Australia has issued Christmas stamps annually since 1957 and was the first country in the world to commence an annual program. The current Christmas stamp program represents the Christmas holiday as we know it in Australia today, spanning both religious and secular themes.

The three religious designs from the Christmas 2016 stamp issue have been executed using the intricate art of paper-cut. The artist, Stuart McLachlan, has hand-cut delicate paper shapes before layering them to create a scene and then lighting, photographing and colouring them to produce the stamp images. The stamps each depict a different scene from the biblical story of the birth of Christ.

Christmas 2016 stamps - The incredible art of paper-cut

The two secular-themed stamps were designed by Stacey Zass and showcase the universal themes of goodwill (represented by a star) and joy (represented by a gift).

The Christmas 2016 stamps are available as Personalised Stamps™, which allow you to place a photo in the tabs next to the stamps, which are then printed into a sheetlet. You can then place the tab and stamp directly onto your card, for a special finishing touch.


Stacey Zass (secular), Stuart McLachlan (religious)

Products released in this issue

  • First day cover
  • Stamp pack
  • Minisheet
  • Set of maxicards
  • Postal numismatic cover (Three Wise Men stamp)
  • Two x sheetlet of 5 (Angel and Three Wise Men stamps)
  • Self-adhesive booklet of 20 (Goodwill and Joy stamps)
  • Self-adhesive booklet of 20 (Virgin and Child stamp)
  • Two x embellished sheetlet of 10 (Goodwill and Joy stamps)
  • Embellished sheetlet pack (Goodwill and Joy stamps)

Technical specifications

Issue date
31 October 2016
Issue withdrawal date
30 April 2017
3 x 65c, 1 x $1.70, 1 x $2.55
Stamp design - secular stamps
Stacey Zass
Stamp design - religious stamps
Stuart McLachlan
Product design
Jo Mure
McKellar Renown (religious), EgoTrade Pty Ltd (secular)
Paper - gummed
Tullis Russell Red Phos
Paper - self-adhesive
Secure Post Cprint 100, WLK6B100, Domain
Printing process
Offset lithography
Stamp size
26mm x 37.5mm
14 x 14.4
Minisheet size
130mm x 80mm
Sheetlet size
120mm x 193mm
Sheet layout
Module of 50
FDI postmark
Merrylands NSW 2160
FDI withdrawal date
28 November 2016

Stamps in this issue

65c Virgin and Child

The 65 cent domestic Christmas card rate stamp features Mary lovingly cradling her newborn child.

$1.70 Trumpeting Angel

The $1.70 international rate stamp showcases the angel musically announcing the joyous news of the birth.

$2.55 Three Wise Men

The $2.55 international rate stamp shows the three wise men sent by King Herod. The three wise men, or magi, travel on their camels to investigate the birth of Christ. The magi followed the guiding star to Bethlehem, where they offered precious gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the tiny baby. Some non-biblical traditions name the three magi as Melchior, Caspar and Balthazar.

65c Goodwill
65c Joy
65c Joy

This content was produced at the time of the stamp issue release date and will not be updated.