Before Federation: To 1900
Aboriginal trade was based on exchange, and did not involve the use of currency. Due to a lack of a suitable currency, barter (as well as other forms of currencies) was used following the British colonisation of 1788.
The beginnings of a private enterprise economy emerged early however, promoting in time the development of banking and the currency. The discovery of gold in 1851 boosted this process.
Proposals for a national bank to issue currency notes emerged at times during the 19th century, mainly in response to economic and financial crises.