Australian Fifty Dollar Banknotes

Ian Clunies Ross
Ian Clunies Ross was born in Bathurst, New South Wales on February 22, 1899. Clunies Ross was at the height of his powers in his early years as head of C.S.I.R.O. and was able to reap the benefits of a series of glittering successes. Radio astronomy, the discovery of the role of minor elements in animal and plant physiology, the dissemination of myxomatosis virus for the control of rabbits, and improvements in wool processing combined to propel the organization to national prominence. He also developed an immunization for dogs to protect against the dog-tick.Sir Ian died of atherosclerotic heart disease on 20 June 1959 in Melbourne and was buried in Box Hill cemetery.
Lord Howard Walter Florey
Lord Howard Walter Florey was born on 24 September 1898 at Malvern, Adelaide. Although Florey made advances in many fields of experimental pathology, by far his greatest contribution to science was the development of penicillin as a systemic antibacterial agent, thus inaugurating the antibiotic era.He died of myocardial infarction on the 21st of February 1968.
David Unaipon
David Unaipon was born on 28 September 1872 at the Point McLeay Mission, South Australia. By 1909 Unaipon had developed and patented a modified handpiece for shearing. From the early 1920s Unaipon studied Aboriginal mythology and compiled his versions of legends – he was influenced by the classics and by his researches into Egyptology at the South Australian Museum.He died at Tailem Bend Hospital on the 7th of February 1967 and was buried in Point McLeay cemetery.
Dame Edith Cowan
Dame Edith Cowan was born in West Melbourne on the 2nd of August 1861 at Glengarry near Geraldton in Western Australia. The first woman to be elected to an Australian parliament in Western Australia in 1921, she was described as a committed, tireless and public campaigner for women’s and children’s rights from the early twentieth century.Edith Cowan died in Perth on the 9th of June 1932.

The $50 banknote was released into general circulation on 18 October 2018. It celebrates David Unaipon, an inventor and Australia’s first published Aboriginal author, and Edith Cowan, who is best remembered as the first female member of an Australian parliament. Their work is recognised in several design elements on the banknote, including shields from Unaipon’s Ngarrindjeri nation and images portraying the practices of miwi and navel cord exchange about which Unaipon wrote. The banknote also includes pictures of the gumnut brooch Cowan had made to symbolise that entry into Parliament was a ‘tough nut to crack’ for women, and the King Edward Memorial Hospital, a women’s and maternity hospital that she helped establish.

Innovative new security features have been incorporated in the new $50 banknote to help keep them secure from counterfeiting. These security features are similar to those in the $5 and $10 banknotes issued in 2016 and 2017, such as the top-to-bottom clear window that contains a number of dynamic features including a reversing number and flying bird. There is also a patch with a rolling colour effect and microprint featuring excerpts of Unaipon’s book Legendary Tales of the Australian Aborigines and Cowan’s maiden speech to Western Australian parliament.

Each banknote in the new series will feature a different species of native Australia wattle and bird. The $50 banknote features the Acacia humifusa and the Black Swan (Cygnus atratus), Unaipon’s ngaitji, or totem, and the bird of Cowan’s home state of Western Australia.

As previously announced, key aspects of the existing design – colour, size and people portrayed – have been retained for ease of recognition and to minimise the disruption to businesses. The new banknote series also has a ‘tactile’ feature to help the vision-impaired community distinguish between different denominations of banknotes.

updated; 15/12/2018