New fiver features tactile markings for the blind

You’ll see the new $5 banknote making an appearance from today.

The biggest feature is tactile markings to make the note easy to identify by visually impaired people.

And that’s due to a petition started three years ago by 15-year-old  Connor McLeod who complained about the difficulty he had picking out different notes.


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“Yes, the notes are all different sizes and that helps a little but unless (you have) one of each note in your wallet where does the defining point come from?” he said.

Connor argued that for vision impaired people, having to ask for help picking out bank notes is embarrassing and defines them by their disability.

“When you next get the new fiver in your change, feel the new bumps, and think about how Connor has changed our banknotes forever,” he said.

“I’m just an ordinary kid, I didn’t see myself as a campaigner, but if I come across something that doesn’t sound right, I like to do something about it rather than just complain.

“It felt unlikely they’d listen to a young blind boy, but in the end, they had to.”

The Reserve Bank of Australia said other notes will be given facelifts in the future.

Governor Glenn Stevens said the new note incorporates a range of new security features that will help to keep our banknotes secure against counterfeiting into the future.

“New features include a world-first clear top-to-bottom window and a number of dynamic features that change as the banknote is tilted,” he said in a statement.

“The new banknotes are the culmination of many years of research and trial and extensive consultation with subject-matter experts and the cash-handling industry, as well as qualitative research involving focus groups.

The old notes will be progressively withdrawn from circulation but can continue to be used as usual.”