The Australian Government’s biggest job was to educate the public about the new currency. A widespread media campaign was run from early 1965, featuring the cartoon character Dollar Bill. He is best remembered for his catchy decimal currency jingle, sung to the tune of Click Go the Shears.
Prime Minister Robert Menzies and Treasurer Harold Holt first announced that Australia’s new money system would be named the Royal. This was a highly unpopular choice, and many other names were suggested, including the Dinkum, the Kwid, the Austral and the Merino.
On 14 February 1966, Australia converted to decimal currency (money worked out in lots of ten). Like many other countries in the world, Australia adopted a money system with a major unit (a dollar) divided into 100 smaller units (cents).
From 1910 until 1966, Australia’s currency was based on the imperial British money system. It had 12 pennies in a shilling and 20 shillings in a pound. Some fancy maths was needed to calculate your finances.