The six colonies which formed the Commonwealth of Australia issued their own stamps up until 1912, after which it became the responsibility of the Commonwealth. Prior to that, stamps had been issued in the following regions: New South Wales, 1850; Victoria, 1850; Tasmania (formerly VanDiemensland), 1853; Western Australia, 1854; South Australia, 1855 and Queensland in 1860. These colony issues are considered to be an integral part of most Australia stamp collections and some stamp collectors only collect these colony postage issues.
Australia postage stamps proper were first issued in 1913 with the issue of the red one penny kangaroo and map stamp. This stamp was issued on 2 January 1913. The design was partially adopted from a competition entry which had gained first place in the Australia Stamp Design Competition. The “Roo” issues dominated Australia postage together with the King George V “KGV” stamps until the 1930’s. Thereafter an extensive and colorful issuing policy has produced many eye catching sets of postage stamps over the decades.
Australia has a fascinating history of stamp issues and in fact throughout the history of the postal service in Australia, it has jointly issued stamps with other countries, such as New Zealand in 1958, 1963 and 1988; the United Kingdom in 1963, 1988 and 2005; the United States of America in 1988; the U.S.S.R. in 1990; People’s Republic of China in 1995; Indonesia in 1996; Singapore in 1998; Greece in 2000; Hong Kong in 2001; Sweden in 2001; France and Thailand in 2002.