FACT CHECK: Are Bill Gates And The Coronavirus On The Australian $10 Banknote?

Trevor Schakohl | Legal Reporter

A post shared on Facebook claims the Australian $10 banknote contains images of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and the coronavirus.

Verdict: False

The images on the banknote actually represent writer Mary Gilmore and an indigenous Australian plant.

Fact Check:

The Australian $10 banknote, pictured in the Facebook post, features a golden circular illustration and an image of someone sitting at a desk. The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) first issued this design in 2017, according to the RBA website.

The post alleges that the person is Gates and that the circular illustration is the coronavirus, saying, “What’s bill gates and the Corona virus (sic) doing on Australian 10 dollar note. And many will just blow this off.. Wake up, it’s been planned for years.” But that isn’t correct.

Per the RBA website, the person depicted on the banknote is Gilmore, an Australian writer who lived from 1865 to 1962. The RBA explains that the representation is “based on a 1952 photograph sourced from the Herald and Weekly Times Limited portrait collection, Pictures Collection, State Library of Victoria.” (RELATED: Does This Photo Show Tom Hanks Quarantined In Australia With Wilson The Volleyball?)

The circular illustration does not represent the coronavirus. Rather, it is the banknote designer’s interpretation of the bramble wattle, a plant native to Australia, according to the RBA website.

AFP Fact Check reported that an RBA spokesperson said the golden bramble wattle is one of the security features on the banknote.

Trevor Schakohl

Legal Reporter
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