People in Australia have been putting forward a number of suggestions for who should take the place of Queen Elizabeth II on the country’s banknotes, with zookeeper and national treasure Steve Irwin being one of the most popular candidates.
The head of state of Australia is the British monarch, and her image is featured on the currency of the country.
Following the passing of Queen Elizabeth II on September 8, the Australian National Bank announced that King Charles III would replace the late monarch’s image on their $5 bills the following day.
The same can be said for the coins that will be struck with a portrait of King Charles on them. According to a custom that dates back to the 17th century and states that the direction of the image must be changed whenever there is a new monarch, the statue will be turned so that it faces to the left.
This modification will not be carried out immediately; instead, circulation of the coins will begin in 2023, followed by that of the notes (though no date has been confirmed for this – so no one needs to fret about getting their money changed).
“All Australian banknotes issued from 1913 retain their legal tender status,” a spokesperson for the Reserve Bank of Australia said, according to The Guardian.
“We will plan for an update to the $5 banknote design in due course. Creating the design for new banknotes is a complex process.
“It can be several years [between] when a banknote is printed and when it is issued into circulation depending on demand from the public and the need to replace banknotes that have become worn in circulation.”
In spite of these plans, calls from Australians for a different face to appear on their country’s currency have not been stopped, and the name of the late Steve Irwin appears to be the most frequently requested option.
Irwin, also known as “the Crocodile Hunter,” passed away in September 2006 after being pierced in the chest by a stingray barb. The incident led to Irwin’s death.
can we get a petition to get steve irwin's face on money in place of the queen going?
it's what we all want
— secret art project (@hexthesun) September 9, 2022
Steve Irwin deserves our highest form of currency. The $5 note will explode in vale if we put him on that note.
— FancyRefined (@24viva) September 8, 2022
In a post on the “straya” forum on Reddit with the title “RIP Queen Betty,” other people who have passed away who were suggested were Dame Edna and the characters Kath and Kim from an Australian sitcom. Another user commented: “Just wanna see our nation’s proudest bird on our coins. The Bin Chicken.”
“Considering the cultural history of Straya taking the p*** out of itself I completely support putting bin chickens on coins,” another person added.