header Notes Collection

2 Dollars 1985, Australia

in Krause book Number: 43e
Years of issue: 1985
Edition: KRQ 000001 to LNF 999999
Signatures: Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia: Mr. R. A. Johnston (1982-1989), Secretary to the Treasury: Mr. Bernie W. Fraser.
Serie: 1973 Issue
Specimen of: 1974
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 144.94 x 72.20
Printer: Note printing works at Victoria Parade, Fitzroy, Melbourne (1924 - 1981)

* All pictures marked magnify are increased partially by magnifying glass, the remaining open in full size by clicking on the image.

** The word "Specimen" is present only on some of electronic pictures, in accordance with banknote images publication rules of appropriate banks.

2 Dollars 1985




Captain James Cook, The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, The Royal Navy (7 November 1728 - 14 February 1779) was a British explorer, navigator, cartographer, and captain in the Royal Navy. Cook made detailed maps of Newfoundland prior to making three voyages to the Pacific Ocean, during which he achieved the first recorded European contact with the eastern coastline of Australia and the Hawaiian Islands, and the first recorded circumnavigation of New Zealand.


2 Dollars 1985

John Macarthur

The engraving on banknote, probably, made from this photo. The date and author are unknown.

The oil portrait of John Macarthur reflects the customary attire of gentlemen during the late XVIII and early XIX centuries, which included a frock or tail coat with a loosely tied neck cloth. These were combined with a waistcoat which was sometimes of striking colour, such as Macarthur’s yellow fabric. By the 19th century, trousers increasingly replaced breeches, and wigs were abandoned for natural hair. The style of Macarthur’s hair and side-whiskers is associated with gentlemen of the Regency period, who usually kept their carefully tousled hair in check with pomade.

This photo was published in commemorative article about John Macarthur in journal "Town and country journal" at 21 February 1885, on page 19.

This article you can read here Town and country journal.

John Macarthur (1767 - 10 April 1834) was a British army officer, entrepreneur, politician, architect and pioneer of settlement in Australia. Macarthur is recognised as the pioneer of the wool industry that was to boom in Australia in the early 19th century and become a trademark of the nation. He is noted as the architect of Elizabeth Farm House, his own residence in Parramatta, and as the man who commissioned architect John Verge to design Camden Park Estate in Camden, New South Wales.

At "Elizabeth Farm" in 1794 he began his first experiments in improving wool growth by crossing hair-bearing Bengal ewes from India with Irish wool rams.

John Macarthur:

"By crossing the two breeds, I had the satisfaction to see the lambs of the Indian ewes bear a mingled fleece of hair and wool-this circumstance originated the idea of producing fine wool in New South Wales."

In 1796 two ships were despatched to the Cape by Governor Hunter from Sydney to obtain supplies for the colony. The two commanders, being friends of Macarthur, were requested by him to procure any good class sheep which they could buy. By a happy coincidence the two captains were enabled to execute Macarthur's commission far better than the latter hoped. The King of Spain had presented to the Dutch Government some of the finest pure merino sheep from the jealously guarded Escurial flocks, once owned by King Philip II. These sheep were sent to the Dutch Cape Colony under the care of a Scotch gentleman, who died shortly afterwards. His widow had endless disputes with the Dutch Government, and, to end dissension, the sheep were ordered to be sold. A number of them were purchased by the captains and were duly delivered to Macarthur, The merino sheep, including three rams, were bought by several landowners, including Samuel Marsden.

Macarthur visited England in 1801, taking specimens of the pure Merino wool, and of the best of the crossbred, and submitted, them to a Committee of Manufacturers who reported that the Merino was equal to any Spanish Wool, and the crossbred of considerable value. This encouraged him to purchase rams and a ewe from the Royal Flock at Kew.

By 1801, Macarthur was the largest sheep rearer in the colony, although he was certainly not the only landowner to have experimented with the breeding of fine-wooled sheep. As late as July 1800, there is no evidence of any 'prophetic word' from Macarthur about the future of Spanish wool: at that time he was considering selling his entire flock.

On his way to England, for trial over the duel with Colonel Paterson, Macarthur's ship had put in for repairs in Indonesia, where he met and offered timely advice to the young and inexperienced British Resident at Amboyna, Sir Robert Farquhar, son of the Physician in Ordinary to the Prince of Wales, Sir Walter Farquhar.[28] Sir Walter became an important patron and friend to Macarthur. For example, when William Davidson, later Macarthur's business partner in New South Wales, applied for land next to Macarthur's holdings at Parramatta, he carried with him a letter of introduction announcing his Royal connections as nephew to Sir Walter Farquhar.

While in London, Macarthur lobbied extensively in support of his interests back in New South Wales. The Colonial Secretary, Lord Camden, was highly supportive and backed Macarthur for a grant of 10,000 acres (40 km²) of his choosing. Sir Joseph Banks, however, was not impressed with either Macarthur or his commercial venture. When Macarthur failed to conceal his low opinion of Banks, Banks became a strong opponent of the plan and had the grant halved.

When he arrived back in Sydney in 1805 Macarthur further antagonised local authorities by claiming his 5,000 acres (20 km²) in the Cowpastures. This was prime grazing land, well supplied by water from the Nepean river, and reserved by the Governor exclusively for the colony's cattle herds. Both Governors King and Bligh strongly objected to this and wanted the grant moved, but the Colonial Office wrote back affirming Macarthur's right to the land. Macarthur named it Camden Park after his patron. Bligh also turned down Macarthur's request for the remaining 5000 acres (20 km²) after he had begun exporting wool to England. Bligh was firmly opposed to Macarthur's venture, according to Evatt, not because he objected to the fine wool industry, but because he believed that "first preference should be given to agriculture". As reported much later by Macarthur, Bligh said to him in a conversation at Government House; "What have I to do with your sheep, sir? What have I to do with your cattle. Are you to have such flocks of sheep and such herds of cattle as no man ever heard of before? No, sir!"

In center - Australian merino sheep.

Australian merino sheep

Macarthur’s ventures opened the door for others to follow, and Australia’s wool export market started to boom in the early 19th century. It remains a key export commodity, with Australia remaining the world’s largest producer of the wool, mainly from merino sheep. New Zealand is in second place, and China in third. The wool produced in Australia and New Zealand is considered to be of the finest international quality - the best Aussie and Kiwi merino wool is known as grade 1PP, and is the industry benchmark of excellence for merino wool.

Natural wool is one of nature’s super-products. It is technically superior to synthetic materials in various ways - it has better heat insulation and superior hydryphilic properties, it is naturally flame-retardant, resistant to static electricity, and hypoallergenic. Researchers at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology have developed a material blending wool and kevlar (the material often used in body armour) and it was found that the blend was lighter and cheaper, and outperformed kevlar in damp conditions.

What’s more, wool is also environmentally preferable to materials like nylon or polypropylene. According to the latest research on the role of wool in the natural carbon cycle, it has been suggested that under the correct circumstances, wool production can potentially be carbon neutral.

So while the Aussies and Kiwis may suffer endless jokes relating to their sheep, the product being produced is something very special. And John Macarthur deserves a tip of the hat as the bloke who kicked it all off more than 200 years ago. (Sciencelens)

Denominations in numerals are in top left and right corners.


2 Dollars 1985

William James Farrer

The engraving on banknote, probably, made from this photo. The date and author are unknown.

William James Farrer (3 April 1845 - 16 April 1906) was a leading Australian agronomist and plant breeder. Farrer is best remembered as the originator of the "Federation" strain of wheat, distributed in 1903. His work resulted in significant improvements in both the quality and crop yields of Australia's national wheat harvest, a contribution for which he earned the title "father of the Australian wheat industry".

Born in Docker, Westmorland, England. Awarded a scholarship to Christs Hospital, London, he won gold and silver medals for mathematics before continuing his education at the University of Cambridge (BA 1868).

Arriving in Australia in 1870, he worked as a tutor at George Campbell’s sheep station, Duntroon (Canberra) and then qualified as a surveyor in New South Wales in 1875, working for the Department of Lands in the Dubbo, Nyngan, Cobar and Cooma districts between 1875 - 1786.

In 1886 Farrer purchased “Lambrigg” on the Murrumbidgee River near where Canberra now stands and began private experiments on cross-breeding wheat from 1889. He was further employed as a wheat experimentalist for the Department of Agriculture in 1898.

Federation wheatFederation wheat

His best known wheat was "Federation", which became the leading variety throughout Australia between 1910-25. His success was demonstrated in 1914, when of the 29 wheat varieties recommended for growing in New South Wales, 22 had been developed by him.

His wheats were not so much rust-resistant as rust escaping because of their early maturity. “Federation” was developed especially to tolerate Australia’s harsh climate, and was capable of withstanding diseases such as rust, while producing high yields.

Apart from having a Federal electorate named after him, William Farrer was also commemorated through the Farrer Memorial Medal for outstanding achievements in agricultural science, research and education and the Farrer Memorial Scholarship for postgraduate agricultural research. He also appeared on the first decimal $2 note, and is recognised on a variety of memorials, on stamps and as the namesake of schools, streets, institutions, a flour mill and a suburb in Canberra. (Sussan Ley)

In center and on the right side are "Federation" wheat.

Denominations in numerals are in top left and bottom right corners.


On the tops of obverse and reverse is an inscription "Australia".

In April 1964, designs by Gordon Andrews were accepted and detailed design work began with the specialist firm "Organisation Giori" in Milan, Italy. New note printing machinery was obtained from the UK.

Design painted by Sydney artist Guy Warren, paying tribute to a number of famous Australians.