Saturday, January 16, 2016

Faces on Australian Banknotes, Part 2: $20, $50, $100 (plus $2 coin)

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$20
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Sir Charles Kingsford Smith


Sir Charles Kingsford Smith (1897–1935) won the Military Cross as a fighter pilot in World War I. In 1926, he set records for a round Australia flight and in 1928, with Charles Ulm and two Americans, made the first successful flight across the Pacific in his aircraft, the Southern Cross.

Later flights included the first return trip to New Zealand, the then fastest flight from Sydney to London (12 days and 18 hours!) followed by his first flight round the world. From 1930 to 1935, Kingsford Smith was engaged in the development of airmail services between Australia and England. His aircraft disappeared on a flight from England to Australia in 1935.
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Lawrence Hargrave


Lawrence Hargrave (1850–1915) worked for a time at Sydney Observatory before devoting years to research on human flight. He experimented extensively with various types of engines and kites and devised the famous cellular or box kite. This work was a big influence on European and American efforts at powered flight. The $20 banknote included representations of some of his drawings of kites and flying machines.
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Mary Reibey



Mary Reibey (1777-1855) was an Englishwoman who was transported to Australia as a convict but went on to become a successful businesswoman in Sydney, building 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. An interesting point is that having been sentenced to seven years transportation when she was just 13 for stealing a horse, she disguised herself as a boy at the time, assuming the identity ‘James Burrow’.

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Reverend John Flynn


Reverend John Flynn (1880-1951) 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.

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.
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$50
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Howard Florey


Lord Howard Walter Florey (1898–1968), an Adelaide-born pathologist, played the vital role in the development of penicillin as an antibiotic drug. For this work, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine in 1945. Between 1960 and 1965, Florey was the President of the Royal Society, a position also held at one time by Sir Isaac Newton. He was also a founder of the Australian National University.
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Sir Ian Clunies Ross


Sir Ian Clunies Ross (1899–1959), a veterinary scientist, is best remembered for his work on parasites affecting livestock and his leading role in the CSIRO. An outstanding public speaker, he sought to bring scientific discoveries to wider public attention.
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Edith Cowan


Edith Cowan (1861–1932) was a social worker and feminist who went on to become Australia’s first female politician. Cowan worked towards – and campaigned strongly for – reforms for women, children and migrants. Her contribution was crucial towards the founding of the Women’s Service Guild and the Children’s Protection Society. The later organisation helped establish the Children’s Court, and Edith was one of the first women appointed to the bench. In 1921, Cowan was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Western Australia. 
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David Unaipon


David Unaipon (1872–1967) was an inventor, writer and public speaker, hailed for his contributions to science. The Ngarrindjeri man only had a basic education; however, he was able to research and invent a number of groundbreaking innovations. In 1909 he developed a new mechanical hand piece for shearing sheep, which changed the motion of the blades from circular to straight. He also designed a centrifugal motor, a multi-radial wheel and a mechanical propulsion device. As early as 1914 he anticipated the design of the helicopter based on the principle of the boomerang. He deservedly gained a reputation of being 'Australia's Leonardo', but was unable to get financial backing to develop and patent his inventions. Unaipon was also Australia’s first published Indigenous writer, with works including newspaper and magazine articles, as well as a 1929 booklet publication, called Native Legends. He was a strong supporter and campaigner for improvements to Indigenous living conditions. The mission school he attended and some of his inventions appear on the banknote which has his portrait.

(Would someone explain the following to me. There is a taboo for indigenous Australians against speaking the name of deceased indigenous people or depicting their images. This is so well known today that films and TV programs contain a caution if any names or images of deceased indigenous Australians are contained in the work. How is it then that the Oz government puts the image and name of a deceased indigenous Australian on its currency?)
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$100
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Sir Douglas Mawson


Sir Douglas Mawson (1882–1958) was featured on the front of the $100 note. Mawson's scientific contributions ranged over a wide area of geology and physics and included three expeditions to the Antarctic. The design depicted Mawson in his Antarctic gear against a background of geological strata formations which he studied in the Flinders Ranges of South Australia.
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John Tebbutt


John Tebbutt (1834–1916) was a pioneer astronomer who helped to lay the foundations for Australia's involvement in astronomy with the discovery of major comets. Tebbutt's portrait is thus set against representations of his observatory at Windsor, New South Wales, and elements to symbolise the sky and comets.
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Dame Nellie Melba


Dame Nellie Melba (1861–1931) was known for her amazing soprano voice – which had an even quality over its three-octave range – and her charitable character. Her voice shot her to international fame after her 1887 Brussels debut in Verdi’s Rigoletto, but her most famous role was that of Mimi in Puccini’s La Bohème. Despite the gruelling schedule her stardom caused, Melba never forgot her roots and participated in a number of charitable causes in Australia. Her 1902 homecoming concert in Australia and New Zealand is depicted on the $100 note. 
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General Sir John Monash


General Sir John Monash, (1865–1931) was one of the greatest military commanders in Australia, as well as an engineer and administrator. Monash served in Gallipoli and on the Western Front during WWI and his outstanding victory at Hamel inspired a succession of further victories, which eventually led to the breaking of the Hindenburg Line. During the 1920s, Monash continued to advise on military and engineering matters, was a representative for returned soldiers and held a number of important civilian positions, such as being the head of Victoria’s State Electricity Commission. Monash played a huge role in the construction of Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance. 
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Jess asked me the identity of the indigenous Australian man depicted on the $2 coin.


Designed by Horst Hahne, the reverse image on the $2 coin depicts an Aboriginal Elder, inspired by an Ainslie Roberts drawing of Gwoya Jungarai, known as One Pound Jimmy. However, the design is not intended to depict any person in particular.

Gwoya Jungarai (1895 – 1965) was an Australian Aboriginal man of the Anmatyerr people of central Australia. His relatives were killed in the Coniston Massacre in the Northern Territory in 1928. He was the first named Aboriginal person to appear on an Australian stamp, in 1950. 



It is said he got his One Pound name because whenever asked how much it would cost to buy one of the boomerangs he made, his answer was "One pound, boss". However, that has been questioned.
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Some new designs . . .
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Melbourne artist Aaron Tyler felt the faces on the current notes were relevant once but that they didn’t strike a chord with modern Australia. He therefore offered some redesigned the banknotes to make them more relevant to present Australia (take the time to also look at the backgrounds and the polymer window):








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