The Australian dollar was introduced on 14 February 1966, not only replacing the Australian pound (long since distinct from the pound sterling), but also introducing a decimal system.
In 1965 the Prime Minister at the time, Robert Menzies wished to name the currency "The Royal", and other names such as "the Austral", "The Oz", "The Boomer", "The Roo", "The Kanga", "The Emu", "The Digger", "The Kwid" and "Ming" (the nickname of Menzies) were also proposed. Due to Menzies' influence, the name "Royal" was settled upon, and trial designs were prepared and printed by the printing works of the Reserve Bank of Australia. The unusual choice of name for the currency proved unpopular, and it was later shelved in favour of "dollar".
On 14 February 1966 the Australian dollar was introduced at a rate of two dollars per pound, or ten shillings per dollar.
In 1967 the Australian dollar effectively left the sterling area for the first time. When sterling devalued in 1967 against the U.S. dollar, the new Australian dollar did not follow. It maintained its peg to the U.S. dollar at the same rate.