Australian $50 note typo: spelling mistake printed 46 million times


Red faces after discovery $2.3bn worth of currency has a misprint of the word responsibility in banknote's 'micro-text'

And I have one of the bills, from the first series AA1
And I have one of the bills, from the first series AA1

46 million of Australia's new $50 notes have been printed with a typo, the Reserve Bank has confirmed.

The "new and improved" $50 banknote was rolled out in October last year, with a host of new technologies designed to improve accessibility and prevent counterfeiting.

But the yellow note also contains a typo that misspells the word "responsibility".

The note features the Indigenous writer and inventor David Unaipon on one side, and Edith Cowan, Australia's first female member of parliament, on the other - as it has since 1995.

The RBA has printed "micro-text" on the note with excerpts of Unaipon's book, Legendary Tales of the Australian Aborigines, and Cowan's first speech to parliament.

The small error occurred on Cowan's side, in the text of her speech.

"It is a great responsibility [sic] to be the only woman here, and I want to emphasize the necessity which exists for other women being here," it says.

On Thursday, an RBA spokeswoman said the bank was "aware of it and the spelling will be corrected at the next print run".

Australia, in 1988, was among the first countries to use polymer banknotes. Compared with paper notes, polymer has increased durability and security and makes it easier to include features to help those who are vision-impaired.

The new $50 introduced a tactile feature of four raised bumps on the banknote to help people identify it. All Australian notes are different sizes and colours for similar reasons.

According to the RBA, the $50 note is the most widely circulated banknote.

Updated $5 and $10 notes have already been released, and a new $20 is scheduled for October this year.