New $5 bill won’t feature the visage of Charles III in favor of “indigenous” design
File photo: A $5 Australian bill featuring the late Queen Elizabeth II © Mladen ANTONOV / AFP
The central bank of Australia announced on Thursday that the new $5 bill will feature a design honoring “the culture and history of the First Australians” instead of the portrait of King Charles III. The banknote currently depicts the late Queen Elizabeth II.
“The monarch will still be on the coins, but the $5 note will say more about our history and our heritage and our country, and I see that as a good thing,” Treasurer Jim Chalmers told reporters in Melbourne.
Worth about $3.55 in American dollars, the fiver is Australia’s smallest-denomination banknote. There are an estimated 208 million notes currently in circulation, showing the portrait of the late queen on one side and the Australian parliament building in Canberra on the other.
Indigenous groups will be consulted on the appropriate replacement design, a process that may take several years, the bank said. The current design will remain in circulation for the time being, and continue to be legal tender even afterward. Australia’s new 50-pence coin, due later this year, will still feature the portrait of Charles III.
Elizabeth II passed away in September, after a 70-year reign. Though Australia has been formally independent since 1901, it considers the British monarch its symbolic head of state.