A new ‘tactile’ feature to help people who are blind or who have low vision to distinguish between bank notes is set to become a key feature of the design of the new $20 note.
In releasing details on Friday ahead of its drop into circulation in October, the Reserve Bank of Australia said the $20 note will have three raised bumps along each edge.
An RBA spokesperson said all denominations in the new banknote series have the tactile feature.
“The new $5, released in 2016, has one bump on each long edge of the banknote. The $10, which came out in 2017, has two bumps and the $50, released last year, has four bumps.
“The new $20, which will be released in October, will have three bumps on each long edge,” she told The New Daily.
Governor Philip Lowe said improved security was also part of the new design, which includes a top-to-bottom clear window that contains dynamic elements, including a flying kookaburra that moves its wings and changes colour, and a reversing number ‘20’.
“Improved security and ease of recognition are important characteristics of the new $20 banknote,” he said in a statement on Friday.
“The same innovative security features from the previously released $5, $10 and $50 banknotes have been incorporated to help keep them secure from counterfeiting,” he said.
The design of the new $20 was revealed today. The banknote will enter circulation in October.
— RBA (@RBAInfo) February 21, 2019
The new note will keep the portraits of two significant Australians, ex-convict, entrepreneur and philanthropist Mary Reibey and the Reverend John Flynn, who set up the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) in 1928.
The newly designed banknote also features a RFDS De Havilland Dragon aircraft leaving a remote Broken Hill homestead in 1948 and the ingenious Traegar pedal wireless radio used by the service to improve communication in remote areas.
The RFDS said it was “honoured” to have its legacy continue into the next generation by having a newly drawn portrait of Reverend Flynn.
The RFDS’s Dr Martin Laverty said having Reverend Flynn continue to be recognised on the $20 note also reflected the “Aussie spirit of ‘can do'”.
“The RFDS can reach every part of country Australia, only because so many are willing to reach into their pocket and donate $20 or more to ensure the RFDS can keep flying,” he said.
Liberal MP Tim Wilson posed with a photo of the design of the new $20 note with Governor Philip ahead of an Economics Committee meeting on Friday morning.
Governor of the @RBAInfo presented the new $20 note honouring early Australian entrepreneur Mary Reibey & founder of the @RoyalFlyingDoc, Rev John Flynn at our @AboutTheHouse Economics Committee meeting this morning … pic.twitter.com/e4elT9ThaM
— Tim Wilson MP (@TimWilsonMP) February 22, 2019