For many years I have walked up and down Martin Place and never noticed its existence.
Like so many things in Sydney, how is it possible that something that holds so much significants to our history, just sits there so quietly that few even know of its existence? I am talking of course, about the Museum of Australian Currency Notes located inside the Reserve Bank of Australia building (top end) Martin Place.
The Reserve Bank of Australia is of course Australia's central bank and it's role is to, well in the most simplistic of terms, is to look after all things money (including gold) including it's distribution of notes. It is not a bank in the sense of offering home loans, withdrawals and deposits, rather it sets the policies and interest rates.
This museum is located in the front of the building and faces The Mint directly across the road on Macquarie Street.
Offering free entry, the museum is open Monday to Friday, 10-4pm.
For someone like me who has little interest in financial things and the though of anything maths or numbers related causes heart palpitations, it's actually surprisingly interesting.
The museum providing a detailed look at our countries fiscal history. The Mint across the road looks after coins, but this place has the paper money, including original bank notes from early settlement days.
Did you know that it wasn't until 1913 that the first national banknote was produced? Or that until the Commonwealth of Australia was formed on 1 Jan 1901 there was no national currency as each state and territory had their own?
What I really enjoyed is the social and historic side of our bank note development as it truly reflects the nation's social, cultural and political changes over the years. It seems rather obvious to say that now but I've never considered just how much our money does this. Who are our heroes of the day, who is on the throne? Where has technology taken us?
If you work in the city or find yourself in there one day, do yourself a favour a pop in for a look. I took advantage of both boys asleep in the pram and enjoyed the peace and quiet :)
How to get there:
Address: Reserve Bank of Australia 65 Martin Place Sydney NSW 2000
Opening Hours: Open 10am-4pm Monday to Friday (except Public Holidays and NSW Bank holidays).