Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Polymer Money Collecting: Who Is On The Australian 100 $ Banknote?

Paper money collecting is a hobby that has enabled me to learn a lot about the world and its people in the last few months than I've done in the last twenty or so years since I left college. After looking through the Australian polymer banknotes and mentioning all the famous people on the bills,I realized that apart from the Queen, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, I am not familiar with the others. So I decided to start digging and now I feel like yet again I have struck gold. In the next few days I would like to share with you who the important faces on the Australian banknotes are, starting with Dame Nellie Melba and General Sir John Monash who are featured on the Australian polymer $100 note.

Dame Nellie Melba (1861–1931)

She was a renowned soprano, first Australian to gain international recognition as a prima dona and to top it all by some accounts was a real "diva", she knew the worth of her talent and expected to be treated differently and deferentially. Her real name was Helen Armstrong Mitchelle, born on 19th May 1861 in Richmond, Melbourne Australia.

Melba, as she was later known did not start training as a singer until way into her adulthood, in fact she was already married and a mother of one, when she packed her bags and baggages and headed off to Europe where she started training and made her operatic debut in 1887 in Brussels.

Dame Melba was one of a kind, she was considered ruthless, prideful and hard by her peers yet, kind-hearted enough to want her loving public hear her sing, she traveled long and tirelessly all over Australia so that people in the out back could hear her and the windows were usually left open as well.

Melba whose stage name was chosen to mark her place of birth has left a lasting legacy. She has food/dishes named after her, a road in Melbourne as well as a Conservatory which she contributed to a lot during her life time and to top it all her face is on the Australian $100.

She was one of the first women in her profession to be given the title and honor Dame Commander of the British Empire in 1918, and Grand Dame about ten years later, she died in Sydney in 1931.

John Monash (1865–1931)

There are two major things that General Sir John Monash is remembered for by his fellow Australians, firstly he was a talented civil engineer who introduced reinforced concrete and secondly he was a great soldier. He took his profession very seriously and studied a great deal, gaining a BA, Masters and then a Doctorate in Civil Engineering.

When he joined the Army he excelled and took part in the First World War, he is noted for independent decision making, using his initiative and great organisational skills which stood the Australian army in good stead as they on many occasions were able to get out of difficult situations without a scrape.

John Monash was a man well respected in his day and the fact that he had Gerraman roots did not affect his position in the Australian army or his alligence to the allied cause. I am personally encouraged by his life and achievements. He was talented, gifted and yet he served his country wholeheartedly and so he is on the back of the $100 Australian polymer banknote for all to remember this great man who died in 1931.

Other Related Posts

Polymer Money Collecting: Who is on the Australian Banknotes:

Polymer Notes From Australia

History of Polymer Money: Tyvek and Bradvek Issues

History of Polymer Money: Why Plastic over Paper

How Current Money Changed from Paper to Plastic

1 comment:

Justin said...

Hi! Great site! I'm a paper money collector myself. Would you be interested in trade via airmail? Please visit this page to view my spare notes : http://bankofjustin.multiply.com/photos/album/9/Bills_Available_for_Exchange

If you're interested in any of them, please indicate which ones and send your trade list to justinadriel@yahoo.com.