The late Queen Elizabeth II’s image on Australia’s $5 note will be removed off its currency, the country’s central bank announced on Thursday, and will be replaced with a design honoring Indigenous culture.
According to The Punch, no monarch would be present on Australia’s paper money if King Charles III, her heir, were to be omitted off the $5 note.
In order to create a new design that “honors the culture and heritage of the First Australians,” the Reserve Bank of Australia indicated it would consult with Indigenous people.
When Queen Elizabeth passed away on September 8 of last year, Australia observed a day of national mourning, but some Indigenous organizations also demonstrated against the damaging effects of colonial Britain and demanded the removal of the monarchy.
With Charles III as its head of state, Australia is a democracy with a constitutional monarchy. In 1999, a referendum that called for the establishment of a republic was narrowly lost.
The central bank claimed that Anthony Albanese’s center-left Labor administration, which is in favor of a future transition to an Australian republic, endorsed their decision.
It was stated that the present $5 note will continue to be legal tender even after the new design was in circulation for “a number of years” while the new notes was being created and made.
The nation’s republican movement applauded the RBA’s action and pointed out that Indigenous people had existed for 65,000 years prior to British arrival.
According to Australian Republic Movement chair Craig Foster, “Australia believes in meritocracy, thus the concept that someone should be on our currency by birthright is irreconcilable, as is the notion that someone should be our head of state by birthright.”
“At a moment of truth-telling, reconciliation, and ultimately formal, cultural, and intellectual independence, it is no longer justifiable to suggest that an unelected king should be on our money in place of First Nations chiefs, elders, and eminent Australians.”
The decision, according to the Australian Monarchist League, was “essentially neo-communism in action.”
The statement read, “This government has unilaterally moved to eliminate the King’s head from Australia’s five dollar note before a referendum is held on whether the people wish to maintain the King as sovereign or choose a President.
Without a doubt, that is not Australian democracy.
Since 1923, a British monarch has appeared on Australian banknotes. Elizabeth II was crowned in 1953, and she previously appeared on all paper pieces.
The new $1 note from 1966 was first issued with the queen’s face on it.
A bark picture by Indigenous artist David Malangi Daymirringu was used as inspiration for the design of the first $1 notes, which also featured images of Aboriginal rock paintings and carvings.
Since 1992, the visage of the queen has gazed down at Australians from the polymer $5 note.
However, the governor of the central bank, Philip Lowe, revealed three months ago that discussions with the government on whether to forego replacing the queen’s portrait with a portrait of King Charles III had already started.
The bank has not stated that it has any plans to get rid of the royal portrait on Australian coins.