Australia’s A$50 Note Has a Typo

Posted on 05/21/2019

Millions of AUD50 banknotes in Australia have come with an unexpected typographical error, which was apparently overlooked by the country’s central bank before they were printed and circulated throughout the nation. A radio show broke the news that the Reserve Bank of Australia’s new AUD50 bill has a misspelling of the word “responsibility.” It is the most widely circulated bill in Australia, and accounts for half of the total value of paper currency in use. The note first appeared October 18, 2018, armed with new security features designed to prevent counterfeiting. It also represents a wider array of Australians than earlier currencies had, with tactile features for visually impaired consumers. A substantial number, 46 million, have already been printed according to various media outlets.

The Reserve Bank of Australia has not shown any interest in recalling the bills, likely due to the expense of having them reprinted. The polymer banknote was in development for several years, making use of advanced printing techniques, and comes with two coats of varnish. An RBA spokeswoman shared that the bank was “aware of it and the spelling will be corrected at the next print run.” The error appears in Edith Cowan’s printed speech to the Australian Parliament. Cowan was the first woman elected to a legislative body in Australia. Her tenure ran from 1921 to 1924. The banknote also bears the name and likeness of David Unaipon. RBC’s museum recognizes him as a lauded “Activist, inventor, musician, preacher and Australia’s first published Aboriginal author.”