The Royal Australian Navy

Australia Post will celebrate 100 years of the Royal Australian Navy with the release of a ‘then and now’ stamp issue featuring the Australian Navy’s first flagship, battle cruiser HMAS Australia (I) and modern missile frigate HMAS Sydney (IV). The Royal Australian Navy 1911–2011 stamp issue will be released on 14 June.

“Australia Post is proud to be supporting this significant milestone for the Royal Australian Navy and we hope that commemorating the occasion on a stamp will make the celebrations all the more special,” said Australia Post’s Philatelic Manager, Michael Zsolt. “The combination of naval vessels, aircraft and the commemorative nature of the stamps makes this a uniquely collectable range.”

The title of ‘Royal Australian Navy’ was officially granted to the Commonwealth Naval Forces on 10 July 1911 by His Majesty King George V, thereby establishing an Australian Fleet Unit to replace the previous arrangement of maintaining a squadron of the British Royal Navy in Australian waters.

The historic stamp features Seaman Frederick Mills, a biplane and the battle cruiser HMAS Australia (I), so named to avoid the suggestion of favouritism towards any one Australian state. HMAS Australia’s badge consisted of the Federation Star overlaid by a naval crown, and the motto Endeavour which recalled Lieutenant James Cook’s ship – the first ever vessel to reach the east coast of Australia.

The modern stamp features a Seahawk helicopter, the HMAS Sydney (IV) and Able Seaman Rebecca Florance, Communication and Information Systems Specialist, in the Operations Room. HMAS Sydney is one of the Royal Australian Navy’s four guided missile frigates. The Adelaide Class vessel was commissioned in January 1983, measures 138.1 metres in length and has a top speed of 30 knots.

“I am very proud and extremely honoured to be selected to be pictured on the Australian stamp,” said Able Seaman Rebecca Florance. “The RAN 100 years celebrations to me feel like a time to reflect on how much the RAN has changed over the past 100 years. It is also a time to reflect on how far we have come over the years and that to this day we still respect and carry out the same traditions they did 100 years ago.”

In addition to the two stamps, Australia Post has released a special First Day of Issue postmark to commemorate the anniversary. The postmark from the HMAS Cerberus post office will feature on the Royal Australian Navy 1911–2011 maxicards and first day cover.

The Royal Australian Navy 1911–2011 stamp issue includes two 60c stamps, a first day cover, stamp pack, sheetlet of 10 x 60c stamps, self-adhesive booklet of 20 x 60c stamps, stamp and coin cover and a maxicard set of two.