2007 10 years of Australian Legends

On the 24 January 2007 Australia Post issued a Prestige Booklet to support ten years of issues of the Australian Legends Series, issued around Australia Day since 2007.

The initial legend was “The Don” Bradman. Arguably the greatest cricketer of all time, he was the first Non-royal, non-deceased person to appear on Australia Stamps. He was the first person portrayed in the Australian Legend Series which was issued on the 23 January 1997.

Two stamps were issued, one being a portrait and the other based on Bradman’s Record Innings of 452* in 1930 at the SCG for NSW against Queensland.

The reissue of the two stamps was an exact replica of the originals including the micro-date 1997.

The second issue in 1998 commemorated the Olympic Legends. The athletes included Betty Cuthbert  and Shirley Strickland. Both won Gold Medals on the MCG in the 1956 Olympics. The stamps were issue in blocks of four with two athletes per set. Betty Cuthbert was paired with Herb Elliott, and Shirley Strickland with swimmer Murray Rose

Strickland was a champion sprinter and hurdler and took part in three Olympic Games (1948, 1952 and 1956) and was the winner of three gold, one silver and three bronze medals. She also set world records and won three gold medals and two silver medals at Empire (later Commonwealth) Games. The background of the miniature sheet shows her defending her gold medal at the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne. It is similar to the maxicard from the 1998 issue.

Betty Cuthbert is known as “The Golden Girl”. The Cuthbert record is imposing. As an unheralded 18-year-old she won gold medals in the 100 metres, 200 metres and 4 x 100 metres relay at the Melbourne Olympics in 1956. She was the first Australian athlete of either sex to win three Gold medals at a single Olympics. Betty missed Rome in 1960 through injury but came out of retirement to win Gold again at Tokyo in 1964 in the inaugural women’s 400 metres event.  The background of the miniature sheet shows her winning a gold medal at the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne. It is similar to the maxicard from the 1998 issue.

David Kirby Sportsworld (DKS) has an extensive Cricket Stamps Website.

The Campbelltown District Philately Society, the home of Fishers Ghost Philately, issued a numbered overprint of the Legends booklet to celebrate 35 yrs (1972-2007). It was limited to 150.

The full list of recipients in the first ten years were

  • 1997 – Sir Donald Bradman, one of the world’s greatest cricket players
  • 1998 – Australian Olympians, Betty Cuthbert, Herb Elliott, Dawn Fraser, Marjorie Jackson, Murray Rose and Shirley Strickland
  • 1999 – Arthur Boyd, artist
  • 2000 – The Last Anzacs, Roy Longmore, Walter Parker and Alec Campbell
  • 2001 – Slim Dusty, a celebrated country music composer and performer
  • 2002 – Medical Scientists, haematologist Professor Donald Metcalf, microbiologist Professor Nancy Millis, immunologists Professor Sir Gustav Nossal and Professor Peter C. Doherty, and epidemiologist and public health researcher Professor Fiona Stanley
  • 2003 – Tennis Champions, Margaret Court and Rod Laver
  • 2004 – Dame Joan Sutherland, world-renowned soprano opera singer
  • 2005 – Fashion designers, Prue Acton, Jenny Bannister, Collette Dinnigan, Akira Isogawa, Joe Saba and Carla Zampatti
  • 2006 – Barry Humphries, satirist and actor[