From tomorrow, people will begin seeing the new $20 as it enters general circulation.
The $20 is the fourth denomination in the new series of banknotes that have been released as part of an upgrade to banknote security. It follows the release of the $5, $10 and $50 banknotes over the past three years. The new $100 banknote is expected to be released in 2020.
Governor Philip Lowe said, ‘This is a fantastic new banknote, with world-leading security technology and iconic imagery. Among my favourite features are the top-to-bottom window and the kookaburra, whose wings move up and down as you tilt the banknote. It also provides a great opportunity to tell stories about people and organisations who have contributed to our past and present. One side of the banknote is dedicated to a convict turned astute business person, Mary Reibey, and the other to Reverend John Flynn and the wonderful Royal Flying Doctor Service.’
The new banknote continues to celebrate ingenuity and entrepreneurship, recognising the founder of the world’s first aerial medical service now known as the Royal Flying Doctor Service, Reverend John Flynn and convict turned astute businessperson Mary Reibey. Both pioneers in their fields, their stories are told through the images incorporated into the banknote design, which provide a rich and diverse narrative about their lives in Australia. The microprint includes excerpts from Flynn’s book The Bushman’s Companion and the names of Reibey’s ships. In addition to their portraits, basic design elements from the previous series have been retained, including the colour palette and size.
The new banknote also has a ‘tactile’ feature to help people who are blind or who have low vision to distinguish between different denominations of banknotes. On the $20 banknote, this is three raised bumps on each of the long edges of the banknote.
The existing $20 banknotes can continue to be used as all previously issued banknotes retain their legal tender status. The existing series of banknotes will be withdrawn from circulation over time.
The Reserve Bank has worked closely with banknote equipment manufacturers and retailers to help them prepare ATMs and other banknote authenticating machines to handle the new $20 banknote.