Australia has announced that it will not be replacing the image of the late Queen Elizabeth II on its banknote with an image of King Charles III.
Australia's central bank has announced it will remove the image of the British monarch from its banknotes and replace it with a new design that champions the local long-standing culture.
King Charles snubbed from $5 notes
Australians mourned after Queen Elizabeth II's death on September 8, 2022, but their $5 note will not feature the newly crowned King, which means that there will be no more British monarchs on Australian banknotes.
According to the Independent, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) said on February 2 that it would consult with First Australians to aid in the production of the new local design. First Australians is the country's national Indigenous-led organization that supports entrepreneurs.
This move by the RBA was praised by local supporters of the country. They emphasize that indigenous people settled in Australia 65,000 years before the British colonization, and their legacy continues to exist today.
Explaining the decision, the RBA said that it was supported by the government of Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, a proponent of Australia's transition to a republican country.
Why did Australia snub King Charles from its notes?
Previously in Australia, after the death of the head of state, the country would re-print money with the image of the new head of state. However, following the Queen's passing, several indigenous ethnic groups in Australia insist they oppose the effects of British colonialism, calling for the abolition of the monarchy on its banknotes.
According to an October 2022 The Sydney Morning Herald poll, more people would prefer the Aussie $5 bill to feature Australians, with 43% voting in favor, while only 34% saying King Charles III was their choice.
Craig Foster, president of the Australian Republican Movement, emphasized the importance of local heritage:
'Australia believes in meritocracy. Therefore, the idea that someone deserves to benefit from our money by inheritance is not acceptable, nor is it acceptable to assume that someone deserves to benefit from our money. they should be the head of state by birth.'
He continued and explained why King Charles won't feature on its notes:
'The idea that an unelected king should be on our currency in place of Aboriginal leaders, elders and prominent Australians is no longer logical.'
Existing notes can still be used
The new bill will take several years to design and print, while the existing Australian $5 note will still be usable after the new banknote is introduced, reports the Guardian.
According to CNN, images of the British monarch appeared on Australian banknotes from 1923 and on all denominations until 1953, when Queen Elizabeth II was crowned. Her face has appeared on the Australian 1-dollar bill since 1966. Since 1984, Australia has replaced the 1 dollar banknote with coins. The portrait of Queen Elizabeth has appeared on the A$5 polymer note since 1992.
Throughout the years, the Queen's image has been emblazoned on several banknotes and coins through the Commonwealth - an association of 54 countries, most of which were once colonies of Great Britain.
According to the Times, Australia is one of 14 parliamentary monarchies in the Commonwealth that still recognize the King of Great Britain as head of state, but the title is largely symbolic.