Each year, we release Christmas stamps that celebrate the Christmas holiday as we know it in Australia today, spanning both traditional and secular themes.

The two traditional designs from the Christmas 2017 stamp issue each feature a painting of the Madonna and Child projected onto the façade of St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney. Every Christmas since 2010, the cathedral has been host to the Lights of Christmas, a digital animated light and sound display that illuminates the church with themes of peace, joy and goodwill. This public event, by AGB Events, has proved very popular, and in 2016 attracted a crowd of around 300,000 people. The stamps were designed by Andrew Hogg Design.

The three secular-themed stamps were designed by Jo Muré of the Australia Post Design Studio. The bright and graphic imagery also presents the themes of joy and goodwill, via carefully wrapped gifts, cheerful chiming bells and a star-spangled Christmas tree.

All of these designs are available as Personalised Stamps™.

Products released in this issue

  • Stamp pack
  • Embellished sheetlet pack
  • Minisheet (religious)
  • First day cover (gummed, minisheet)
  • Maxicards
  • Postal numismatic cover
  • Booklets of 20 x 65c
  • Sheetlet of 5 x $2
  • Sheetlet of 5 x $2.30

Technical specifications

Issue date
1 November 2017
Issue withdrawal date
31 May 2018
3 x 65c, 1 x $2, 1 x $2.30
Stamp and minisheet design (religious)
Andrea Hogg Design
Stamp design (secular)
Jo Muré
Product design
Jo Muré
Printer (religious)
RA Printing
Printer (secular)
Paper - gummed (religious & secular)
Tullis Russell Red Phos
Paper - self-adhesive (religious)
Securepost MC 90
Paper - self-adhesive (secular)
Securepost 90 for booklets and embellished sheetlet. Avery Dennison for sheetlet of 5.
Printing process
Offset lithography
Stamp size
26mm x 37.5mm
Minisheet size
130mm x 80mm
14.60 x 13.86
Sheet layout
Module of 50
FDI postmark
Merrylands NSW 2160
FDI withdrawal date
29 November 2017

Stamps in this issue

65c Madonna and Child

The 65c Christmas card rate stamp shows a projection from the 2013 Lights of Christmas display. The painting is a copy of a now lost work by Italian artist Roberto Ferruzzi (1853–1934). The much loved original painting, known as the Madonnina or the Madonna of the Streets, was awarded a major prize at the 1897 Venice Biennale. Often reproduced as a devotional image, it survives in countless copies.

65c Gifts

This Christmas card rate stamp features a graphic illustration of bow-topped Christmas gifts.

65c Christmas tree

This Christmas card rate stamp features a graphic illustration of a shiny star-spangled Christmas tree.

$2 Bells

This international Christmas card rate stamp features chiming festive bells.

$2.30 Small Cowper Madonna

The $2.30 international rate stamp shows the Small Cowper Madonna by Renaissance artist Raphael (1483–1520). This work, projected onto the cathedral in 2014, was painted in oil on panel around 1505. The painting is in the collection of the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, USA.

Another Renaissance artist, Carlo Crivelli (ca. 1430–1495), painted the Madonna and Child on the minisheet. Painted in tempera on panel ca. 1482–3, this work is now in the Accademia Carrara in Bergamo, Italy.

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