Australia 2001 Wild Babies

From Stamps of the World
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  • Issue Date: 2 October 2001
  • Designed by: Lisa Christensen
  • Illustrated by: Roland Harvey
  • Printed by: SNP Ausprint
  • Print Process: Lithography
  • Stamp Size: 26 mm x 37.5 mm
  • Withdrawal date: 31 October 2002


Australia Post introduced an annual Stamp Collecting Month in 1993 with the aim of raising young people’s awareness of the hobby of stamp collecting. This year’s issue of six stamps and two miniature sheets is an illustrative fantasy on Australian bush life in the tradition of the ever popular creations of May Gibbs, Dorothy Wall, Ruth Park and Norman Lindsay. The engaging and whimsical images – showing a koala’s first birthday party – are by prize-winning Australian children’s book illustrator and publisher, Roland Harvey.

The Story

It’s Kevin Koala’s birthday and he has invited all his friends to a party in his towering gum tree deep in the Australian bush. Kevin – sitting at the centre of the action – is surrounded by assorted sweets including his special boronia-flavoured cake with pink gumnut icing. Meanwhile his little bush friends arrive from far and wide to join the festivities. Mrs Goanna wheels baby Gregory in his pram while the Sugar Glider family prefers a more aerial route.

Down below, little Courtney Kangaroo and James Wombat, under the watchful eyes of their parents, clamber up a ladder to join the party, while Jessica Platypus and her mum ponder just how they’ll manage the ascent. Also there for the fun and games is Jack (a cockatoo) who joins his dad in a jig, dancing and squawking raucously to the Bilby and Antechinus bush band.

Emily Echidna and Kyle Kookaburra are enjoying the celebrations. Chloe, a ring-tailed possum, is feeling a little queasy after one too many grevillea-leaf cupcakes. Approaching from a tree limb are the ants. Although they were not invited they are hard at work, devising a strategy to reach the sticky delights of the birthday feast.


Sheet Stamps

  • Perforations: 14½ x 14
  • Format: sheets of 50 (two panes of 25 separated by gutter)

The stamps are printed in sheets of 50 in two modules of 25, with three designs se-tenant per sheet.

45c Bush Musicians Stamp

Screeching loudly, a young sulphur-crested cockatoo and his father dance a jig to the music of the Bilby and Antechinus bush band.

45c Bush Musicians

45c Kevin's Cake Stamp

The hero of the day, Kevin Koala, enjoys his special birthday feast. How will he ever return to a diet of plain gum leaves?

45c Kevin's Cake

45c Possum Party Stamp

A ring-tailed possum, her baby clinging to her back, swings down to join the party. Two other small ring-tailed possums are already feasting on the treats.

45c Possum Party

45c Bilby Gifts Stamp

The little bilbies gather together with their gifts at the foot of the big gum tree. With them are Joshua Crocodile and Emma Emu. One little koala, having slipped on his way up, plummets head over heels back to earth.

45c Bilby Gifts

45c James Wombat Stamp

Mother wombat does her best to help James up the ladder. Wombats are ground-dwelling animals and efficient burrowers. They are not at their best when it comes to climbing trees!

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45c Jumping High Stamp

A leaping mother wallaby, joey in pouch, encourages her young wallaby to hang on tight as she makes her ascent. Beside her an echidna urges her baby on as he clings to the ladder beside a little platypus.

45c Jumping High

Se-tenant Strips

Strip of 3 x 45c #1
Strip of 3 x 45c #2

Self-adhesive Stamps

  • Perforations: 11½ x 11
  • Formats: booklets of 10; coils of 100

Single Stamps

45c Bush Musicians
45c Kevin's Cake
45c Possum Party
45c Bilby Gifts
45c James Wombat
45c Jumping High


$4.50 booklet cover
Booklet pane of 10 x 45c

Coil Strip

Coil strip of 6 x 45c

Miniature Sheets

  • Miniature Sheet Size: 166 mm x 75 mm

The miniature sheets – each with three of the six stamps – show different views of the activities and are designed to be viewed together. On the upper miniature sheet, Kevin Koala is the centre of attention. James Wombat and his mum take centre stage in the lower miniature sheet.

Miniature sheet of 3 x 45c #1
Miniature sheet of 3 x 45c #2

First Day Covers

The first day of issue postmark was Gumdale QLD 4154.

First day cover - sheet stamps
First day cover - self-adhesive stamps
First day cover - miniature sheet 1
First day cover - miniature sheet 2

Maximum Cards

45c Bush Musicians maximum card
45c Kevin's Cake maximum card
45c Possum Party maximum card
45c Bilby Gifts maximum card
45c James Wombat maximum card
45c Jumping High maximum card

Presentation Pack

Presentation pack front cover
Presentation pack of 6 x 45c
Presentation pack of 2 miniature sheets