King Charles’ portrait won’t feature on Australia’s new five dollar banknote

The late Queen Elizabeth’s portrait will not be replaced by King Charles

King Charles’ portrait will not feature on Australia’s new five dollar banknote, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has announced.

Instead, the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II will be replaced with a design honouring indigenous Australians to pay tribute to “the culture and history of the First Australians”. 

The decision comes following consultation with the Australian government. The RBA currently has no plans to change the design of any other Australian banknotes, a spokesperson told the BBC.

They added it has also not yet set a date for when it will reveal the new five dollar note design.

Queen Elizabeth’s portrait has featured on the five dollar note since 1992 and is drawn from photographs commissioned by the Reserve Bank in 1984.

An effigy of the Queen will continue to be printed on Australia’s coins until the Royal Australian Mint transitions to a portrait of the King later this year.

Much of Australia’s currency already features indigenous Australian figures and artworks.

The RBA said in a statement: “The Bank will consult with First Australians in designing the $5 banknote.

“The new banknote will take a number of years to be designed and printed. In the meantime, the current $5 banknote will continue to be issued. It will be able to be used even after the new banknote is issued.”

In a 1999 referendum Australian voters chose to keep the British monarch as the country’s head of state, but the country officially changed its national anthem to remove reference to the country being "young and free". The decision has been welcomed by Aboriginal politicians and community leaders.

Lidia Thorpe, a Greens senator and DjabWurrung Gunnai Gunditjmara woman, posted on Twitter: "This is a massive win for the grassroots, First Nations people who have been fighting to decolonise this country.

“First Nations people never ceded our Sovereignty to any King or Queen, ever. Time for a Treaty Republic!”