Australian ten-dollar note

Ten dollars
Value10 Australian dollars
Width137 mm
Height65cfs mm
Security featuresWindow, Watermark
Material usedPolymer
Years of printing1993–94, 1996–98, 2002–03, 2006–2008, 2012–2013, 2015, 2017 [1]
2017 Australian ten dollar note obverse.jpg
DesignAndrew Barton (Banjo) Paterson
Design date20 September 2017
2017 Australian ten dollar note reverse.jpg
DesignDame Mary Gilmore
Design date20 September 2017

The Australian ten-dollar note was issued when the currency was changed from the Australian pound to the Australian dollar on 14 February 1966; it replaced the £5 note, which included the same blue colouration. There have been four different issues of this denomination: a paper banknote; a commemorative hi-polymer note, to celebrate the bicentennial of Australian settlement (the first polymer banknote of its kind); the 1993–2017 polymer note; and from September 2017 a polymer note featuring a transparent window.

According to Reserve Bank of Australia statistics, as of June 2017, there were 128 million $10 notes in circulation, with a net value of $1.280 billion. This was 2% of the cash value of all banknotes in circulation, and 8% of the number of all banknotes in circulation.[2]

Since the start of issue of $10 notes, there have been eleven signature combinations, of which the 1967 issue is the most valued. It was issued for one year only, along with the Coombs/Wilson issue of 1966.

Following the issue of a new $5 note in September 2016, the RBA revealed the design for the $10 note and was issued on the 20th of September, 2017.[3]


From 1966 to 1974, the main title identifying the country was Commonwealth of Australia; there were 470,000,000 notes issued in this period. This was subsequently changed to Australia until the end of issue of paper currency for this denomination in 1993, with 1,265,959,091 of these notes being printed. In the 1988 polymer issue, 17,500,000 banknotes were printed and was the new Australia 10-dollar note.


Paper note[]

The people depicted on the paper note issue are architect Francis Greenway, previously a convicted forger, on the obverse along with public buildings he helped construct, and Henry Lawson on the reverse with his poetry and scenes of the outback gold-mining town of Gulgong in the 19th century, including the Times Bakery.[4]

Polymer note[]

The polymer note, designed by Max Robinson, features Andrew Barton (Banjo) Paterson on the obverse with a horse from the Snowy Mountains region, and a wattle plant, also included is his signature. His poetry is in the background. Dame Mary Gilmore is on the reverse with 19th-century heavy transport with horse and cart and verses from her poetry. Her signature is included. A windmill is in the clear window with the raised wavy lines.[5] The $10 note of 2017 retains the themes of the original, with this issue featuring the Bramble Wattle (Acacia victoriae) and the Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita).[6]

1993–2017 polymer note (obverse)
1993–2017 polymer note (reverse)

1988 Commemorative note[]

The obverse design included the sailing ship HMS Supply anchored at Sydney Cove with the early colony in the background. Above are people who symbolise all who have contributed to Australia, from left the early settlers to right the modern working man.

The reverse design reflects the Australian Aboriginal culture and peoples. The main picture is an Aboriginal youth with ceremonial paint by Wayne Williams, with a Morning Star Pole by Terry Yumbulul, other Aboriginal artworks commissioned by the Bank, and a human-like figure from Dreamtime mythology.[7] Yumbulul was criticised from within the Aboriginal community for permitting the reproduction of the pole by the bank and sued the Reserve Bank for breach of copyright. The bank had commissioned an agent to obtain approval, and Yumbulul claimed the agent had misled and deceived him. A Morning Star Pole is culturally significant to the Galpu clan and Yumbulul's right to make the pole came with an obligation to "ensure that it is not used or reproduced in a way that offends against their perceptions of its significance".[8][9] The Reserve Bank settled the case against it; however, the claim against the agent went to trial. Justice Robert French held that the copyright had been validly assigned and that, while Yumbulul may not have fully appreciated the implications of what he was doing in terms of his own cultural obligations, the agent had not engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct.[8][9]

1988 commemorative polymer note (obverse)
1988 commemorative polymer note (reverse)

Security features[]

The paper design included a watermark in the white field of Captain James Cook, the watermark was also used in the last issue of pound banknotes. A metallic strip, first near the centre of the note, then from 1976 moved to the left side on the obverse of the note. Polymer issue includes a shadow image of the coat of arms which is printed over. Embossing or a raised image in the clear window of wavy lines. Also for this issue fluorescent colouring was added to the serial numbers. A star with four points on the obverse and three on the reverse which join under light. Raised print and microprinting of the poem The Man from Snowy River and the denomination value are included.[10][11]

1988 Commemorative This issue includes an optically variable device of Captain James Cook, who first mapped Botany Bay.


  1. ^ "Serial Numbers".
  2. ^ "DISTRIBUTION-CIRCULATION AND PRODUCTION STATISTICS, AS AT END JUNE 2017". Reserve Bank of Australia. Retrieved 20 December 2017.
  3. ^ Next Generation of Banknotes: $10 Design Reveal Reserve Bank of Australia ( February 17, 2017. Retrieved on 2017-02-18.
  4. ^ Australia's first decimal currency notes Archived 22 August 2005 at the Wayback Machine retrieved 20 January 2008
  5. ^ "$10 Banknote".
  6. ^ NEXT GENERATION BANKNOTE PROGRAM Reserve Bank of Australia ( Retrieved on 2017-02-18.
  7. ^ "The Reinvention of Banknotes". Reserve Bank of Australia. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  8. ^ a b Yumbulul v Reserve Bank of Australia [1991] FCA 332 (25 July 1991), Federal Court.
  9. ^ a b "Case study 3: Terry Yumbulul and the ten-dollar note". NSW Educational Standards Authority. Archived from the original on 3 March 2021. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
  10. ^ "Security Features Overview".
  11. ^ "Banknote Features".