Australia stamps and postal history of has two identifiable periods, the first covering the ‘Australian States’ and the latter, from 1913. This is when the newly formed Commonwealth of Australia stamps were inscribed ‘Australia’. To demonstrate this new level of independence a kangaroo was incorporated into the design of the first Australia stamps. The story of the ‘Kangaroo and Map’ stamps is as fascinating. The politically motivated intrigue that accompanied the design contest that led to the first British Empire postage stamps not to show a profile of a reigning British monarch.
The George V “Heads” were introduced later in 1913, placating those critical of the absence of a British monarch. They are amongst the most carefully studied stamps in world philately. They have a wide array of colours, watermarks and also flaws. This issue arguably includes Australia’s rarest stamp being a tete-beche pair of the 1930 2d golden scarlet.
There are significant other important Australian definitive and Australian commemorative stamps, including the original and later “Laughing Kookaburra” issues. The 1932 Sydney Harbour Bridge set of three that included one disproportionately high value 5/- stamp (the average weekly wage being £9!). In addition the ‘modern classic’ 1950 8½d Aborigine “One Pound Jimmy” stamp. Australia was also at the forefront of the first airmail flights. Covers from the 1920s and early 1930s are keenly collected.