Australia to replace Queen Elizabeth's image with indigenous culture on banknotetext_fields
Sydney: Australia will redesign its $5 banknote to represent and honour the history of its Indigenous culture in place of the Queen Elizabeth II portrait, the nation's central bank announced on Thursday.
The federal government, which supports the change, was consulted before the decision was made, according to a statement from the Reserve Bank of Australia. The Australian Parliament will still be visible on the note's reverse side, it claimed.
The passing of Queen Elizabeth last year has reopened discussions in Australia about the country's future as a constitutional monarchy. In a 1999 referendum, voters narrowly decided to keep the British monarch as the country's head of state, Reuters reported.
King Charles III, who succeeded his mother as the monarch of the United Kingdom, serves mostly in a ceremonial capacity as the head of state of Australia, New Zealand, and 12 other Commonwealth nations outside of the United Kingdom.
In September 2022, Australia stated that Queen Elizabeth might be replaced by Australian figures and that the picture of King Charles would not necessarily take her place on $5 notes.
According to authorities, the queen's personality rather than her position as monarch was taken into consideration when the decision to put her portrait on the $5 Australian note was made.
The decision to update the note was made at the same time that Australia's centre-left Labor government is pushing for a referendum, which is necessary to change the constitution in order to recognise Indigenous people in the text and require consultation with them when making decisions that will have an impact on their lives.
Australia officially changed its national anthem in 2021 to remove the phrase "young and free" in response to calls to acknowledge that its Indigenous people are the world's oldest civilization.
Indigenous organisations would be consulted throughout the creation of the $5 notes, according to the Reserve Bank. The new banknote will be designed and printed over the course of several years. The existing note shall remain in circulation until then.