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2001 Five Dollars Centenary of Federation FC01

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Parkes and Spence, two people whose endeavors have changed the face of the Australian nation sit back to back on this Five Dollar special tender banknote.

Simply a perfect example of this Federation special tender banknote that is clean, crisp and unmarked.

A truly exemplary example to add to any pristine collection of Australian banknotes.

Pictures speak louder than words as attested by the two photographs here.





Serial No.

Renniks No.

Approx. Grade


The Federation 5 dollar note incorporates these very special security features: 

1. The clear window contains an embossing of the number ‘5’. Part of this window is mauve coloured in appearance. 

2. Very slightly raised printing can be felt by running your finger or fingernail across the main design elements, such as the portraits, the notes denomination numeral and the word Australia. 

3. The words of Parkes’ Tenterfield speech (Obverse) and ‘Advance Australia Fair’ (Reverse) are reproduced in microprint and can be read with the aid of a magnifying glass. 

4. When the note is held up to the light, a seven pointed star within a circle is formed by four points on one side of the note combining perfectly with three points on the other side. 

5. A hidden number ‘5’ below the small printed triangle in the bottom right hand corner of the back of the note is revealed when that area of the note is viewed through the mauve coloured area of the clear window. To see this better fold the note so that the triangle in the window is on top of, and in direct contact with, the printed triangle. To accentuate the effect, move the triangle in the window around the printed triangle. 

6. Intricate, multi-coloured, fine-line patterns and images appear on both sides of the note. 

7. The serial number of each note is printed vertically on the reverse side of the note. Under ultraviolet light the serial number is fluorescent. 

8. Under ultraviolet light on the reverse of the note, the stars of the Southern Cross, the sunburst, the yellow orientation bars at the top and bottom of the note, and the wattle flowers will all fluoresce. There is a spray of wattle leaves and the numeral ‘5’, that are normally not visible, which also become visible under ultraviolet light. 

Obverse: Sir Henry Parkes, GCMG (27 May 1815 – 27 April 1896) was an Australian statesman, the “Father of Federation.”

As the earliest advocate of a Federal Council of the then colonies of Australia, a precursor to the Federation of Australia, he is generally considered the most prominent of the Australian Founding Fathers. Parkes was described during his lifetime by The Times as “the most commanding figure in Australian politics”. Alfred Deakin described him as “though not rich or versatile, his personality was massive, durable and imposing, resting upon elementary qualities of human nature elevated by a strong mind. He was cast in the mould of a great man and though he suffered from numerous pettinesses, spites and failings, he was in himself a large-brained self-educated Titan whose natural field was found in Parliament and whose resources of character and intellect enabled him in his later years to overshadow all his contemporaries”. 

Reverse: Catherine Helen Spence (31 October 1825 – 3 April 1910) was an Australian author, teacher, journalist, politician and leading suffragette. In 1897 she became Australia’s first female political candidate after standing (unsuccessfully) for the Federal Convention held in Adelaide. Known as the “Greatest Australian Woman” and given the epitaph “Grand Old Woman of Australasia”, Spence is commemorated on the Australian 5 dollar note issued for the Centenary of Federation of Australia. Spence was born in Melrose, Scotland, as the fifth child in a family of eight. In 1839, following sudden financial difficulties, the family emigrated to South Australia, arriving in November 1839 at a time when the colony had experienced several years of drought and the contrast to her native Scotland made her “inclined to go and cut my throat”. Nevertheless, the family endured seven months “encampment” growing wheat on an eighty acre (32 ha) selection before moving to Adelaide. 

Watermark: With the introduction of the new polymer banknotes we saw the end of the customary watermark. It was replaced with a Variable Optical Security Devices.


Sir Henry Parkes Facts:

In 1872 until 1891, Parkes become the Premier for five different occasions. Then he became the member of Free Trade Party. In 1890, he took the role as the main instigator in a conference. In 1891, he became the instigator for the constitutional convention.

Parkes passed away in 1896. Before his death, he contributed to the first series of meetings which led into the establishment of Australian Federation.

The Times called Parkes as the most commanding figure in Australian Politics when he was alive. Another Politician who was impressed with Parkes is Alfred Deakin. Get facts about Australia here.

Let’s find out the place of birth of Parkes. He was born in Canley, Warwickshire, England. Today, the location is included in the suburban area of Coventry.

There is no exact information about his mother. But she passed away in 1842. His father worked as a farmer. His name was Thomas Parkes.

If you think that Parkes received official education, you are wrong. He only got little schooling when he was young. However, Parkes was smart and educated himself by reading various books.

Clarinda Varney was the name of his wife. Both married on 11 July 1836. His two kids died at a young age. Moreover, the couple had to struggle a lot with the low economy in London.

Parkes and his wife decided to immigrate to New South Wales. On 25 July 1839, both arrived in Sydney. Find out New South Wales facts here.

Due to his hard struggle, he got the government job.  His early job was to inspect the merchant vessels.

Parkes was also an amazing poet. During his leisure time, he wrote poetry. In 1842, his poetry volume was published in Sydney. It was entitled Stolen Moments.

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