Money - coins, banknotes even the ubiquitous plastic card, we tend to take these for granted as a way to pay for the things we need or hanker after in our daily lives. But have you ever really thought about them, ever really looked at them? Who are these people on the notes, how did they get to have their picture on a banknote and why do we sometimes have coins that are a bit different? Just how and why do we have coins and notes for currency at all?
Before people used coins and banknotes if you wanted something you traded or exchanged goods with another person who had what you needed. Maybe you had extra fish which you exchanged with another person for some animals skins to keep warm. People traded, groups traded and countries traded all fostering cooperation as well as good communication and understanding.
Australia’s First Nations people were quite adept at trading with other First Nations peoples and also with traders from countries to the north. The arrival of Europeans changed that. They brought with them the use of coins for currency and gradually through the early years of colonisation the use of coins or currency took over from the trading of goods.
‘Show Me the Money' delves into the history of Australian currency, how it started and how we came in Australia to have some of the most interesting and advanced currency in the world today. Australia has five very distinctive polymer banknotes and six circulating coins. Each is described in detail with accompanying pictures. Australia’s expertise in the design and production of highly secure polymer banknotes has in itself become a tradeable commodity – Australia is paid by other countries to show them how to design similar notes.
The book includes some fast facts about Australia’s notes and coins, a glossary of terms used, an index, a list of the pictures plus a timeline where you can follow the money since 1788. And for those that remember the introduction of decimal currency in 1966, you can sing along to the words of the memorable advertising jingle used to help people get used to the name and look of the newly introduced Australian dollar.
Series: Young Art no 3