Australian fifty-dollar note

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Fifty Dollars
Value 50 Australian dollars
Width 151 mm
Height 65 mm
Security features Window, Watermark
Paper type Polymer
Years of printing 1995-99, 2003, 2005-13[1]
Australian $50 polymer front.jpg
Design David Unaipon
Designer Brian Sadgrove
Design date 4 October 1995
Australian $50 note polymer back.jpg
Design Edith Cowan
Designer Brian Sadgrove
Design date 4 October 1995

The Australian fifty dollar note is an Australian banknote with a face value of fifty Australian dollars (A$50). It is currently a polymer banknote, featuring portraits of David Unaipon and Edith Cowan.


No fifty dollar note was released as part of the initial rollout of decimal currency in 1966, but inflation and demand necessitated its introduction seven years later in 1973. The original fifty dollar note, designed by Gordon Andrews, has a scientific theme. On the front of the note is a portrait of Australian pathologist Lord Howard Walter Florey and scenes of laboratory research. On the back is a portrait of Sir Ian Clunies Ross, veterinary scientist and first chairman of the CSIRO, along with scenes from the Australian environment.

The front of the paper fifty dollar note, circulated between 1973 and 1995.
The back of the paper fifty dollar note, circulated between 1973 and 1995.

On 4 October 1995 a new set of polymer banknotes were released; these were immediately nicknamed 'pineapples'.[citation needed] Designed by Brian Sadgrove, the new fifty dollar note features a portrait of Indigenous Australian author and inventor David Unaipon on the front, along with drawings from one of his inventions, and an extract from the original manuscript of his Legendary Tales of the Australian Aborigines. On the back is a portrait of Edith Cowan, first female member of any Australian parliament, along with a picture of Western Australia's original Parliament House, and an illustration of a foster mother and children.

Security features[edit]

With reference to the current polymer items, there is a clear window on the banknote with the Southern Cross star formation printed upon it, and the number '50' is also embossed in the clear window. There is also raised printing on the note.

A patch with the number '50' on the back of the banknote can be seen when held up to a UV light. There are two serial numbers on the banknote, one in black and blue, different fonts are used on each one, and the serial numbers glow under UV light.

There is also micro printing, in terms of 'fifty dollars', and a shadow image of the Australian coat of arms when light is shown through it.[2]


  • Ian W. Pitt, ed. (2000). Renniks Australian Coin and Banknote Values (19th ed. ed.). Chippendale, NSW: Renniks Publications. pp. 171–172. ISBN 0-9585574-4-6.