Australia Day 2012
26 January 2012
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On Australia Day the Bank's Museum of Australian Currency Notes was open to the public. Visitors viewed the Museum's permanent collection, and learnt the story of our currency against the backdrop of Australia's economic and social development from colonial settlement through to the current era of polymer notes. Visitors had the final chance to explore the ‘Hidden History of Banking’ exhibit of original records of convicts' deposits held by the Bank and learn about the convicts who appear on our banknotes. On the centenary of Sir Douglas Mawson's Australasian Antartic Expedition visitors could see the first $100 banknote in his honour.
Hidden History of Banking
Although convicts are often portrayed as penniless, they usually arrived with sums of money. This display showcases original records of convicts' deposits held by the Reserve Bank, and interprets the relationship between convicts and money through historical documents, paintings, literature, artefacts and film. In the 20th century, convicts like Francis Greenway and Mary Reibey appeared on Australian currency notes.
On the centenary of Sir Douglas Mawson's historic Australasian Antarctic Expedition, we highlight the first $100 banknote (issued in 1984) featuring the great explorer. During his Expedition, Mawson and his men undertook scientific research in unimaginably harsh conditions. Sir Douglas Mawson's inclusion on the $100 banknote is as much a tribute to his strength and determination as to his drive to understand more about the world around him. See this banknote and related reference material.
Get to Know Your Banknotes
Talk to staff from the Reserve Bank's Note Issue Department about the range of security features on Australia's banknotes and learn why the rate of counterfeiting in Australia is among the lowest in the world. Pick up one of our counterfeit detection brochures. Find out more about the banknote design and production process. Ask questions about the people whose portraits appear on our banknotes.