By Reserve Bank of Australia ……
On February 15, the Reserve Bank of Australia revealed the design of the new $50 banknote. As with the existing banknote, the new $50 features portraits of Aboriginal writer and inventor David Unaipon and the first female member of an Australian parliament, Edith Cowan. The new banknotes will be released into general circulation in October 2018.
Governor Philip Lowe said: ‘Improved security and ease of recognition underpin the design of the new $50 banknote. With the release of the $5 and $10 during the past two years, we are confident the Australian public are becoming familiar with the new banknote security features.’
These features include a top-to-bottom clear window that contains dynamic features such as a reversing number. There is also a patch with a rolling-colour effect and microprint featuring excerpts from David Unaipon’s book and Edith Cowan’s maiden parliamentary speech.
The Governor added: ‘David Unaipon and Edith Cowan were campaigners for social change and we are proud to continue featuring them on the $50 banknote. The new banknote provides the opportunity to tell more of the rich story behind these distinguished Australians.’
Their stories are told through a number of design elements, including shields from Unaipon’s Ngarrindjeri nation and the practices of miwi and navel cord exchange about which Unaipon wrote. The banknote also includes a picture of the gumnut brooch Cowan had made to symbolise that entry into Parliament was a ‘hard nut to crack’ for women, and the King Edward Memorial Hospital, a women’s and maternity hospital that she helped establish.
As with the $5 and $10, the new banknote includes representations of a wattle and a native bird. The $50 features Acacia humifusa and a Black Swan (Cygnus atratus), Unaipon’s ngaitji, or totem, and the bird of Cowan’s home state of Western Australia.
The Reserve Bank is working closely with banknote equipment manufacturers and retailers to help them prepare ATMs and other banknote authenticating machines to handle the new banknote. This has included a number of trials and the early distribution of test notes to allow manufacturers and owners of these machines to update their equipment. The design is being released today to facilitate this ongoing work with the industry as well as staff training to ensure a smooth transition when the banknotes are released later this year.
Existing $50 banknotes can continue to be used, as all previously issued banknotes remain legal tender. It is expected that the $20 banknote will be upgraded next year.
Full details of the design and security features on the new $50 banknote, and other denominations, are available on the Bank’s website at banknotes.rba.gov.au.
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