Next Generation Banknote Program

The new $20 banknote

The new generation $20 banknote - signature side.

This image shows the signature side of the new $20 banknote.

The new generation $20 banknote - serial number side.

This image shows the serial number side of the new $20 banknote.

About the Designs

The $20 banknote was released into general circulation on 9 October 2019. It celebrates Mary Reibey, a convict who broke out of rigidly defined social norms to earn a reputation as an astute and successful businesswoman, and the Reverend John Flynn, who pioneered the world's first aerial medical service in 1928, now known as the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Reibey's story is recognised on the banknote through an image of a Port Jackson schooner in Sydney Cove in the early 1800s. Beside it is a traditional Eora nowie (canoe). Aboriginal women fishing from these vessels were a common sight on the harbour in Reibey’s time. There are also images depicting an De Havilland Dragon aircraft and a pedal powered transceiver developed to improve communications in remote areas, representing Flynn's story.

Innovative new security features have been incorporated in the new $20 banknote to help keep them secure from counterfeiting. These security features are similar to those in the $5, $10 and $50 banknotes issued progressively since 2016, such as the top-to-bottom clear window that contains a number of dynamic features including a reversing number and flying bird. There is also a patch with a rolling colour effect and microprint featuring excerpts of Flynn's book The Bushman's Companion and the names of ships owned by Reibey.

Each banknote in the new series also features a different species of native Australia wattle and bird. The $20 banknote features the Acacia Buxifolia and the Laughing Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae).

As previously announced, key aspects of the existing design – colour, size and people portrayed – have been retained for ease of recognition and to minimise the disruption to businesses. The new banknote series also has a ‘tactile’ feature to help the vision-impaired community distinguish between different denominations of banknotes.

All banknotes issued by the Reserve Bank remain legal tender and can continue to be used.

Upgrading Australia's Banknotes

A core function of the Reserve Bank is to maintain public confidence in Australia's banknotes. Australia has one of the safest and most secure currencies in the world and has experienced relatively low levels of counterfeiting for many years. To ensure that this continues to be the case, the Reserve Bank researches anti-counterfeit technologies and developments in banknote design. The results of this work have culminated in a project to upgrade the security of Australia's banknotes.

The first denomination in the new series, the $5 banknote, was issued on 1 September 2016. The new $10 banknote was issued into general circulation from 20 September 2017 followed by the new $50 banknote on 18 October 2018. The new $20 was issued into circulation on 9 October 2019 and the new $100 in 2020.

Considerable work has already been undertaken on this project, including the development and review of banknote designs and production trials of new security features. It is important that the new features are durable, effectively incorporated into the banknote designs and rigorously tested. One aspect of this process is that the Reserve Bank has consulted extensively with key users of banknotes, including banknote equipment manufacturers, retail organisations, financial institutions and the vision-impaired community. Advice has also been sought through a number of channels during the development process, including a Design Advisory Panel, subject-matter experts and focus groups comprising members of the public. These ongoing consultations provide an opportunity to ensure that the new banknotes meet the needs of the community.

For more information

9 August 2019
Next Generation of Banknotes: Circulation Date for the New $20 Banknote

22 February 2019
Next Generation $20 Banknote Design Reveal

17 October 2018
Next Generation of Banknotes: $50 Enters General Circulation

5 September 2018
Next Generation of Banknotes: Circulation Date for the New $50 Banknote

15 February 2018
Next Generation of Banknotes: $50 Design Reveal

19 September 2017
Next Generation of Banknotes: $10 Enters General Circulation

15 September 2016
Bulletin article – New Banknotes: From Concept to Circulation
Alternatively download PDF 4.4MB

17 September 2015
Bulletin article – Banknote Stakeholder Engagement
Alternative download as PDF (201KB)

19 March 2015
Bulletin article – Australian Banknotes: Assisting People with Vision Impairment
Alternative download as PDF (1.6MB)

13 February 2015
Media Release – Next Generation Banknotes: Additional Feature for the Vision Impaired

20 March 2014
Bulletin article – The Next Generation Banknote Project
Alternative download as PDF (3.3MB)

27 September 2012
Media Release – Upgrading Australia's Banknotes