contact and collection details in advance of their purchase. For details on purchase and collection arrangements, visit Collecting Banknotes.
Full details of the design and security features on the new $100 banknote, and other denominations, are available on the Bank’s website at banknotes.rba.gov.au.