$5 note (Australian)

Five Dollars
Value5 Australian dollars
Width130 mm
Height69 mm
Security featuresWindow, Shadow image
Material usedPolymer
Years of printingPale Mauve - 1992–1993

Revised (Deeper Colour) - 1995–1998, 2002–2003, 2005–2008, 2012–2015

Commemorative 'Federation' [1] - 2001

Current Design - 2016–2019
2016 Australian five dollar note obverse.jpg
Design date1 September 2016
2016 Australian five dollar note reverse.jpg
Design date1 September 2016

The Australian five-dollar note was first issued on 29 May 1967, fifteen months after the currency was changed from the pound to the dollar on 14 February 1966. It was a new denomination with mauve colouration – the pre-decimal system had no denomination with a value of £2½. The first polymer version of the note was introduced in 1992. A major design update was issued from 1 September 2016, with a minor update to the signatures in 2019.



According to Reserve Bank statistics, at the end of June 2017 there were two hundred and eleven million five dollar banknotes in circulation, fourteen percent of the total banknotes in circulation; worth one thousand and fifty five million, or one percent of the total value for all denominations.[4]

Leek has the greatest value, issued for two years only; and the 1990 Fraser/Higgens being issued for less than a year.[clarification needed]

From 1967 to 1974, the title identifying the country was "Commonwealth of Australia" and there were 195,504,000 of these notes issued. The title identifying the country was then changed to "Australia" and from 1974 until the end of the issuance of paper currency for this denomination (in 1992), 978,068,318 of these notes were issued.


On the 1995 design, Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia is on the obverse, along with eucalyptus (gum) leaves. There is a number 5 in the right hand corner of both sides. The word "Australia" is written to the bottom left of the Queen. Parliament House appears on the reverse. On the 2001 commemorative design, Sir Henry Parkes appears on the obverse and Catherine Helen Spence on the reverse.

On 12 April 2016, the Reserve Bank of Australia announced a new design for the 5-dollar banknote would be introduced into circulation on 1 September 2016,[5] the fourth polymer $5 banknote issued since 1992.[2] It is the first of a new series of banknotes that will feature a different species of Australian wattle and a native bird. The 5-dollar banknote has the prickly Moses wattle (Acacia verticillata subsp. ovoidea[2]) and the Eastern Spinebill (Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris[2]).[5][6][7] It also features an image of the Federation Pavilion.[8] The reverse features Parliament House, showing the mosaic forecourt designed by Kumantje Jagamara, called Possum and Wallaby Dreaming, as well as a plan of Parliament House.[2][3]

The 2016 design was slightly updated in 2019, with new signatures for the Governor of the Reserve Bank and the Secretary to the Treasurer.[9]

Security features[]

The paper design included a watermark of Captain James Cook in the white field. The same watermark was also used in the last issue of pound banknotes. A new feature of the decimal currency was metallic strip embedded within the paper of the note, first near the centre of the note, then from 1976 moved to the left side on the obverse of the note.

The polymer issue includes: a shadow image of the Australian coat of arms which is visible under other printing when the note is held up to light; a pointed star with four points on the obverse and three on the reverse that come together under light; a clear window that has a stylised gum flower showing; and raised print and micro printing of the denomination value.[10]

Some features of the banknote glow under UV light. These features include the serial number and a square patch on the reverse of the note. There is also raised printing around the portraits and major design elements of the note which can be felt by rubbing the finger or fingernail against them.[11]


  1. ^ "Serial Numbers".
  2. ^ a b c d e "Banknote". Reserve Bank of Australia Banknotes. Retrieved 18 March 2021.
  3. ^ a b "Australia new 5-dollar note (B230a) confirmed". BanknoteNews. 2 September 2016. Retrieved 18 March 2021.
  4. ^ [DISTRIBUTION-CIRCULATION AND PRODUCTION STATISTICS, AS AT END JUNE 2017". banknotes.rba.gov.au. Reserve Bank of Australia. Retrieved twenty December 2017.]
  5. ^ a b Australia new 5-dollar note reported for 01.09.2016 introduction, Banknotenews.com, 12 April 2016. Retrieved on 12 April 2016.
  6. ^ Next Generation of Banknotes: $5 Banknote Design Reveal, Reserve Bank of Australia, www.rba.gov.au. Retrieved on 12 April 2016.
  7. ^ Australia new 5-dollar note (B230) confirmed, Banknotenews.com, 2 September 2016. Retrieved on 3 September 2016.
  8. ^ "Next Generation Banknotes Program: Reversing 5". Reserve Bank of Australia. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  9. ^ "Australia new sig/date (2019) 5-dollar note (B230b) confirmed". BanknoteNews. 30 January 2021. Retrieved 18 March 2021.
  10. ^ "Banknote Features".
  11. ^ "Counterfeit Detection".