Australia stamps

P=have O=don’t have it

Flag of Australia

The various colonies that joined to form the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901 (New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, and Western Australia) had long operated their own postal systems; At federation the Commonwealth was granted the power to operate a central postal system through Section 51(v) of the Australian Constitution. Although unification of systems was expected to occur quickly, and a federal postmaster general was appointed, the process was delayed for several years; the stamps of each colony were not recognized by other colonies until 1910, and postal rates only became uniform throughout Australia on 1 May 1911. The Postmaster-General's department eventually became Australia Post in the 1970s.

 Scott: #229aP

Issued: 27.9.1950

Centenary of Australian Stamps

#3 Inside #228: New South Wales #3aO (B)

#6 Inside #229: Victoria Type A1O (B)

The History of stamps in Victoria:



Scott: #228-9P



#3 Inside #???: Victoria #3O

#1 Inside #???: New South Wales #1O

New South Wales was the first part of Australia to be settled by Europeans, and the first to operate a postal service, which in 1803 was carrying letters between Sydney and Parramatta for a 2d charge. In 1809 a collecting office in Sydney was established to receive mail from passing ships, and in 1825 the postal service was expanded. Mail coach service began in 1830, and in 1835 a new Postage Act superseded the 1825 statute and set rates based on weight and distance travelled.

The postmaster of the time, James Raymond, was in communication with Rowland Hill in England and worked to encourage the prepayment of letters in NSW. In 1838, Raymond introduced envelopes embossed with the seal of the colony, and available for local mail for 1¼ pence each instead of the 2d charged letters paid for in cash. They are thus regarded as precursors of the Penny Black. However, the envelopes were not popular, and in 1841 Raymond was unable to develop official interest in postage stamps for the colony.

In 1842 regular mail service was carried by steamer between Melbourne and Sydney, and the first mail packet from Britain arrived in 1844. An act of 1848 reformed the postal system and authorized the use of stamps; the first stamps appeared on 1 January 1850. They were locally produced, and depicted a scene of Sydney and its harbour, thus becoming known as the "Sydney Views". The 1d, 2d, and 3d stamps were separately engraved, and then re-engraved and retouched over the next year, yielding dozens of varieties.

In 1851 the colony switched to a more conventional design, a profile of Queen Victoria wearing a laurel wreath, first in a somewhat crude rendition, then a better one in 1853. The colony also took the unusual step of using paper watermarked with the denomination, a practice that resulted in a number of mismatches between watermark and printed denomination that are rare and highly prized today.


Scott: #266P

Issued: 23.9.1953

Tasmania Stamp centenary

#2 Inside #266: Tasmania #2O

Scott: #274P

Issued: 2.8.1954

Western Australia Stamp Centenary

#1 Inside #274: Western Australia #1O (B)


Scott: #285P

Issued: 17.10.1955

South Australia Stamp Centenary

#1 Inside #285: South Australia Type A1O (B)


Scott: #338P

Issued: 2.11.1960

Queensland Stamp Centenary

#1 Inside #338: Queensland Type A1O (B)

Scott: #412-7 (B) Issued: 14.2.1966

Definitive for Change to Decimal Currency, Like Australia #374-9


Scott: #597O, #598P

Issued: 9.10.1974

National Stamp Week Promotion

Inside #597-8: Stamp on Envelope


Scott: #647P

Issued: 27.9.1976

National Stamp Week

#59 Inside #647: Australia #59O


Scott: #648P

Although one-penny postcards and lettercards appeared in 1911, for most students of the area, Australian philately proper begins in early 1913 with the “Kangaroo and Map” series of stamps, featuring a kangaroo standing on a map of Australia, and inscribed "AUSTRALIA POSTAGE".

The first issue of the series consisted of 15 values ranging from a half penny to two pounds. The watermark was the first of several variations on the "A surmounted by a crown" theme, in this case the "wide crown and wide A". Kangaroo and Map stamps were reprinted several times: in 1915 with first the "wide crown and narrow A" watermark, then the "narrow crown and narrow A"; in 1929 with the "multiple small crown and A" watermark, and higher values in two colors; in 1932 with the "multiple small crown and C of A" watermark. In December 1945 the series ended with a redrawn two-shilling stamp. Most of the Kangaroo and Map stamps are readily available today, although values of 5 shillings and up are expensive.


Scott: #687P

Issued: 25.9.1978

National Stamp Week

#95 Inside #687: Australia #95O


Scott: #687aO


Scott: #719-21O

Issued: 24.9.1979

Christmas 1979

Inside #720: Stamp on Envelope

Sydpex 80a

Australia 1980 Sydpex 80 Stamp Exhibition 22c postal stationery envelope - set of 2 with illustrated Nat Philatelic Convention cancels for 25th & 26th Oct


Scott: #776-7P

Issued: 25.3.1981

50th Anniversary, First Official Airmail Flight, U.K./Australia

#C2 Inside #776-7: Australia #C2O


Scott: #846P

Issued: 27.9.1982

National Stamp Week

#132 Inside #846: Australia #132O


Scott: #869P

Issued: 18.5.1983

National Stamp Week

Inside #869: Pseudo Stamp


Scott: #890-1O

Issued: 22.2.1984

50th Anniversary of Official Airmail Service

#C5 Inside #890: New Zealand #C5O

#142 for #891 Inside #891: Australia #142P

#C3 Inside #891: Australia #C3O

#35 Inside #891: New Guinea #35O


Scott: #???O

(Pre-Stamps Envelope)

Issued: 18.4.1984

175th Anniversary of Postal Service in Australia

#332 Inside #???: Australia #332P


Scott: #925P

Issued: 22.8.1984


#2 Inside #925: Australia #2P


Scott: #926P(used)

Issued: 21.9.1984

#3 Inside #926a: Victoria #3O

#1 Inside #926b: New South Wales #1O

#1a Inside #926c: Tasmania #1O

#1 Inside #926d: South Australia #1O

#1 Inside #926e: Western Australia #1O

#3 Inside #926f: Queensland #3O


Scott: #1063P

Issued: 17.2.1988

Living Together Cartoons

Inside #1063: Pseudo Stamp


Scott: #1180a-fO

Issued: 1.5.1990

150th Anniversary, Penny Black

#44 Inside #1180a: New South Wales #44O

#4 Inside #1180b: South Australia #4O

#2 Inside #1180c: Tasmania #2O

#120 Inside #1180d: Victoria #120O

#109 Inside #1180e: Queensland #111AO (Pic of #109)

#3a Inside #1180f: Western Australia #3aO

These 4 pence blue stamps from the colony of Western Australia are among the world's first inverted errors along with the the 4 anna inverted heads of India, printed some months earlier, in 1854. Technically, the frames are upside-down, not the swans, as proven on the piece above by the right-most partial stamp. The inverted frames come from the stamp's second printing of the 4d lithographs.

The 4d stamps were first produced by Horace Samson in Perth using lithography in July 1854. Another printing was needed in January 1855 and Alfred Hillman was by then the lithographer. Something catastrophic (cracked stone?) happened after only three sheets had been printed and a new printing stone was required. Hillman found damage at position R8/1 on the intermediate stone of 60 impressions and replaced the complete frame. Unfortunately he mistakenly replaced it upside down! A new printing stone was made by transferring the block of 60 four times to make Printing Stone No 2. This stone was put to press and produced 97 sheets, meaning that 388 inverted frames were printed. The error was corrected on the printing stone before it was next put to press in October 1855. - indiaqueen


Scott: #1180hP

Scott: #1180h with Stamp World London 90 logo in upper right hand cornerO

Issued: 3.5.1990

Inside: Stamp on envelope (in logo)

Thanks to Lloyd Gilbert


Scott: #1261P

(Thanks to Kathy Sulzner)

Issued: 9.4.1992

Queen Elizabeth II 66th Birthday

#258 Inside #1261: Australia #258P


Scott: #1380O

Issued: 11.8.1994

World War II Prime Ministers


Inside #1380 (in Background): Australia #184-5P, #186-7O



Scott: #1456-8O (B)

Issued: 10.8.1995

50th Anniversary, End of World War II


Inside #1456-8: Australia #200P, #201O, #202O

Scott: #1491O

Issued: 11.4.1997

70th Birthday, Queen Elizabeth II

 Inside #1595: Australia #279O (Design Component: bust only)

Thanks to Lou Guadagno


Scott: #1595O

Issued: 17.4.1997

1997 Birthday of Queen Elizabeth II

#210 Inside #1595: Australia #210P

The Crown's role can be seen in numerous places within Australian life. For instance, the Queen is ceremonial head of the Australian honours system. As such, only she can approve the creation of an honour, which she does as requested by government of Australia. The Governor-General administers all responsibilities relating to Australian honours on the Queen's behalf.

Queen Elizabeth's birthday is April 26, however since 1953 the official birthday of Australia's Monarch has been a national holiday known as the Queen's Birthday, normally the second Monday in June in all states and territories except Western Australia where it is set each year by vice-regal proclamation, though this is usually the last Monday of September or first Monday of October. It is on this day that the "Queen's Birthday Honours List", which outlines the newly inducted members of the Order of Australia, is announced.

The Queen is a regular visitor to Australia. The cultural importance that Australians attached to the monarchy as a British institution, however, visibly declined in the decades following World War II as Australia began to emerge and blossom into a mature nation in her own right. The federal and state governments now recognise and promote the Queen's role as monarch of Australia as separate to her position as Queen of the United Kingdom. For example, though God Save the Queen remains the Royal Anthem, Advance Australia Fair has been adopted as the National Anthem, both by proclamation of Governor-General Sir Ninian Stephen on 19 April, 1984. The Vice-Regal Salute is the first four and last four bars of Advance Australia Fair. The Vice-Regal Salute is played only for the governor-general and each governor, because they represent the Crown.

The Queen's image remains on Australian coins, some currency and postage stamps. Her portrait is still found in some government buildings, military installations, schools, and Australian embassies abroad. Crowns are also visible on police forces badges, military badges, and some state coats of arms.

Neither the Queen, the Governor-General, nor any governor has any religious role in Australia. There have been no established churches in Australia since before federation in 1901. This is one of the key differences from the Queen's role in the United Kingdom where she is Supreme Governor of the Church of England. As the Queen of Australia is also the Queen of the United Kingdom, the monarch cannot be a Roman Catholic or married to one and must be in communion with the Church of England upon ascending the throne.

Scott: #1727a-c, #1728a-c (B)

Issued: 19.3.1999, Australia '99


Inside #1727a-c, #1728a-c: Like Australia #374-9


Scott: #1733O

Issued: 22.3.1999

Olympic Games

%23289a Inside #1733: Australia #289O


Australia Post sheetlet of 8 holographic stamps (Sc. #1798 – non SOS) with images of Australia #94 & #1081 in selvedge that commemorated the opening of the Parliament Buildings in Canberra in 1927 & 1988 respectively.

This sheetlet was issued for the 2000 Canberra Stamp Show.

Thanks to Lloyd Gilbert


Scott: #1836bO

Issued: 22.5.2000

Stamp Show 2000 Exhibition

#1 LJ Inside #1836b - In margin of sheet (in show logo) :G.B. #1


Scott: #2284-5O

Issued: 7.9.2004

Stamps from the Archive

#129 Inside #2284-5: Australia #129O

+AUS M2489

Scott: #2484O

Issued: ??.??.2005

Stamps from the Archive

Thanks to Komlóssy Zoltán

Scan not available

Scott: #????O

Issued: 22.2.2005

Centenary First Special Cancel (Imprint Envelope)

#26 Inside #????: New South Wales #26O


70th Anniversary of the 1st National Philatelic Exhibition in South Australia



Scott: #2583O & #2585O

Issued: 01.11.2006

50th Anniversary Melbourne Olympics

 %23290 Inside #2583: Australia #290P

%23291 Inside #2585: Australia #291P


Scott: #2758-62O

Scott: #2763-7 (Self adhesive stamps)O

Scott: #2768-70 (Self adhesive stamps with personalized photo at right)O

Issued: 01.11.2007

50th Anniversary Australian Christmas Stamps

#669 Inside #2758, #2763, #2768: Australia #669P

#1195 Inside #2759, #2764, #2769: Australia #1195P

#1567 Inside #2760, #2765: Australia #1567O

 Inside #2761, #2766: Australia A101P (pic of #306)

#931 Inside #2762, #2767, #2770: Australia #931O


Scott: #2767bO

The first Christmas stamp was issued by Australia Post in 1957. Australia was the first Commonwealth country to issue a stamp specifically for postage on Christmas greetings cards.

Five classic Australian Christmas stamp designs have been selected for the 50 Years of Christmas stamp issue. They each portray the artistic style, social mood and cultural values of the time and invite us to celebrate memories of the past five decades of Christmas stamps.

The 1957 Christmas stamp depicts a figure of a small kneeling child from the painting of The Infant Samuel 1776 by the English artist Sir Joshua Reynolds (50c stamp), the 1977 stamp portrays the image an the ‘Surfing Santa’ (45c stamp), the 1984 Christmas stamp is a detail of the Madonna and Child from a stained glass window made in 1938 for St.Bartholomew’s Church of England ($1.10 stamp). The 1990 stamp shifts the place of the Nativity from its traditional scene to the Australian bushland and depicts the baby Jesus surrounded by native koala and kangaroo (45c stamp) and the 1996 Christmas stamp illustrates a more traditional Christmas story with Madonna and Child (45c stamp).



Scott: #????O

Issued: 00.00.2009

23rd Asian International Stamp Exhibition

Inside #???? - In margin of sheet (in show logo): Pseudo Stamp

The Souvenir Stamp Sheet features the 12 zodiac stamps as issued in the 2009 Lunar New Year - Year of the Ox Zodiac Sheetlet. Produced exclusively for the 23rd Asian International Stamp exhibition.

The minisheet features a stunning image of the Hong Kong Convention Centre where the 23rd Asian International Stamp Exhibition is being held containing a block of 4 55c stamps from the Tourist Precinct stamp issue.



Scott: #3086-90O

Issued: 26.06.2009

Australia's Favourite Stamps

#15 Inside #3086: £2 Kangaroo & Map Australia #15O

#132 Inside #3087: 5/- Opening of Sydney Harbour Bridge Australia #132O

#200 Inside #3088: 2½d Peace & Victory Australia #200P

#226 Inside #3089: 8½d Gwoya Jungarai 'One Pound Jimmy' Australia #226O

#18 Inside #3090: 6d Kookaburra Australia #18O


Scott: #3095BcO

Issued: 26.06.2009




Scott: #3104bO

Issued: 23.07.2009

Melbourne Stampshow 2009


Scott: #3175O

Issued: 13.10.2009

Everyday People - Australia Post 200 Years - Part III

Inside #3175b:






Australia #3086-90O

2009 FCD 1

Australia #3049bO

2009 FCD

Australia #3049cO


Inside #3175d: TBI


Inside #3175i: TBI

Issued: 30.10.2009

Launpex 2009

Inside (On tabs): Tasmania stamps







Click For Larger EXACT ACTUAL Image




Scott: #3095B(?)O

Issued: 29.11.2009

Australia’s Favourite Stamp

Imperf self adhesive s/s

#15 Inside #3095B: £2 Kangaroo & Map Australia #15O

Thanks to Lou Guadagno

Scott: #3253O

Issued: 7.5.2010

Colonial Heritage I - Queen Victoria (Chalon Head)

 Inside #3253: Tasmania #4O - Chalon Head (B)

Thanks to Martin Hirschbühl

Prior to Federation and the release of Australia's first national stamp issue in 1913, the six former colonies issued their own stamps. This stamp issue is the first in a series of four commemorating that early philatelic history. This 5$ stamp reinterprets the original " Chalon Head" designs of Van Diemen's Land / Tasmania and Queensland (in circulation from 1855 to 1892 and 1860 to 1913 respectively). The portrait of Queen Victoria is based on Alfred Chalon's 1837 painting of the young queen in her coronation robes. Chalon's painting, now in Belgium's Royal Collection, is reproduced on the miniature sheet.


Tasmania was the 3rd colony in Australia to have issued postage stamps, subsequent to New South Wales and Victoria. The first issues known as the "Courier" for 1d and 4d values were issued on November 1, 1853. These stamps were engraved on the copper plates by C.W. Coard and printed by H. and C. Best, who was the publisher of the "Courier" newspaper. The printing plate contained 24 impressions of 1d or 4d stamp, which was arranged in 4 rows of six of each impression. The 1d stamp was the rate for town letters, and the 4d stamp was used for inland letters and overseas ship letters irrespective of destination. In accordance with this unusual postage being same for inland and overseas ship letters, the demand for 4d was much bigger than 1d. Subsequent to the issue of the "Courier" stamps, new stamps known as "Chalon Head" stamps were issued for 1d, 2d and 4d values in 1855, which were followed by 6d and 1 sh values in 1858. These 2 values of the "Chalon Head" stamps were used till end of 19th century.


Scott: #3253aO

(Thanks to Lloyd Gilbert for the scan)


Colonial Heritage #3253a with London 2010 O/P

At upper right and at bottom right

Scott: #????O

Issued: ??.??.2011

Centenary of Australia Kangaroo Stamps

Thanks to Martin Hirschbühl

Scott: #????-?O

Issued: 28.7.2010

Colonial Heritage II

This stamp issue is the second in a four-year series titled Colonial Heritage, developed to commemorate Australia's philatelic history. This stamp issue focuses on emerging colonial identity, representing the shift in colonial thinking, reflecting a greater sense of belonging in the "new" homeland. Inside #????: New South Wales #81O

 Inside #????: New South Wales #82O

Kangaroo and Lyrebird

The kangaroo and the lyrebird originally featured in stamps marking the 1888 centenary of New South Wales, the first adhesive commemorative stamp issue to be released worldwide. The kangaroo, flanked by the Sydney flannel flower, was in a one shilling (1/-) brown design; the lyrebird, bordered with waratahs and honeysuckle, was in an eight pence (8d) magenta design. The other Australian colony to feature a kangaroo was South Australia, using it in a blue two-and-a-half (2½d) stamp design released in 1894.

#1 Inside #????: Western Australia #1O

Black Swan and Southern Cross

The Black Swan has a strong place in Western Australia's philatelic heritage. It remained the central motif of the colony's stamps from its first issue, in 1854, until stamp production was transferred to the Commonwealth in 1902. The Southern Cross featured on many Australian colonial stamps, the first of which was the five shilling (5s) New South Wales medallion stamp of 1861. This resonant symbol of the south also appeared in the designs of one Western Australian stamp, six Victorian stamps and four New South Wales designs, including stamp duty and charity designs.

Scott: #????O

Colonial Heritage Visualising Australia - Set of stamps

Scott: #????-?O

Issued: 19.6.2012

Colonial Heritage III

File:New South Wales 1850 (1st January) 1d red postage stamp.jpg Inside #????: New South Wales #1O

 Inside #????: Tasmania #88O

Scott: #????O

This stamp issue is the third in the Colonial Heritage series, commemorating Australia's philatelic past. Book-ending the stamps of the colonial period, it features a reworking of Australia's first postage stamp design, "Sydney View" (1850), and one of its last in the colonial period, "Hobart", from the Tasmanian pictorial issue (1899-1900). Created some 50 years apart, the scenes featured in the original designs serve very different purposes, each linked to its specific historical moment.

The original Sydney View is based on the Great Seal of NSW, which in turn was inspired by Josiah Wedgewood's Sydney Cove medallion (1789), commemorating the landing of the First Fleet in 1788. It features the allegorical figure of Industry, sitting on a bale of goods and surrounded by her attributes, receiving three convicts and gesturing to a scene of industry across the harbor. The scene is instructive and redemptive, symbolizing the convicts' path to redemption and the colony's advancement towards an idealized state.

In contrast, Tasmania's pictorial issue expresses a confident young colony's apprehension of its landscape and its reflection of this for broad consumption. The pictorial issue arose from government photographer John Watt Beattie's suggestion to develop a stamp issue to promote the colony's scenic attractions. By the mid to late 19th century, early mass tourism was gaining traction, so the pictorial stamps can be seen as paper ambassadors publicizing the natural beauty of the colony wherever they went.

Scott: #????O (B)

Issued: 10.05.2013

Colonial Heritage

#59 Inside #????: Australia #59O

In 2013 we mark the centenary of the first Australian Commonwealth postage stamp issue. For some 60 years prior to its release the colonies had produced their own postage stamps. This issue is the last in the Colonial Heritage stamp series (2010-13), a celebration of Australia's rich philatelic heritage.

The World Stamp Expo gives us the opportunity to celebrate the centenary of the Kangaroo and Map with the rest of the philatelic world. While technically the Kangaroo and Map was not, of course, a colonial stamp, in this commemorative context it forms a bookend to the colonial period of stamp design and production.

Released 12 years after Federation, our first national stamp had a troubled beginning. This was partly due to the complexity of a changing postal administration, but it was also political in nature; the revolving off ice-holder of postmastergeneral (11 occupants of the ministry between 1901 and 1912) and the incumbents' ideas around appropriate content pointed to competing narratives of nationhood.

Despite convening a specialist stamp board and holding an international competition to obtain an outstanding design, Australia's fi rst national stamp issue - the Kangaroo and Map - proved a contentious result.

The design of no single artist, it engendered widespread anger that the King's head was absent, mockery that a kangaroo should be adopted as a national symbol and dislike for a design that was considered rudimentary compared with the ornate designs of the time. Since its turbulent release, however, the Kangaroo and Map design has gained much respectability.

Scott: #3918O


Scott: #4245O

Issued: 22.01.2015

First Victoria Cross

sos australia-victoria B3  1900 Inside #4245: Australia-Victoria #B3 semi-postal (1900)O

(#4245a-b: Design components: side panels and Medal vignette, in changed colors)

Best website related:

Australia Post - Home Page

The Australian Philatelic Federation


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