$100 Banknote

The $100 polymer banknote was first issued on 15 May 1996.

The front of the $100 banknote featuring Dame Nellie Melba. The back of the $100 banknote featuring Sir John Monash.

Who's who on the $100 banknote

In her lifetime, Dame Nellie Melba achieved international recognition as a soprano. Melba debuted in 1887 in Verdi's Rigoletto in Brussels and went on to sing with great success in London, Paris, Milan, New York and other major cities. Her most famous role was Mimi in Puccini's La Bohème. Although she toured the world, Melba found time for civic work in Australia, including raising funds for war charities. Dame Nellie's homecoming in 1902 involved an Australian and New Zealand concert tour (the tour program is depicted on the banknote).

Sir John Monash, a soldier, engineer and administrator, was one of Australia's greatest military commanders. During World War I, Monash served in Gallipoli and on the Western Front. His greatest victory was at Hamel. This battle inspired a succession of victories, culminating in the breaking of the Hindenburg Line. Throughout the 1920s, Sir John maintained a strong public profile, represented returned soldiers and frequently advised on military and engineering matters. He held a number of prominent civilian positions, including head of Victoria's State Electricity Commission. Towards the end of his life, Sir John was instrumental in the building of the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne.

Did you know?

Dame Nellie Melba was born Helen Porter Mitchell. After travelling to Europe in 1886, she adopted the stage name ‘Melba’ in homage to her home town.

As Director-General of Repatriation and Demobilisation, Sir John Monash streamlined procedures for the repatriation of Australian soldiers and presided over the Australian Imperial Forces Education Scheme, which assisted their transition to civilian life.