Australia to remove the Queen from $5 currency note to honour its indigenous culture
Australia's central bank says it will erase the British monarch from its banknotes, replacing the late Queen Elizabeth II's image on its $5 note. The decision follows consultation with the federal government, which supports the change, the Reserve Bank of Australia said in a statement.
Australia will replace its $5 banknote to represent and honour the heritage of its Indigenous culture in place of the Queen Elizabeth II picture, the nation's central bank said on Thursday.
The federal government, which supports the move, 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.
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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 announced that Queen Elizabeth's picture on $5 notes will not necessarily be replaced by King Charles and might instead be done so by Australian personalities. The Queen's picture was chosen to represent Australia on the $5 note because of her personality rather than because she was the monarch, according to the authorities.
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Australia officially changed its national anthem in 2021 to remove the phrase "young and free" in response to requests to acknowledge that its Indigenous people are the world's oldest civilisation. It will take a number of years to design and print the new banknote. Until then, the current note will continue to be issued.