The New Generation Polymer $20 Banknote, as with the existing banknote, the new $20 features portraits of Mary Reibey and Reverend John Flynn.
Governor Philip Lowe said: ‘The new $20 banknote continues to celebrate the lives of two outstanding Australians. 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.’
Mary Reibey arrived in Australia as a convict, but soon broke out of rigidly defined social norms to earn a reputation as an astute and successful businesswoman running her shipping and trading enterprises. She also became known for her support of charity, religion and education. Reibey’s story is illustrated on the new $20 banknote through an image of a Port Jackson schooner in Sydney Cove in the early 1800s, similar to the type owned by Mary Reibey. Beside it is a traditional Eora nowie (canoe). Aboriginal women fishing from these vessels were a common sight on the harbour in Reibey’s time
John Flynn pioneered the world’s first aerial medical service in 1928, now known as the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS), to spread a ‘mantle of safety’ across 7.65 million square kilometres of outback. Today, it remains the largest and most comprehensive aeromedical emergency and healthcare service in the world. His stories are told through a RFDS De Havilland aircraft leaving a remote Broken Hill homestead in 1948 and a pedal-powered transceiver used by the service to improve communication in remote areas.
The new banknotes also has a “tactile” feature to help people who are blind or who have low vision to distinguish between different denominations of banknotes. On the $20 banknote, this is three raised bumps on each of the long edges.