Australia's Currency Goes Decimal

February 14, 2018

On this day, 14 February, in 1966, Australia converted its currency to decimal from British-styled pounds, shillings and pence.

The Australian pound equated to 20 shillings, each of which constituted 12 pence, making retail and other financial transactions unnecessarily difficult.  This simplifying conversion was a key economic reform and productivity enhancement of the Menzies and Holt Coalition governments. It was hailed as a major logistical and public relations triumph for Australia.

Prior research indicated that decimalisation would save over £11 million a year which, within three years, would offset the £30 million conversion cost. The maturity of Australia’s political leaders, the media and polity enabled such gains to be captured despite opposition.

Celebrate this important currency conversion and economic reform by:

  • Sharing this Action Plan on social media, commenting that it used to be easier to implement common sense economic policy in our country.
  • If you have one, share your coin collection and some memories with your children or grandchildren
  • Listen to this jingle that Australians were encouraged to learn, preparing for the conversion to decimal currency

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