$20 Banknote

The $20 polymer banknote was first issued on 31 October 1994.

The front of the $20 banknote featuring Mary Reibey. The back of the $20 banknote featuring John Flynn.

Who's who on the $20 banknote

Mary Reibey built substantial business interests in property and shipping operations. Having assumed responsibility for her husband's enterprises after his death in 1811 and subsequently expanding them, Reibey earned a reputation as an astute and successful businesswoman in the colony of New South Wales. In later life, she became known for her charitable work and interest in the church and education. Images of the schooner Mercury and a building in George Street, Sydney, both of which Reibey owned, are shown on the banknote.

Reverend John Flynn pioneered the world's first aerial medical service, now known as the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Flynn was instrumental in establishing the Presbyterian Church's Australian Inland Mission, a network of nursing hostels. Keenly aware of the isolation of the people of inland Australia, he believed that a ‘mantle of safety’ could only be created through an aerial medical service and the introduction of radio communications. Despite many setbacks, Flynn's vision became a reality when the DeHavilland 50 aircraft Victory (pictured on the banknote) embarked on the maiden flight in 1928.

Did you know?

Mary Reibey was a convict, sentenced to seven years transportation when she was just 13 for stealing a horse. She was disguised as a boy at the time, assuming the identity ‘James Burrow’.

The camel shown on the banknote represents one of five camels purchased by Reverend John Flynn in 1913 for his Patrol Padres, who undertook mission work throughout central Australia.