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The $100 banknote will be released into general circulation on 29 October 2020. It celebrates Sir John Monash, an engineer, soldier and civic leader and Dame Nellie Melba, an internationally renowned soprano. Monash was a significant figure in the building-construction industry. He is also widely recognised for his service as a commander in the First World War. Monash was instrumental in building the Shrine of Remembrance – which features on the banknote – in his hometown of Melbourne. Melba performed in Australia, Europe and the United States of America in the late 19th and early 20th century. In addition to performing, Melba made important contributions to the arts through teaching at the Melba Memorial Conservatorium of Music, now the Melba Opera Trust, in her home town of Melbourne.

Innovative new security features have been incorporated in the new $100 banknote to help keep it secure from counterfeiting. These security features are similar to those in the $5, $10, $20 and $50 banknotes issued progressively since 2016, such as the top-to-bottom clear window that contains a number of dynamic features including a reversing number and flying bird. There is also a patch with a rolling colour effect and microprint featuring excerpts of a letter written by Monash and Melba’s autobiography Melodies and Memories.

Each banknote in the new series also features a different species of native Australia wattle and bird. The $100 banknote features the Golden Wattle (Acacia pycnantha) and the Australian Masked Owl (Tyto novaehollandiae).

As previously announced, key aspects of the existing design – colour, size and people portrayed – have been retained for ease of recognition and to minimise the disruption to businesses. The new banknote series also has a ‘tactile’ feature to help the vision-impaired community distinguish between different denominations of banknotes.

All banknotes issued by the Reserve Bank remain legal tender and can continue to be used.