In Australia, the image of the British sovereign will disappear from banknotes

British sovereigns will disappear from banknotes in Australia, where the portrait of Elizabeth II will be replaced on the new five-dollar bill by a design that respects Aboriginal culture, but not by the portrait of Charles III, the country’s central bank announced on Thursday. The five dollar note is currently the only one in Australia to feature the image of a British monarch.

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The Reserve Bank of Australia said Aboriginal people would be consulted on the new design, which would “respect the culture and history of early Australians”. He said it would take “several years” to design and print the new banknote. Banknotes bearing the image of the late Queen already in circulation will continue to be legal tender.

Abolition of monarchy

The death of Queen Elizabeth on 8 September was marked by a national day of mourning in Australia, a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, whose official head of state, Charles III, was represented by the Governor-General. But some indigenous groups denounced the destructive effects of British colonialism and called for the abolition of the monarchy.

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The central bank said its decision was supported by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s centre-left Labor government, which supports a possible move towards an Australian republic.

The Australian Republic Movement (ARM) applauded the disappearance of the image of sovereigns, pointing out that Aboriginal peoples predated British colonization by 65,000 years. “Australia believes in meritocracy and the idea that someone can be on our currency because of their bloodline is irreconcilable, as is the idea that they can be a leader of our country by birthright,” said WARC President Craig Foster. “First Nations leaders and elders and “To think that an unelected king should be on our currency instead of mainstream Australians can no longer be justified in a time of truth, reconciliation and ultimately peace, formal, cultural and intellectual freedom,” he added.

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