From Pockets to Poetry: The Journey of Australia's Old $10 Note

The old Australian $10 note, featuring the renowned portrait of renowned poet AB ‘Banjo’ Paterson, was in circulation from 1993 until it was replaced by the polymer banknote in 2017. This banknote paid tribute to one of Australia’s most beloved literary figures, capturing the essence of the nation’s cultural heritage.

Banjo Paterson, born in 1864, was known for his iconic contributions to Australian literature, particularly his bush poetry and ballads. The design of the $10 note aimed to commemorate Paterson’s legacy, showcasing an image of the poet alongside illustrations of buildings and bush scenes around Gulgong. The note also featured a representation of a homestead and livestock, providing a visual narrative of the Australian outback.

The connection to Gulgong, NSW, lies in the fact that Banjo Paterson spent some of his formative years in this historic town. Gulgong, known for its charming 19th-century architecture and gold rush heritage, played a significant role in shaping Paterson’s early experiences. During his time in Gulgong, he worked as a solicitor while pursuing his passion for writing.

The $10 note, with its depiction of Banjo Paterson and the bush scenes, served as a nod to Australia’s rich literary and cultural history, as well as its rural heritage. It celebrated the landscapes and stories that have become intrinsic to the nation’s identity, with Gulgong representing a crucial chapter in the life of one of Australia’s most celebrated literary figures.