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What do you think the new $5 banknote should look like?

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More than 12 months after announcing it would be replacing the nation’s $5 banknote, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) is asking the community to have a say in its design.

The independent central bank began its public campaign on 1 March, seeking ideas from people on how best to reflect First Nations cultures on the currency.

Assistant Governor (Business Services) Michelle McPhee says all Australians have an opportunity to submit an idea. 

“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,” she said. 

“This could be a story passed down for generations, a location, an idea, an instrument or an object that binds a community.”

The Reserve Bank is also engaging directly with First Nations organisations in every state and territory to build awareness and encourage the submission of ideas for the design of the updated banknote. 

“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,” Ms McPhee added.

“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.”

The plan to feature First Nations on the updated $5 note was first touted on 2nd February 2023.

The decision was made following discussions with the Australian Government.

At the time of the announcement, it had been five months since the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth ll, who features on the current Australian $5 banknote.

The other side of the $5 banknote will continue to feature the Australian Parliament.

New design submissions must be lodged online at RBA website’s reimaginethefive before 30 April.

At the end of the submission period, an expert panel – made up of First Nations representatives and senior leadership from the RBA and Note Printing Australia – will consider the potential themes.

Once the panel selects a theme (or combination of themes), a group of First Nations artists will be invited to submit a design.

These processes are expected to be completed by the end of 2024.

The Reserve Bank will work closely with First Nations communities to obtain relevant cultural permissions.

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