Honouring Indigenous pioneers with new Australia Post stamp set

Warning - First Nations people are warned that this story contains names and images of deceased people.

Australia Post is honouring five eminent Indigenous Australians who have campaigned for the rights of Indigenous people in a new stamp issue.

The new stamp issue comprises five domestic base-rate (60c) stamps featuring Shirley Smith AM, Neville Bonner AO, Oodgeroo Noonuccal, Eddie "Koiki" Mabo and Charles Perkins AO.

Shirley Smith AM (1921-98), also known as "Mum Shirl" was a member of the Wiradjuri nation and was a committed activist for the justice and welfare of Aboriginal Australians. She was a founding member of several important organisations including the Aboriginal Legal Service and the Aboriginal Medical Service in the Sydney suburb of Redfern.

Neville Bonner AO (1922-99) was an elder of the Jagera people and in 1971 he became the first Aboriginal person to sit in the Federal Parliament. He also became the first Indigenous Australian to be elected to the Parliament by popular vote.

Oodgeroo Noonuccal (Kath Walker) (1920-93) was a poet, political activist, artist, educator and environmentalist. In 1962, she was instrumental in advocating for citizenship rights for Indigenous people.

Eddie "Koiki" Mabo (1936-92) was born in the Meriam community of Las on Mer, known as Murray Island, in the Torres Strait, Queensland. In 1982 Mr Mabo challenged land ownership laws in the High Court of Australia and won. The notion of terra nullius (land belonging to no one) was expelled from Australian law paving the way for the Native Title Act 1993.

Charles Perkins - In 1965 Charles Perkins AO (1936-2000) led the Freedom Rides, exposing racial discrimination throughout country NSW. From 1984 until 1988 he was Secretary of the Department of Aboriginal Affairs, the first Aboriginal Australian to attain such a position in the bureaucracy. He was also a member of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC), serving as Deputy Chairman from 1994 to 1995, and a member of the Arrernte Council of Central Australia.

Managing Director and Chief Executive of Australia Post, Ahmed Fahour said Australia Post had a longstanding commitment to improving the social and economic wellbeing of Indigenous Australians.

"We trust this stamp issue will remind all Australians of the significant contribution made by these important Indigenous Australians," Mr Fahour said.

The stamps were designed by Lynette Traynor of the Australia Post Design Studio and can be purchased from this PS News link.


Shirley Smith AM, Neville Bonner AO, Oodgeroo Noonuccal, Eddie "Koiki" Mabo and Charles Perkins AO
NOT TO SCALE



Source: PSNews Independend News for the Australian Public Service - 9 july 2013

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