Christmas 2016

Release date: 31 October 2016

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 stamps

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


  • 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)

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.

Technical details

  • Issue date

    31 October 2016
  • FDI withdrawal date

    28 November 2016
  • Denominations

    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
  • Printer

    McKellar Renown (Religious), EgoTrade Pty Ltd (secular)
  • Gummed paper

    Tullis Russell Red Phos
  • Self-adhesive paper

    Secure Post Cprint 100, WLK6B100, Domain
  • Printing process

    Offset lithography
  • Stamp size

    26mm x 37.5mm
  • Minisheet size

    130mm x 80mm
  • Sheetlet size

    120mm x 193mm
  • Perforations

    14 x 14.4
  • Sheet layout

    Module of 50
  • National postmark

    Merrylands, NSW 2160
  • Issue withdrawal date

    30 April 2017

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