Henry Lawson, 1867–1922

Release date: 13 June 2017

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

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.

$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.

The imagery in the minisheet, also by Jamie and Leanne Tufrey, relates to the imaginative life of Henry Lawson.

Henry Lawson 1867-1922 minisheet

A selection of products released with this issue

Henry Lawson: 1867-1922 minisheet


Henry Lawson: 1867-1922 stamp pack

Stamp pack

Henry Lawson: 1867-1922 booklet of 20

Booklet of 20

Henry Lawson: 1867-1922 sheetlet of 5 x $2.95

Sheetlet of 5

Additional products

  • 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
  • FDI withdrawal date

    12 July 2017
  • Denominations

    1 x $1, 1 x $2.95
  • Stamp design

    Jamie and Leanne Tufrey
  • Product design

    Jo Mure, Australia Post Design Studio
  • Printer

  • Paper (gummed)

    Tullis Russell Red Phos
  • Paper (self-adhesive)

    MC90, C100
  • Printing process

    Offset lithography
  • Stamp size

    37.5mm x 26mm
  • Perforations

    13.86 x 14.6
  • Sheet layout

    Module of 50
  • FDI postmark

    Grenfell, NSW 2810
  • Issue withdrawal date

    31 December 2017
*This content was produced at the time of the stamp issue release date and will not be updated.