Australia's banknotes are an important representation of its cultural identity, values and history. Illustrated with digital interactives and a selection of historical objects, our permanent exhibition tells the story of Australia's banknotes in the context of the nation's social, cultural and economic history from the colonial period to the present day.
Before SunsetTEMPORARY EXHIBITION
‘Before Sunset’ is an exhibition concerning the role of the Bank during the critical years of World War I (1914–1918). The Commonwealth Bank of Australia was required to manage the raising of funds for the war effort.
Collection SpotlightTEMPORARY EXHIBITION
The Museum presents a regularly changing display of documents and objects from the Bank's rich and diverse archival collection. These ‘collection spotlight’ displays present items that have rarely been seen before by the public.
The Reserve Bank of Australia's building was designed in 1959. Dr HC Coombs appreciated the symbolic importance of establishing a distinct public profile for the Reserve Bank in order to ensure public recognition and confidence in the institution.
Make Your Money Fight
The Bank played an important role in raising war loans during the World War II (1939–1945). These loans raised crucial funds for the war effort and contained the risk of uncontrolled inflation.
The Bank and Sir Sidney Nolan
During his career, Sir Sidney Nolan (1917–1992) developed close relations with the Reserve Bank and its Governor, Dr HC Coombs.
Notable Australians contains biographies of all identities who have been represented on banknotes spanning from 1923 to the current banknotes.
From Bank to Battlefield
The First World War saw the emergence of central banking in Australia. The Reserve Bank honours those staff who helped found a national institution.
The Decimal Revolution14 FEBRUARY 2016
The introduction of decimal currency on 14 February 1966 was a major milestone in the nation's social and economic history.
Pocket MoneyMAY 2012 – NOVEMBER 2014
From the Reserve Bank's archives: illustrated literature and comic books from the 1950s and 1960s that encouraged children's interest in saving.
Centenary Celebrations for $100 ManJANUARY 2012 – JANUARY 2013
In the centenary year of Mawson's Australasian Antarctic Expedition, we highlight the first $100 banknote (issued in 1984) featuring the great explorer.
Hidden History of BankingJANUARY 2010 – FEBRUARY 2012
Showcasing original records of convicts deposits held by the Reserve Bank, interpretsing the relationship between convicts and money.
Reflections of Martin PlaceJANUARY 2010 – JANUARY 2011
To mark its 50th anniversary, the Reserve Bank's facade has been transformed into a gallery of photographs portraying historical events in Martin Place.
Planned for ProgressJULY 2010 – APRIL 2011
Our 50th anniversary celebration explored the building's architecture, sculpture, corporate emblem, furniture and paintings.