Hornsby Shire Council has acquired a valuable memento of Brooklyn’s significant role in shaping our nation – an original Australian five pound note that features a picture of the village.
The first Australian five pound note was issued in 1913 and showed Brooklyn from the hillside above the Sanatorium Hotel, looking out over the inlet to Kangaroo Point.
“It was a fitting tribute to a community that helped create one of the major foundation stones of our nation,” Hornsby Shire Mayor Steve Russell said.
“When Sir Henry Parkes attended the opening of the Hawkesbury River Railway Bridge in 1889, he saw it as a symbol that Australia was ready to become a nation and gave one of his most notable federation speeches.”
According to Sir Henry Parkes, the bridge was nationally significant because it made it possible to travel from Brisbane to Melbourne and Adelaide by train.
“We have formed communication by railway which may be said to bind the whole population of Australia in one chain,” he said at the opening.
At the time the note was issued five pounds represented more than the average weekly wage of a man and more than double the weekly wage of a woman.
Today the note is worth more than $2000 and will be proudly displayed within Hornsby Shire Council Chambers.