The central bank says the new design will pay tribute to the ‘culture and history of the first Australians’.
Australia’s new five dollar ($3.50) note will feature a design honoring the country’s indigenous people, replacing the portrait of the British monarch that previously featured on the note.
The Reserve Bank of Australia, Australia’s central bank, said the design, which highlights “the culture and history of First Australians”, would be developed in consultation with the Indigenous community and was likely to take several years. The Australian Parliament will continue to appear on the other side of the bill, it added.
“This new design will replace the portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,” the bank said in a statement on its website on Thursday.
The decision to omit heir King Charles III from the banknote means the monarch will no longer appear on any Australian paper currency.
The central bank said the update followed discussions with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s government, which supported the change.
Treasurer Jim Chalmers said the change was an opportunity to strike a good balance.
“The monarch will still be on the coins, but the five dollar bill will say more about our history and our heritage and our country, and I see that as a good thing,” he told reporters in Melbourne.
The British monarch is Australia’s head of state, a largely ceremonial role, but the death of Queen Elizabeth last September has sparked renewed debate over whether the country should become a republic.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture is featured on numerous notes.
The current $50 ($35) bill features author, activist, inventor, musician and preacher, David Unaipon, a Ngarrindjeri man from South Australia.
The Albanese government is planning a landmark referendum on an Aboriginal “voice” in Parliament for the Indigenous community.
A “yes” vote would constitutionally enshrine a government advisory group made up of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders.
The referendum is expected to take place this year.