Australia’s currency will replace its portraits honoring the royal family in favor of representing aboriginal culture, the country’s central bank announced Thursday.
The government and central bank made the decision not to put King Charles III’s portrait on the $5 banknote after the death of Queen Elizabeth II reportedly sparked debate over how connected Australia sitll is with the commonwealth. Although Australians decided to keep the monarchy as their head of state, the bank will pass over Charles, who leads the commonwealth, for something that will represent indigenous culture on its currency, Reuters reported. (RELATED: GOP Rep Introduces Bill That Would Protect National Monument From Being Demolished)
The banknote will still feature the Australian parliament on the back, the Associated Press (AP) reported. King Charles’ portrait will likely still be printed on coins that currently bear Queen Elizabeth II’s likeness.
Australia will replace the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II from its A$5 currency note with a new design to honor the history of its Indigenous culture https://t.co/C1laBBaMUh pic.twitter.com/235giYn2jN
— Reuters (@Reuters) February 2, 2023
Australia’s left-leaning Labor Party has pushed since roughly July to hold a referendum that would alter the constitution and expand the country’s indigenous aboriginal population’s say in parliamentary decisions, Reuters reported.
“There’s no question about this, that it’s directed by the government and I think the Prime Minister should own up to it,” the right-leaning Liberal Party leader Peter Dutton told Australian radio station 2GB, according to the outlet.
The decision to remove the royals garnered a range of reactions.
“The queen is amazing and so we should keep her, in like, loving memory of her,” one Sydney, Australia, resident told CBS News. “Maybe the king can go on another note, but keep the queen.”
“I think that it’s absolutely brilliant. This is Australia, let’s have some indigenous culture on our note, and let’s showcase who we really are. It’s not about the commonwealth anymore,” another Sydney resident said, according to a video posted by Reuters.