Monthly Archives: February 2013


"Our World, Our Numbers" is a mathematics collaboration project involving 7 classes in 5 countries. The first post was from 4KM and 4KJ in Australia

Australian Currency

Dear 4KM and 4KJ,

A second of your posts for 2013 started me thinking in different directions again.  Did you know when I was your age I used different Australian money to what we have today?

When I was your age, we used pounds, shillings and pence, not dollars and cents. I have some pictures of the money down below. There was also a £10 (10 pound) note but I don’t have one in my collection. While we aren’t allowed to copy our modern money, I think these are okay because the last time they were used was in 1966.

You can click on the pictures to enlarge them.

From left to right...


half penny (ha'penny) equal to about half a cent

penny equal to about 1 cent

Three penny - 3d (thrupence) equal to about 2.5 cents


Sixpence equal to 5 cents

One shilling - 1s equal to 12 pennies and became 10 cents

Florin - two shillings equal to 24 pennies and became 20c

10 shillings - half a pound - 120 pennies - became $1

One Pound - £1 - 20 shillings - 240 pennies - became $2

Five Pound - £5 - 100 shillings - 1200 pennies - became $10

There was a 10 pound (£10) note but I don't have one in my collection. It became $20.

When these pounds (£), shillings (s) and pence (d) were in use and I was your age, my father earned about £20 (20 pounds) a week. That was enough to make payments on the house and car, buy clothes and groceries, save some and go on holidays. That is $40 in today's currency. My pocket money was 1s (one shilling or ten cents) a week. Prices were much lower than today but we earned much less. The money shown above would have been about one third of my father's weekly pay yet it was only £6/13/10 ($13.38). Click below to hear how the money was said...


On the 14th February, 1966, Australia started using decimal currency. We had 6 types of coins and 5 notes. At that time, all notes were paper and not the plastic we use today.

Coins:  1c, 2c, 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c

Notes:  $1, $2, $5, $10, $20

Here are pictures of the 1c and 2c coins plus $1 and $2 note no longer used. Australian coins have the face of the ruling monarch on the opposite sides, i.e. Queen Elizabeth II since her coronation in 1952.

1 cent and 2 cent coins

$1 note

$2 note

Australian Decimal Money Timeline

1966 - Decimal currency introduced on February 14

1973 - $50 note introduced

1984 - $1 coin replaces the note

1988 - Australia's first polymer (plastic) notes appeared

1988 - $2 coin replaces the note

1992 - 1c and 2c no longer officially in use

1996 - $100 note introduced


Money Links

Royal Australian Mint

Museum of Australian Currency Notes


* Schools and students have permission to use the graphics on this post for non-commercial, educational purposes.

None of the notes shown are now legal tender.


To see the original 4KM and 4KJ post, here is a link...

What technology did you use when younger?

Dear 4KM and 4KJ,

I just saw your post on technology. I set out to remember how much has changed over the years since I was born in 1954 in Sydney?

1954 - Australia didn’t have television, home computers or the Internet. Telephones had numbers including letters. My first phone number was UY5734. To call long distance, you would contact an operator to be connected. Overseas calls would need to be booked, the operator contacting you when they got through.

We had radios but they were much bigger than the radios of today. Rather than circuit boards and computer chips, they had large glass valves that would take some time to warm up before you heard the radio. Shopping was done at the corner store because we didn’t have supermarkets or shopping centres (malls). Big department stores weren’t in the suburbs and there were no credit cards.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.


Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

1956 - Television arrived. They were very expensive to buy but my family had one, not because we were rich, because my grandfather owned the local electrical goods shop. People would come to our house from the neighbourhood to watch television. Sometimes there could be forty or fifty people there even though at first the TV only showed still pictures of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Guess what? They were black and white TVs. We didn’t have colour television. Colour wasn’t available until around 1970.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.


1960 - I started school. My Kindergarten (Prep/Reception) class had 38 students. There were no photocopiers or computers but we did have slide projectors and movie projectors. We did have pencils and crayons.

I'm the student top left near the teacher. Other faces have been blanked out.

This graphic should not be copied.

1963 - I lost my job as inkwell monitor. It had been my job to make certain there was ink in each desk’s inkwell in the mornings. We were now able to use the latest writing technology in class, ballpoint pens.

1971 - I saw my first computer. It was at the Lucas Heights Atomic Energy Research Centre. It was large and had a room of its own. We didn’t have CDs, DVDs, Bluray, hard drives or disks. The computer used cards with holes punched in them. You might stack a hundred or more of the cards into the computer to run one program.

PUNCH CARD - Not a real One.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

1975 - I was in university and had use of a PDP8 computer. It was like comparing a candle to a theatre spotlight when thinking of computers today. It wasn’t very powerful by today’s standards but it started my interest. We didn’t have a computer screen or sound. The computer just had a big machine like a typewriter, a telex printer.  This is how I would type in programs. Without disks, programs were stored as holes in long tapes of thick paper.

1978 - saw me start as a casual teacher. I would arrive with an overhead projector, movie and slide projector and a cassette player. That was pretty high tech back then.

I thought I would create this little video clip to show what an 8mm movie and projector looked like.

1981 – I used a computer with a class for the first time. It had a floppy disk drive and a printer. We didn’t have many programs so I wrote some for the class. It was also this year I started using a video camera with a class. Home video cameras were very new and people thought I was from a TV station when I used it.


Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

1983 – I introduced computers to another school. Children were now writing stories on them and printing them.

1988 – Introduced computers to a third school and the following year bought my first mobile phone. I was at that school until 2000. In that time, I showed children and teachers how to use digital cameras, video camera, scanners, modems, and the Internet. We worked with graphics children created on computers, produced a student newspaper on computers, sent emails and edited videos on computers. This was the first school where I was able to network computers in a room. I was also able to lend some of my computers to children so they could use them at home.  By 2000, our government installed a whole school network and children across the school had access to the Internet.

2000 – 2005 – I was in my final school as a full time teacher. By this time, all schools had computers so it was the first of my schools where I didn’t need to introduce computers or the Internet. I was able to spend more time exploring new things with my students and helping teachers who asked for help.

What is happening now I am retired? I now produce CDs and DVDs for schools and community groups using my equipment. I can photograph, film, record sound, edit the video, design and print covers and inserts for CDs and DVDs, order supplies over the Internet if I can’t find them locally, work on blogs, email, Skype, and research on the web. I have never been so in touch with the world as I am now.

What technology will I use in the future? I will use anything I can afford I think will be of help to others or me. How about you?


Teacher (retired), N.S.W., Australia