46 Million Australian $50 Notes Printed With Typo

Typo Australian banknotePA

As a writer, no matter how much experience I have under my belt, my worst fear is always including an accidental typo in my work.

Let’s face it, it can happen to the best of us. At least if my work does have a typo it will likely get picked up my sub editors (hi guys!).

The very worst thing that will happen is it won’t get picked up and I’ll get an aggy email or tweet about it, but at least it wouldn’t make global news. Well, I’d hope it wouldn’t anyway.

Unlike one typo that’s been made in Australia; in particular, on Australia’s new $50 notes – 46 million of which have been printed with a spelling mistake. Yikes.

As reported by The Guardian, the $50 banknote was rolled out in October last year and was designed in a way to improve accessibility and prevent counterfeiting.

However, what people probably didn’t account for was the new notes containing a typo which misspells the word ‘responsibility’.

On one side of the note, indigenous writer and inventor David Unaipon is featured; the other side features Edith Cowan, Australia’s first female member of parliament.


The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) printed ‘micro-text’ on the note with excerpts of Unaipon’s book, Legendary Tales of the Australian Aborigines, and Cowan’s first speech to parliament.

The RBA has since confirmed that a typo can be found on Cowan’s side, in the text of her speech – in particular the word ‘responsibility’, which is missing its third ‘i’.

The text reads:

It is a great responsibilty [sic] to be the only woman here, and I want to emphasise the necessity which exists for other women being here.

An eagle-eyed person who presumably had a fair bit of spare time on their hands notified listeners of the Hot Breakfast’s Hot Tips radio show earlier in the week.

Earlier today (May 9), an RBA spokesperson said the bank was ‘aware of it and the spelling will be corrected at the next print run’.

The total value of the misprinted notes is 2.3 billion Australian dollars, Stuff reports. Which, y’know, is a fairly expensive mistake to make.

According to the RBA, the $50 note is the most widely circulated banknote, and updated $5 and $10 notes have already been released. A new $20 note is scheduled for October this year.

Welp, I wouldn’t want to be the person behind that particular tipo…

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