The Decimal Revolution
50th Anniversary of Decimal Currency in Australia
The introduction of decimal currency on 14 February 1966 was a major milestone in the nation’s social and economic history. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary, learn about the decision to decimalise, the design of the new and distinctively Australian currency, and the way in which the decimal system was explained to households and businesses.
A distinctively Australian set of banknotes was issued that captured the emerging diversity of Australia and its contribution to the wider world.
The new decimal currency banknotes exhibited colours and designs that were bolder and more vivid than the previous banknotes.
The people on the new decimal currency banknotes have made defining contributions to Australian society in many fields of endeavour.
Gordon Andrews, the designer of the new currency and the Bank’s emblem, was a graphic and industrial design pioneer.
Other prominent designers participated in a competition to design the new series of banknotes. Three were highly commended.
The character of Dollar Bill appeared in a publicity campaign to explain decimal currency and help Australians adjust to this major change.
A major public education campaign was undertaken to help Australians adapt to the new currency, using TV through to play money.
On display in the Bank’s Museum are design elements, banknotes and materials related to the new decimal currency.
Fascinating film footage and newsreels related to the launch of decimal currency are available, along with reproductions of printed materials.