Henry Lawson (1867–1922) was a writer and poet, who was known as the “Poet of the People”. His writing was distinctly Australian, with stories, characters and language that reflected various aspects of Australian life and identity, both pre and post Federation, including republicanism, poverty and his own experiences in the outback. Along with his contemporary Banjo Patterson, Lawson is an important figure in Australia’s early literary culture. He is remembered and critically acclaimed for his short stories, though he did also publish many poems.
Henry Lawson was born on 17 June 1867 at Grenfell, New South Wales. Lawson was a fairly unhappy child. His compulsion to write is said to have been due, in part, to his deafness, which had developed after childhood illness and caused him to turn inwards. Sadly, bouts of alcoholism and a failed marriage fuelled a literary and personal decline in the latter part of his life.

This stamp issue commemorates the 150 year anniversary of his birth.

Learn more about Lawson’s life and writing.


The stamps, illustrated by Jamie and Leanne Tufrey, depict two pieces of Lawson’s short fiction: the very well-known The Drover’s Wife and the lesser known Mitchell: a Character Sketch. The stories are conveyed through emblematic scenes from each.

Products released in this issue

  • Minisheet
  • Stamp pack
  • First day cover
  • Maxicard set
  • Postal and numismatic cover
  • Stamp and medallion cover
  • Booklet of 20 x $1 stamps
  • Sheetlet of 2 x $2.95 stamps

Technical specifications

Issue date
13 June 2017
Issue withdrawal date
31 December 2017
1 x $1, 1 x $2.95
Stamp design
Jamie and Leanne Tufrey
Product design
Jo Mure, Australia Post Design Studio
Paper - gummed
Tullis Russell Red Phos
Paper - self-adhesive
MC90, C100
Printing process
Offset lithography
Stamp size
37.5mm x 26mm
13.86 x 14.6
Sheet layout
Module of 50
FDI postmark
Grenfell NSW 2810
FDI withdrawal date
12 July 2017

Stamps in this issue

$1 The Drover’s Wife

The Drover’s Wife represents Lawson’s more traditional narrative writing style. The story is set in the remote outback. A strong, long-suffering drover’s wife is left in an isolated hut with four children to tend to, while her drover husband travels for months at a time. The wife displays the resilience to overcome both loneliness and the harsh environment.

$2.95 Mitchell: A Character Sketch

Mitchell: A Character Sketch is a comedic story that follows the theme of the “little man” who outsmarts figures of authority. Peppered with the slang of the time, the story follows a conversation between Mitchell, a jackeroo and the station cook and his manager, as Mitchell seeks to obtain food for himself and his mates.

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