Odd Things About Australian Money

Recently I was invited on a tour overseas to meet with other entrepreneurs, investors and philanthropists, and in travelling to different countries, I had to consider the currency I was using.

Being an Australian, I admit that there are so many aspects of Australian money that I just don’t know.

As we go on our everyday lives, we often overlook the very interesting and quirky facts about money even though we typically handle our coins, cash and credit cards numerous times each day.

Yet if you’re an entrepreneur or business person, wouldn’t you like to know a little bit more about money especially when most of us are trying to get more of it?

Weird Facts About Aussie Money

I’m going to specifically use Australia examples of money here because it just relates to me more, and I found it fascinating that there were so many weird things about money that I just didn’t know.

For instance, did you know that:

  • Before the term “Australian dollar” came about, there were a number of strange currency names that were proposed such as the “roo”, the “kwid”, the “boomer”, the “oz”, the “dinkum”, the “kanga” and the “austral”. At the time, Prime Minister Menzies even influenced the proposals with the “ming” after his nickname and his top suggestion of the “royal”. The “dollar” was eventually chosen as the name.
  • Australian money notes are made from plastic polymer technology. The polymer note technology was developed in Australia after the Reserve Bank of Australia discovered several instances of counterfeiting of the former $10 paper notes. Australia was the first country worldwide to use a completed system of polymer money notes, and many other countries have since followed Australia’s innovation.
  • The Australian dollar is one of the most traded currencies in the world. It is well received by currency traders around the globe because of Australia’s reputation of relatively high interest rates, a stable political system and economy, less government intervention and diversification in the Asia-Pacific region.
    While you may have found these facts to be interesting, let’s take a closer look at Australian money, literally.

A Closer Look at Australian Money Notes

There are some very interesting stories that you’ll discover if you carefully examine your Australian notes and coins. You’ll find that there are a number of Australian icons and famous people, many of which you may not have even learned about before.

Although you’ll be pleasantly surprised because if you do some further research, you’ll realise that these Aussie icons certainly are “noteworthy” – even for today’s business people and entrepreneurs.

Australian $50 Note: David Unaipon, Indigenous Inventor

Take the example of the Australian $50 note. Take out your wallet, and look at your $50 note, and there you’ll find the picture of David Unaipon, Australia’s own “Leonardo Da Vinci”.

He is a famous and inspirational indigenous Australian inventor who used innovations to take out provisional patents for 19 inventions. The most successful of his inventions can be found in the provisional patent 15 624 which was a shearing device that used straight line movements that are used in modern mechanical shears today.

A$20 Note (One Side): Mary Reibey, Successful Businesswoman

Australian businesspeople will be fascinated when they check out the face on a $20 note. There you’ll discover the picture of Mary Reibey who gained the reputation of having strong business acumen and charisma as a businesswomen in the early colony of New South Wales. For instance, she ran and expanded a number of shipping operations.

Not only was she a leading business entrepreneur, but she was also involved in a number of social concerns and charitable work during her time, such as philanthropy and leadership in the advancement of education.

A$20 Note (Other Side): John Flynn, Founder of World’s First Air Ambulance

Entrepreneurs who are interested in social concerns, especially social entrepreneurs, will want to pay attention to the figure on the other side of the Australian $20 note. The man pictured there is John Flynn who founded the world’s first air ambulance which is today known as the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

Flynn combined new technologies at the time, including radio and aircraft, in order to provide a more responsive medical service for Australians living in the outback. Flynn helped to grow the air medical service nationwide while being the public face for the organisation and helping to raise funds to continue the work of the service.

More than Just a Piece of Paper

Business and entrepreneurship is often about making more money so that you can grow and expand the enterprise and provide even more value in the form of quality goods and services.

Money does help make the economy of the world go around, but there has been such a complex history and development behind it. There’s also very interesting and weird facts about the coins and cash that make up the money system, especially for Australian money.

Most notably, when you examine the pictures of the people that are on the notes of Australian money, you’ll discover some very inspirational business leaders, inventors and social entrepreneurs who can inspire us today.