Coombs - Signatures on Australian banknotes - Herbert Cole Coombs - Coins and Australia

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Herbert Cole Coombs

In 1949 Coombs was appointed Governor of the Commonwealth Bank and in 1951 Chairman of its Board. When central banking legislation was changed in 1960 he was appointed Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia and Chairman of the Board, posts that he held until 1968. As he describes in Other People's Money, he used this position in a most innovative way, setting up a Banking Administrative Staff College and establishing regular meetings with the managers of commercial banks. Later he organized meetings of central bankers of various countries, especially those of South-East Asia, Australia and New Zealand, and was involved in the planning of the banking system of Papua New Guinea in anticipation of its independence. On the scientific side, he showed a great interest in the part played by the Rural Credits Development Fund in stimulating and assisting research projects and post-graduate education in the universities. The Rural Credits Development Fund also sponsored several academic positions in Australian universities, primarily to help apply agricultural and biological research to operations at the farm level.

Coombs had always been interested in the arts, and while he was Governor of the Commonwealth Bank he was instrumental in setting up the Australian Elizabethan Theatre Trust, of which he was Chairman from 1954 to 1967. He was a member of the Council of the Australian Ballet School from 1958 and a director of the Australian Ballet Foundation from 1962 to 1967.

Coombs - Signature on Australian banknote

Coombs signature on Australian banknotes

Coombs appears on the following banknotes:

  • Ten pounds 1940 to 1954 (Sheehan-McFarlane)
  • Five pounds 1939 to 1954 (Sheehan-McFarlane)
  • One pound 1938 to 1953 (Sheehan-McFarlane)
  • Ten shillings 1939 to 1954 (Sheehan-McFarlane)
  • Ten pounds 1939 and 1940 (Riddle-Sheehan)
  • Ten pounds 1925 to 1934 (Riddle-Sheehan)
  • Five pounds 1933 to 1939 (Riddle-Sheehan)
  • Five pounds 1924 to 1933 (Riddle-Sheehan)
  • One pound 1933 to 1938 (Riddle-Sheehan)
  • One pound 1923 to 1933 (Riddle-Sheehan)
  • Ten shillings 1933 to 1938 (Riddle-Sheehan)
  • Ten shillings 1923 to 1933 (Riddle-Sheehan)

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