Australia Post is commemorating the 150th anniversary of the birth of Australian literary great, Andrew Barton "Banjo" Paterson, through a new stamp release acknowledging Banjo's iconic bush-themed ballads.
The bush ballad is a thread of Australia's early literary and popular culture, a rhyming, narrative-based poem adapted for singing.
Australia Post Philatelic Manager, Michael Zsolt said the new Bush Ballads domestic, base-rate (70c) stamp release, featuring four of Banjo's iconic and well-loved ballads, was a nod to Australia's idyllic past.
"The Australian bush ballad helped create a mythology of Australia and Australian identity during the late 19th and early 20th centuries and are generally simple stories of swagmen, bushrangers, drovers, shearers, working-class oppression and rural isolation," Mr Zsolt said.
Banjo Paterson is also one of Australia's best known folk poets, and popular renditions of his works - such as the film of "The Man from Snowy River" and the use of "Waltzing Matilda" as an unofficial national anthem - have helped carry his ballads across time.
"We trust this stamp issue will remind all Australians of Banjo Paterson's important contribution to early Australian literature."
The Bush Ballads stamp release, illustrated by Sydney-based illustrators Jamie and Leanne Tufrey, feature the following Banjo Paterson poetry works:
- Clancy of the Overflow - This well-known poem, published in the Bulletin in December 1889, demonstrates Paterson's romanticism for bush life.
- The Man from Snowy River - Published in the Bulletin in April 1890, this much-loved tale tells of the pursuit of a prizewinning colt that escaped to run among a herd of brumbies in mountainous country.
- Waltzing Matilda - Written in 1895 to a tune played by Christina Macpherson, this is probably the most famous of all Australian ballads.
- Mulga Bill's Bicycle - Published in the Sydney Morning Herald in July 1896, this humorous poem was written at the height of the late-19th-century bicycling craze.
The new stamp release commemorating the 150th anniversary of the birth of "Banjo" Paterson (1864-1941) includes a miniature sheet, first day cover, stamp pack, maxicard set of four, booklet of 10 x 70c self-adhesive stamps, roll of 100 x 70c self-adhesive stamps, gutter strip of 10 x 70c stamps with design, prestige booklet, postal and numismatic cover and a medallion cover.