RBA unveils new-look $20 note ahead of October release


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Australians have had their first glimpse of the new $20 note ahead of its release into circulation in October.

The redesigned note still bears the portraits of rural healthcare pioneer Reverend John Flynn, who founded the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS), and Mary Reibey, Sydney businesswoman and philanthropist who first came to Australia as a convict.

"The new $20 banknote continues to celebrate the lives of two outstanding Australians," says RBA Governor Philip Lowe.

new $20 note rba royal australian mint rev john flynn banknote currency

"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."

In pioneering the RFDS, Flynn's goal was to provide medical services and healthcare to Australians across more than 7.6 million square kilometres of outback.

A sketch of a RFDS De Havilland Dragon leaving a remote homestead north of Broken Hill, based on a historic photo, is pictured alongside Flynn.

"Having the RFDS and its founder John Flynn recognised on the $20 note reflects the Aussie spirit of 'can do'," says Martin Laverty, CEO of RFDS.

"The RFDS can reach every part of country Australia, only because so many are willing to reach into their pocket and donate $20 or more to ensure the RFDS can keep flying."

The portrait of Reibey, known for her shipping and trading business, is accompanied by a sketch of Port Jackson schooner in Sydney Cove in the early 1800s, and a traditional Eora canoe.

The note also features a clear window for improved security, and three raised bumps on the long edge of the banknote to help people who are blind or visually impaired.

The new $20 note is the latest to be redesigned, but previously issued notes can still be used.

The updated $100 note is expected to be released next year.

Release of the redesigned bank notes began with the $5 note in September 2016, followed by the $10 note in September 2017 and the $50 note last October.

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Sharyn McCowen is Money's digital editor. She has a degree in journalism from Charles Sturt University, and was a newspaper reporter before moving to magazines and finance.

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