The Reserve Bank, Australia's central bank, is responsible for Australia's currency notes. The Museum tells the story of our currency notes against the background of Australia's economic and social development.
This fascinating story is illustrated through a number of stages.
After some chaotic currency experiments, the discovery of gold led to the production of Australian gold coins and boosted the issue of private bank notes. But by Federation, Australia did not have a national currency.
The first Australian currency notes were produced. They reflected the new nation's heavy dependence on the land and a few rural products and minerals.
In this period, Australia's currency notes changed several times, mainly in response to changes in the British Monarchy but the designs continued to reflect our economic development.
The Reserve Bank was established and decimal currency introduced. A distinctively Australian series of currency notes was issued which captured Australia's emerging social and cultural diversity and its contribution to the wider world.
Australia created the world's first series of polymer currency notes and exported polymer note technology to many other countries.
The introduction of decimal currency required the education of a nation. It was the job of the Decimal Currency Board, and an animated character Dollar Bill, to assist Australians with the transition from pounds, shillings and pence to dollars and cents.