Reserve Bank of Australia

A New Era – Polymer Currency Notes: 1988 Onwards

Summary

Australia's currency notes were transformed in this period. They were converted from a paper to a polymer (or 'plastic') base and substantially redesigned.

By the centenary of Federation, Australia had an internationally unique set of currency notes based on homegrown technology and skills. Polymer note technology was being exported to many other countries – a sharp contrast indeed with the struggle to produce our first notes nearly a century earlier when technology and expertise had to be imported.