header Notes Collection

1 Dollar 1983, Australia

in Krause book Number: 42d
Years of issue: 1983
Signatures: Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia: Mr. R. A. Johnston (1982-1989), Secretary to the Treasury: Mr. John Stone.
Serie: 1973 Issue
Specimen of: 1974
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 140 x 70
Printer: Note Printing Australia, Craigieburn, Melbourne

* 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.

1 Dollar 1983



Captain James Cook

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.


1 Dollar 1983

Queen 1964

HM The Queen Elizabeth II.

This portrait of Her Majesty is based on a photograph taken by "Douglas Glass of London" circa 1964. The photograph was especially commissioned by the Reserve Bank of Australia to provide a portrait from which an engraving could be made for inclusion on the 1-dollar note introduced in 1966. (Peter Symes)

The Queen depicted wearing the robes and regalia of the Order of the Garter

The Queen depicted wearing the robes and regalia of the Order of the Garter.

The Order of the Garter was the first, and remains the most prestigious, British order of chivalry. It was begun in or around 1348 by Edward III, and initially included the monarch and 25 knights. Membership in the order was intended as a mark of royal favour and a reward for loyalty to the sovereign and for outstanding military service.

The legendary beginnings of the Order centre around the figure of Joan, Countess of Salisbury. The story goes that while the Countess, a notable beauty who was rumored to be the king's mistress, danced at a court function, she chanced to loose a garter. King Edward gallantly picked it up and tied it to his own leg. When he observed the snickers of those around him, Edward remarked "Honi soit qui mal y pense" (Shame on he who thinks evil of this). This offhand remark became the motto of the order.

Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee necklace

HM is wearing Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee necklace and this is one of very few portraits to show Her Majesty wearing a necklace beneath the robes of the Order of the Garter.

To mark Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 1887, a committee of ladies was formed to raise money for a commemorative statue of Victoria’s late husband Prince Albert. The committee’s fundraising was quite successful, and they ended up raising far more than was required for the statue. An agreement was formed with the Queen that the excess should go to the St. Katherine’s Fund for Nurses. At the same time, some members of the committee decided that a portion of the funds should be used to purchase a necklace for the Queen - and this was also approved by Her Majesty.

The trouble was, the committee did not agree on the necklace. Some felt it would be wrong to spend the funds which had been previously devoted to charity on something else. Much discussion and debate ensued, as is described in depth in Hugh Roberts’ book The Queen’s Diamonds. (My favorite tidbit: Queen Victoria, angry that she wouldn’t get her promised necklace, shot down the prospect of a diamond badge commemorating the nursing fund by declaring she would “at once exchange it for another jewel”.

In the end, a compromise was reached and this necklace, made for £5000 (far less than the necklace originally proposed) from gold, diamonds, and pearls by Carrington & Co. was presented to Queen Victoria in 1888. It features a central quatrefoil diamond motif with a large pearl in the middle, topped by a crown and underlined with a drop pearl. The next four links in either direction are graduated trefoil motifs; the central piece and the six largest trefoils can also be worn as brooches.

Queen Alexandra’s Cluster Earrings

She is also wearing Queen Alexandra’s Cluster Earrings. The wedding gift from the future King Edward VII to his bride, Alexandra of Denmark. Also known as Queen Alexandra's Cluster Earrings, these two button earrings have large pearls surrounded by diamonds - 10 larger stones each plus smaller filler stones to create a full diamond ring. Like the brooch, these passed to the Queen via Queen Mary. They're now worn primarily at evening functions.

In the middle above is Australian coat of arms.

The coat of arms of Australia (formally known as Commonwealth Coat of Arms) is the official symbol of Australia. The initial coat of arms was granted by King Edward VII on 7 May 1908, and the current version was granted by King George V on 19 September 1912, although the 1908 version continued to be used in some contexts.

In the top half of the shield, from left to right, the states represented are: New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland. In the bottom half, from left to right: South Australia, Western Australia, and Tasmania. Above the shield is the seven-pointed Commonwealth Star or Star of Federation above a blue and gold wreath, forming the crest. Six of the points on the star represent the original six states, while the seventh point represents the combined territories and any future states of Australia. In its entirety the shield represents the federation of Australia.

The Red Kangaroo and Emu that support the shield are the unofficial animal emblems of the nation. They owe this recognition to the fact that they are native Australian fauna (found only on that continent), and likely chosen because they are the most well-known native Australian animals large enough to be positioned together in scale holding up the shield. It is often claimed these animals were chosen because neither animal can move backward, only forward - i.e. progress. In reality both animals can move backwards, but infrequently do.

The 1-dollar note was designed by Mr. Gordon Andrews.

Denominations in numerals are top left and right.


1 Dollar 1983

Stylized drawings depicting the mortuary feast of the ancestral hunter Gurrmirringu. The artist is David Mahlangu (David Malangi).


Main image on banknote - Mortuary feast of Gurrmirringu, the Great Ancestral Hunter.

One tree middle right, two black half figures lower left, standing figure lower right. Made in 1963. Bark Painting. Natural pigments on eucalyptus bark.

Size: 69.5 x 43.0 cm.

Founding Donors' Fund 1984 National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.

Gurrmirringu was the ‘first man’ (the Ancestral forefather). His death gave occasion for the first mortuary rites of the Manharrngu people.

The funeral of Gurrmirringu is the predominant feature of many of Malangi’s paintings associated with the Mulanga area, remaining a key subject throughout his painting career. The depiction of this story on bark was reproduced on the reverse of the Australian one dollar note.

Barks depicting the mortuary scene include a number of key narrative elements, which constitute a template for the Gurrmirringu or dollar note story as it is sometimes known.

A vertical figure with painted torso, arms extended to the elbows and legs outstretched is the body of the deceased Gurrmirringu being ceremonially prepared for burial. The body is surrounded by song men performing Manharrngu ceremonial song cycles to ensure the safe arrival of the spirit at its final resting place. They hold clap sticks and yidaki [didjeridu] to accompany the singing and are seen sitting, their legs tucked up underneath their body (sometimes represented as half figures with no legs).

These ceremonial participants are differentiated from the deceased Gurrmirringu by their sitting posture and by their plain black bodies void of body paint. The white lines within the frame of the figures articulate the three-dimensional figure on the two-dimensional surface. The rärrk [crosshatching] on the central figure is ceremonial body paint.

Malangi’s format for depicting this narrative remained constant with only slight variations over three decades, and always included the berry trees framing the bark, the central figure and the surrounding ceremonial participants. (

David Malangi

David Malangi (1927 - 19 June 1999) was an Indigenous Australian Yolngu artist from the Northern Territory. He was one of the most well known bark painters from Arnhem Land and a significant figure in contemporary Indigenous Australian art. He was born at Mulanga, on the east bank of the Glyde River.

He painted on clear, red ochre or black backgrounds. He used much broader and bolder brushstrokes than other Arnhem Land bark painters. His work includes depictions of the sea eagle, crow, snake and goanna.

Malangi represented Australia at the São Paulo Art Biennial in 1983. He contributed ten hollow logs for the Aboriginal Memorial at the National Gallery of Australia in 1988. He travelled to New York in 1988 as part of the Dreamings exhibition of Aboriginal art. In July 2004 an exhibition opened of David Malangi's work at the National Gallery of Australia called No Ordinary Place.

The reproduction of one of his designs appeared on the reverse of the Australian one dollar note in 1966. This was done originally without his knowledge, acknowledged in 1967 with the release of the Australian five dollar note, he was later financially compensated after intervention by the Governor of the Reserve Bank, Dr. H.C.Coombs, as well, as receiving a specially struck medal.

The payment by the Reserve Bank to Malangi began issues of Aboriginal copyright in Australia.

From the Film Australia Collection. Made by the Commonwealth Film Unit 1972. Directed by Bob Kingsbury. The story of Yolngu artist David Malangi Daymirringu and how one of his works was used as the design for the new Australian Dollar Bill that was introduced with decimal currency in February 1966. The artwork depicts the "mortuary feast" of one of the artist's creation ancestors, Gunmirringu, the great ancestral hunter. The Manharrngu people attribute this story as the origin of their mortuary rites.

Denominations in numerals are top left and bottom right.


Designer: Mr. Gordon Andrews.