Who do you want to replace the Queen on the $5 note?

$5 Note

The death of Elizabeth II creates a vacancy on Australia’s lowest denomination note. But who would you like to replace her? Chuck III is not necessarily the default option.

The $5 note first appeared in 1967 following the introduction of decimal currency. Back in those days, Australia also has $1 and $2 notes and you could buy things with them — like a few packets of cigarettes. Oh Lordy, some of us remember vowing to give up smoking if cigarettes ever hit 50 cents a packet, then 60 cents, and etcetera. Once the purchase required a paper note, we gave up giving up.😮

The first $5 note featured Sir Joseph Banks, the botanist from Cook’s expedition, and Caroline Chisholm, an early advocate of family welfare.

Boomer, Kwid or Dinkum

A competition to name the currency returned suggestions like Austral, Oz, Boomer, Kanga, Zac, Kwid, and Dinkum. All much better than PM Menzies preferred option of the Royal. But in the end, we got a boring old dollar.

Elizabeth II first appeared on the $5 note in 1992 with the introduction of polymer notes. However, having the British — and Australian — head of state on the note is not the default. No one goes to the Tower or loses their head if we leave Charlie’s harried features off our paper currency.

Assistant Treasury Minister Andrew Leigh said last month that the monarch appears on coins as a matter of tradition. He said the same was not the case for paper notes and Charles III need not replace his mother.

“The decision to include the Queen’s face on the $5 note was about her personally rather than about her status as the monarch so that transition isn’t automatic.”

Since then, two different petitions appeared on the Parliament House website calling for Steve Irwin to replace Elizabeth II on the fiver.

But who would you like there?

It seems the Twitterverse has a few ideas.

Here’s an old one from 2016 that the poster hopefully regrets with hindsight.

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Destiny Rogers

Destiny Rogers embarked on her career in the media industry immediately after high school, initially joining Mirror News, which later evolved into News Ltd. She fondly recalls editing Ian Byford's 'Passing Glances: A History of Gay Cairns' as one of her most fulfilling projects. Additionally, Destiny co-researched and co-wrote 'The Queen's Ball', chronicling the history of the world's longest-running continuous queer event. Her investigative work on the history of Australia's COON Cheese and Edward Coon culminated in the publication 'COON: More Holes than Swiss Cheese', a collaborative effort with Dr. Stephen Hagan. Destiny's journey at QNews began as a feature writer, and she was subsequently elevated to the role of Managing Editor of QNews Magazine in 2018. However, in July 2022, she decided to resign from this role to refocus on research and feature writing. For contact, please reach out at destinyr@qnews.com.au.

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  1. Paul
    3 October 2022

    Who uses cash these days? ➡️

  2. Aaron Mclean
    4 October 2022

    Thought decimal currency all came in 14th February 1966 not 1967

    • 4 October 2022

      Hi Aaron,

      It did indeed but according to the Mint, the fiver didn’t go into distribution until 1967.

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