Australia’s new $20 note has been cheekily revealed online in a “sneak peek” ahead of its release in later in 2019.
The new $20 features updated portraits of convict-turned-businesswoman Mary Reibey and Royal Flying Doctor Service pioneer Reverend John Flynn, who also feature on the existing note.
It will also have the new security features already incorporated in the $5, $10 and $50 banknotes that have been issued progressively by the Reserve Bank of Australia since 2016.
These include a top-to-bottom clear window that contains dynamic features, a patch with a rolling colour effect and microprint featuring excerpts of Reverend Flynn’s book The Bushman’s Companion and the names of ships owned by Reibey.
The RBA’s production team will no doubt be desperately hoping it does not also repeat the embarrassing spelling mistakes that a keen-eyed consumer picked up on in the new $50.
That mistake has been corrected – but not before 46 million of the new notes were printed.
Putting the first-printed $50 notes under a microscope reveals typos in the reverse text of Edith Cowan’s maiden speech to Western Australian Parliament.
In the phrase “it is a great responsibility to be the only woman here”, the word “responsibility” is misspelt as “responsibilty” – twice.
Indeed, the first response to the cheeky image of the new $20 uploaded to Reddit on Wednesday is a warning to the Reserve Bank: “I hope they ran this one through the spellchecker”.
“I still call that spelling mistake an anti-counterfeiting feature,” another responder said. “Anyone counterfeiting the bills is going to spell it correctly.”
The RBA revealed the design of the new $20 in February but it will not be in general circulation until October.
“The new $20 banknote continues to celebrate the lives of two outstanding Australians,” Governor Philip Lowe said at the time.
“Their stories are told through the images we have incorporated on the banknote, which provide a rich and diverse narrative about their life in Australia.”
The new banknotes also have a “tactile” feature to help people who are blind or who have low vision to distinguish between different denominations. On the $20, this is three raised bumps on each of its long edges.
Existing $20 banknotes can continue to be used, as all previously issued banknotes remain legal tender. It is expected the $100, which will complete the set of new notes, will be released next year.