New $100 bill marks historic milestone for Australian currency

29 October 2020

A historic milestone has been reached in Australia, with all denominations of Australian banknotes now accessible to people who are blind or have low vision.

The next generation of Australia’s $100 banknote was today released into public circulation by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA).

Like all new banknotes released by the RBA since 2016, the new $100 note features raised bumps on the note’s long edges to allow people who are blind or have low vision to easily identify it.

Chris Edwards, Vision Australia manager of government relations and advocacy, said the accessible banknotes mean he, and others who are blind or have low vision, have the same independence when using cash as the rest of the population.  

“The release of the new $100 banknote means people who are blind or have low vision can now independently identify all of Australia’s currency,” Chris said.

“More than 350,000 Australians are blind or have low vision and the tactile features now found on all Australian banknotes mean they are able to accurately and independently identify and use cash just like the rest of the Australian population,” he said.

“Cash may not be used as predominantly as it was in the past, but it’s still an important part of day to day life for many Australians and it’s vital people who are blind or have low vision can utilize it if and when they need to.”

A finger on the four dots of the tactile feature of the new $100 bill
Caption: The $100 bill now includes a tactile feature like all other Australian banknotes

The $5 note was the first Australian banknote to include the tactile feature in 2016 following a petition launched by then teenager Connor McLeod and the RBA has launched one new with the tactile features each year since then.

Chris said the blind and low vision community across Australia is grateful for the efforts of both Connor and the RBA in delivering accessible banknotes.

“Connor is a great example of the power of personal advocacy and how people who are blind or have low vision or live with any other disability can bring about positive change. Connor’s desire to be able to identify money has resulted in a life-changing impact for hundreds of thousands of Australians.

“It’s very pleasing that the RBA listened to Connor and the wider blind and low vision community and were so receptive and committed to including the tactile features in the new banknotes. The release of each new banknote has been a great example of how organisations can work to make society more accessible and inclusive and that should be celebrated.”

More information about the new $100 banknote is available from the RBA.

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For further media enquiries: Phil McCarroll, 0416 632 253