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.
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.
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.
Like the first in the series, this issue comprises stamps in double-definitive size, on paper featuring a simulated watermark. It also includes a special edition miniature sheet, printed in both offset and intaglio.