Stamp Collecting Month 2018: Reef Safari
Lesson Plans

Stamp Collecting Month overview

Stamp Collecting Month (SCM) provides an exciting way for middle to upper primary school students and teachers to engage with interesting learning focus areas through stamps. This year’s theme, Reef Safari, focuses on the Great Barrier Reef. Learn about one of the world’s most remarkable natural wonders while engaging in curriculum aligned resources.

Lesson Plan Year 3

Lesson overview

In this lesson students will learn to define and classify living and non-living things based on observable features. Students will focus on the ecosystem of the Great Barrier Reef. Using Australia Post SCM resources, students will work collaboratively to sort living and non-living things into groups. Students will need to highlight the observable features of each to justify their classification.

Lesson Plan Year 4

Lesson overview

In this lesson students will investigate the coral ecosystem of the Great Barrier Reef to understand its complex biodiversity and how all living things on the reef depend on each other and the environment to survive. Students will learn about the producers, the consumers and the decomposers found within the Great Barrier Reef system. They will research how the ecosystem has changed over the years due to natural processes and human activity.

Lesson Plan Year 5

Lesson overview

In this lesson students will investigate the marine life found in the coral ecosystem of the Great Barrier Reef. Students will select one animal or plant and complete an online profile outlining identifying information such as characteristics, behaviours and adaptations to help engage and educate fellow students.

Lesson Plan Year 6

Lesson overview

In this lesson students will investigate human and natural threats, such as climate change, to the Great Barrier Reef and identify the physical changes that have occurred as a result over recent years. Students will understand the importance of taking action now in order to help the reef regenerate and recover, and to minimise any future harm.

Activities and resources

If you’re a parent, caregiver or teacher, here are some free resources to share with children. Want some more advice on stamp collecting? Read our tips on starting a collection.

Championing Sustainability

The Great Barrier Reef is facing a major threat through climate change and urgently needs protection. Australia Post is addressing climate change through its commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – a ‘to-do’ list to tackle the planet’s biggest problems by 2030!

Lesson plans for teachers: Learn about stamps

Check out our three lesson plans on how students can learn about the history and creation of stamps.

Stamp collecting tips for beginners

If you’re new to stamp collecting, we’ve got some tips to get you going. Of course, the SCM stamp issue, Reef Safari, is a great place to start.

In our two-part series, we offer advice and guidance to those new to stamp collecting, who may benefit from a little help to get them started.

Classroom Videos

If you’re a parent, caregiver or teacher, here are some great videos to share with children.

Time Audio Visual
0:00 Background music starts
Four children are sitting on the ground in an outdoor play area, beside a slide. Illustration of a calendar in the top right hand corner flips through the months until it arrives at August.
0:02 This August is stamp collecting month, and this year we are going to take you on a Reef Safari!
0:04   Camera zooms in closer to the children to see them looking through stamp albums with the Reef Safari minisheet in the foreground and one of the female children holding the Grey Reef Shark stamp in one hand and a magnifying glass in the other.
0:06   Reef Safari text logo emerges on screen.
[text] Reef Safari. Stamp Collecting Month. 
0:07 Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is one of the world’s most remarkable natural wonders. Situated off the east coast of Australia, the Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef system in the world, the largest living structure on the planet, and is even visible from space!
Octopus illustration drops down and is positioned behind the Reef Safari text logo
0:09   Illustration of spinning earth globe. Zoom in on the globe to the Great Barrier Reef.
[text] Queensland
Video moves along a satellite view of the Great Barrier Reef
0:20   Animated recreation of the international space station.
0:23 In 1975 the Australian government created the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park in order to protect the Reef, and in 1981 it was added to the World Heritage List.  Today it’s one of Australia’s main tourist destinations, attracting millions of visitors every year.
Video of pilot flying and looking over the Great Barrier Reef.
[text] 1975: Great Barrier Reef Marine Park created
Camera turns and looks out window over the Great Barrier Reef
New video of a stretch of the Great Barrier Reef
[text] 1981: Great Barrier Reef added to World Heritage List
0:33   Video of people disembarking from a Cruise Whitsundays boat and walking to the right along the sand.
0:35   Video of people snorkelling.
0:40 The Great Barrier Reef is composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands, and is made up of and built by billions of tiny organisms, called coral polyps. Global warming is causing the temperature of the world’s oceans to rise and in recent year’s parts of the reef have been impacted by coral bleaching, which means the corals can turn white, and can starve and die.
Ariel view of a heart-shaped small island in the Great Barrier Reef.
More aerial views of the Great Barrier Reef.
0:47   Video of an underwater Sea Anemone/Coral Polyp moving with the sea current.
0:53   Illustration of the world showing what appears to be hot and cold areas. Overlayed onto the illustration is what appears to be ocean currents.
0:59   Video of some bleached coral.
1:06 Government and other organisations including the Great Barrier Reef Foundation are working to save the Great Barrier Reef for future generations. This year has been declared the International Year of the Reef.
Video of a healthy, teaming coral reef in rich blue sea with fish swimming around it.
1:12   New video of another part of a lively Great Barrier Reef.
[text] 2018 is the International Year of the Reef
The octopus logo illustration makes a quick cameo on the right hand side of the video.
1:17 An extraordinary range of marine creatures are supported by the reef’s complex natural ecosystem. These include 600 types of soft and hard corals, more than 100 species of jellyfish, 3,000 varieties of molluscs, 500 worm species, 1,600 types of fish, 133 species of sharks and rays, and more than 30 species of whales and dolphins.
Screen is overlayed with a view of what the reefs would look like seen through snorkelling glasses.
Three new short videos showing yet more activity on and around reefs.
[text] 600 types of soft and hard corals.
Short video of an Upside-down Jellyfish.
[text] 100+ species of jellyfish.
Short video of Reef Squid.
[text] 3,000 varieties of molluscs.
Short video of Flatworm.
[text] 500 worm species.
Short video of Anthias fish swimming.
[text] 1,600 types of fish.
Short video of sharks swimming.
[text] 133 species of sharks and rays.
Short video of dolphin swimming.
[text] 30+ species of whales and dolphins
1:40 This year’s minisheet shows a section of healthy reef teeming with life. The creatures include some of the amazing array of corals including massive Brain coral, plating, branching and encrusting corals, and the individual stamps feature some beautiful and extraordinary animals!
Image of this year’s Reef Safari minisheet without the perforations appears on screen.
The sea creatures in the minisheet appear to come closer.
Area containing the brian coral in the minisheet highlighted by zooming in on it.
Area containing the plating coral in the minisheet highlighted by zooming in on it.
Area containing the branching and encrusting coral in the minisheet highlighted by zooming in on it.
Perforations of the minisheet overlayed onto the minisheet image.
1:57 The first stamp in this year’s collection features the Nautilus, which is a distant cousin of the squid and octopus. It has around 90 tentacles, and to swim it sucks water into a chamber in its shell, then expels the water creating jet propulsion to thrust itself backwards.
Video of Nautilus propelling through the water.Image of the Nautilus stamp spins in in the top left hand corner.
[text] Nautilus Related to the squid & octopus Has 90 tentacle! Swims by using jet propulsion
2:13 The second stamp features the Green Sea Turtle. Green Sea Turtles migrate long distances between feeding grounds and hatching beaches. Remote Raine Island on the Great Barrier Reef is home to the world’s largest green turtle breeding ground.
Video of Green Sea Turtle swimming lazily through the reef.
Image of the Green Sea Turtle stamp spins in in the top left hand corner.
[text] Green Sea Turtle Migrate long distances
Video of baby Green Sea Turtles scurrying along Raine Island beach.
[text] Raine Island is home to the world’s largest Green Turtle breeding ground
2:27 The Olive, or Golden Sea Snake features on the third stamp. This is a highly venomous snake that spends its entire life in the ocean, and its large lungs allow it to stay underwater for hours between breaths at the surface. This snake can grow up to two metres long.
Video of Olive Sea Snake gliding through a reef.
Image of the Olive Sea Snake stamp spins in in the top left hand corner.
[text] Olive Sea Snake Highly venomous Spends its entire life in the ocean Can grow up to 2 metres long!
2:44 The next stamp features the Emperor Angelfish, which has strong jaws to feed on plants and small invertebrates. The markings of the Emperor Angelfish change as it ages. Juveniles are dark blue with blue and white rings, while adults have yellow and blue stripes with black around the eyes.
Video of Emperor Angelfish swimming in the reef with other fish bit small and large.
Image of the Emperor Angelfish stamp spins in in the top left hand corner.
[text] Emperor Angelfish Has strong jaws Feeds on plants and small invertebrates Its markings change as it gets older
3:03 The final stamp in this year’s collection features the Grey Reef Shark. These sharks are most often seen in shallow water near the drop-offs of coral reefs. They feed mainly on bony fishes and hunt individually or in groups. They are usually under two metres in length.
Video of Grey Reef Shark swimming in and around the reef. A small fish swims under the Grey Reef Shark while it swims away from the reef.
Image of the Grey Reef Shark stamp spins in in the top left hand corner.
[text] Grey Reef Shark Found in Shallow water Feeds on bony fish Hunts individually or in groups
3:18 Now that brings us to the end of the Reef Safari. What was your favorite stamp from this amazing natural wonder?
Image of the Reef Safari minisheet with perforations appears again in screen.
The images of all five stamps zoom in and then out in quick succession.
3:24 Be sure to celebrate Stamp Collecting Month and collect all five stamps in this year’s stamp issue. You can also learn more about these beautiful animals by visiting the Stamp Collecting Month website.
Image of the Reef Safari minisheet with perforations appears again on screen and slowly zooms in.
3:31   Reef Safari logo with Octopus and Australia Post logo come into view on screen.
3:37   Australia Post logo and text.
3:42   End of video.

Why Collect Stamps video transcript

Australians have been collecting stamps for over 150 years, a couple of decades after stamps were first issued in 1840.

Kids would collect stamps as a hobby, asking their family and friends to save stamps from letters and envelopes they received.

News about valuable stamps, like the famous American stamp called the US Inverted Jenny from 1918, which sold in 2016 for over one and a half million dollars! and the world’s most valuable stamp, the 1856 one cent British Guiana Stamp, worth over 12 million dollars! has led to a huge interest in stamp collecting.

The value of stamps is determined by their age, their scarcity and their condition. But collecting is not just about a stamp’s value - it’s fun to collect colourful, interesting or unusual stamps, sort them into an album, and trade them with your friends!

Each year Australia Post dedicates a whole month to stamp collecting and every year a different theme is chosen for a series of exciting new stamps and products like the endangered species series which featured some Australia native animals including the Orange-bellied parrot and the Southern Corroboree Frog, as well as some exotic species like the Asian Elephant, and the Western Lowland Gorilla.

We’ve also explored the depths of our solar system where we took a thrilling ride through space and visiting all 8 planets; from the inhospitable heat of Mercury and Venus through to the eerie, cold gas giants like Jupiter and Saturn.

And we travelled way back in time with some beautifully illustrated drawings of some weird and wonderful and sometimes scary! dinosaurs.

All you need to start your own collection is a stamp album and some stamps! You can buy stamps from your local Australia Post shop, swap them with your friends, or ask your family to save stamps for you.

Stamp collecting is a lot of fun. And who knows, you may even find a rare stamp worth a lot of money!


Production of the Australia Post Wildflowers Definitive Stamps transcript

Male inspecting printing plates
[Slate]: Plate production using a plating system from Du Pont
Male placing paper rolls onto printing machine
Paper rolls running through printing machine
Printing machine running
[Slate]: Four Colour printing on a flexographic printing press
Printing machine running, printing stamps
[Slate]: Stamps are then coated with phosphor and die cut
Printing machine running, printing stamps
[Slate]: The printing machine contains UV lamps to cure the ink through each stage
Printed stamps being passed through the machine and collected onto large rolls
Rolls of stamps going through Quality Control (QC)
[Slate]: Stamps go through inspection using cameras to detect abnormalities
Vision of QC process and inspection
[Slate]: During inspection imperfect stamps are replaced
Stamps passing through QC machine
Male inspecting printed stamp sheets by hand
Australia Post van driving out of production facility
[Slate]: Stamps are then transported to the Australia Post Production Facility
Printed stamps going through cutting machine to produce smaller rolls
Smaller stamp rolls produced, going through conveyor belt
[Slate]: Stamps are cut into smaller rolls of 200 stamps and placed in packaging
Smaller stamp rolls going through conveyor belt to packing
Stamp rolls packaged into boxes
[Slate]: Rolls are picked and boxed and made ready for delivery
Boxes being processed through convey belt
Australia Post van driving out of production facility

Australia Post Logo

How can I help the Reef?

Six things you can do to help the Reef right now