The Bird Emblems stamp issue has topped the 2020 Stamp Poll!

Respondents completing the online poll were asked to rank (at least) their “top 5” stamp issues and least favourite issue, though almost 70 per cent of respondents didn’t have a least favourite issue.

While more than 90 per cent of respondents were from Australia, the remainder of respondents came from around 30 countries. Most voters were aged between 50 and 70-plus, but there was also good representation by those aged 40 to 49 and some voters in younger categories.

The results help to provide insight into which issues resonate with collectors and the public. Nature, heritage and history were once again popular themes. The Top 10 stamp issues are listed, below:

1. Bird Emblems

Australia is home to an incredible array of animals. During the past 40 years, some of these species have been proclaimed as official bird emblems, faunal emblems and fish emblems of Australian states and territories. Featured in the Bird Emblems stamp issue, released on 21 April 2020, are artworks from John Gould’s seven-volume The Birds of Australia, published in 1848, with most of the impressive lithographs within it based on sketches made by Gould’s wife, artist Elizabeth Gould . The stamp designs, by Sharon Rodziewicz of the Australia Post Design Studio, use graphic elements to indicate the status of the birds as official emblems.

2. Water Tower Art

Water Tower Art is the third stamp issue in a series that showcases large-scale public mural art. Designed by Gary Domoney and released on 7 September 2020, the issue features four spectacular large-scale murals that have been painted on water towers in country towns: Gulargambone, New South Wales (artist, Jenny McCracken); Winton, Victoria (artist, Guido Van Helten); Narrandera, New South Wales (artists from Apparition Media); and Snowtown, South Australia (artist, Vans the Omega). These water towers form part of the Australian Silo Art trail, which promotes the silo art, water tower art and street art of rural Australia.

3. Australian National Botanic Gardens: 50 Years

On 13 October 2020, we released a stamp issue to commemorate 50 years since the official opening of the Australian National Botanic Gardens, which occupy around 90 hectares on Black Mountain, Canberra. The gardens contain the world’s largest living collection of Australian native flora and include around 75,000 plants from more than 6,000 species. The two plants featured on the stamps, a banksia and grevillea, are representative of the native flora grown in these impressive public gardens. Stamp design is by Sharon Rodziewicz of the Australia Post Design Studio.

4. The Queen's Birthday 2020

On 7 April 2020, we released a stamp issue to commemorate the 94th birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, designed by Jo Muré of the Australia Post Design Studio. The domestic-rate stamp presents Her Majesty during the 1970 royal tour of Australia, it being 50 years since this event, and the international-rate stamp features a recent photograph of Her Majesty, taken at Royal Ascot, an annual five-day horseracing event.

5. Wildlife Recovery (SCM 2020)

The stamps in this issue, released on 4 August 2020 for Stamp Collecting Month and designed by Jo Mur é of the Australia Post Design Studio, showcase six animal species that the Federal Government’s Wildlife and Threatened Species Bushfire Recovery expert panel identified for immediate conservation management, in the wake of the devastating bushfires of 2019–20. Some 12 million hectares burned across town, rural and remote regions, including in bushland and protected areas. It is a long road to recovery for many animals, including the Koala, but the stories of success provide a source of optimism for the survival of our much-loved wildlife.

6. Anzac Day 2020

This stamp issue, released on 14 April 2020, in the lead-up to Anzac Day, features oil on canvas paintings that were inspired by the events of the two World Wars on the home front and in combat overseas. The paintings featured are by William Dargie and Stella Bowen, both of whom were both employed as Australian official war artists during World War II, as well as Grace Cossington Smith and Hilda Rix Nicholas. Stamp design is by Simone Sakinofsky of the Australia Post Design Studio.

7. World Heritage Australia

On 20 October 2020, we released our World Heritage Australia stamp issue, designed by Jason Watts of the Australia Post Design Studio. The stamps showcase four Australian sites that have been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List due to their cultural significance: the Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens in Melbourne, Victoria; the Budj Bim Cultural Landscape, in Victoria’s Western District; the Sydney Opera House, New South Wales; and the Cascades Female Factory in Hobart, Tasmania. The stamps present a photograph of each site, together with a photograph of a relevant artefact or aspect.

8. Civil Aviation: 100 Years

On 6 October 2020, we released a stamp issue to mark the beginning of organised and regulated civil aviation in Australia, as well as the centenary of our major national and international airline, Qantas. The Civil Aviation: 100 Years stamp issue, illustrated by Andrew Hopgood, highlights the early work carried out by government to set up a safe aviation system, as well as the present day, in which Australia boasts one of the safest aviation systems in the world. Featured is the de Havilland D.H.50 aeroplane, G-AUAB, which conducted several important survey flights, as well as a Qantas Dreamliner aircraft with special centenary livery.

9. Navigating History: Endeavour Voyage 250 Years

In 1770, James Cook and his crew aboard the HMS Endeavour became the first Europeans to set foot on the east coast of the continent. This stamp issue, which was released on 29 April 2020, marks the 250th anniversary of the Endeavour’s voyage, while recognising that Australia has a much longer, rich and continuing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history at its heart. The stamp illustrations, by Jenna Lee and Niqui Branchu, respectfully reflect a multi-layered and complex narrative.

10. Transcontinental Railway: 50 Years

On 11 February 2020, we commemorated the 50th anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental standard-gauge railway with the release of a stamp issue. Before 1970, variation in rail gauge meant that goods and passengers travelling by rail from Sydney to Perth were subject to the inconvenience of several train changes. The stamp, illustrated by Leanne and Jamie Tufrey, depicts the inaugural Indian-Pacific passenger train, which travelled on a standard-gauge track from Sydney to Perth, arriving on the morning of 26 February 1970.

Visit the Stamp Poll webpage, for results from previous polls.

Philatelic Team


This content was produced during Fenruary 2021 and will not be updated.