It will chronicle Australia’s history through the role of the post office over the past 200 years from the first letters that arrived in the colony in 1790, the first post office in 1809, the chaotic communications on the gold-fields, the effect of immigration, the advent of the telegraph, the two World Wars, airmail, and more.
FOXTEL today announced that filming had commenced on a landmark documentary series titled The Stamp of Australia that tells the story of how Australians have communicated with each other and the world over the past 200 years.
Exclusively commissioned for FOXTEL’s The History Channel, The Stamp of Australia will be broadcast in 2009 as two one-hour episodes and will coincide with the Bicentenary of the post office and the appointment of the nation’s first postmaster, in Sydney, on 25 April 1809.
The Stamp of Australia will look at the way Australians conquered our nation’s notorious tyranny of distance – from the day the first letters arrived in the colony in 1790, to the establishment of the first post office in 1809, to blazing mail trails by horseback before the Pony Express in America, the chaotic communications on the gold-fields, the effect of immigration, the advent of the telegraph, the two World Wars, airmail, and how the humble stamp set the scene for the new nation’s first republican debate.
The two-part series will be hosted by Scott McGregor (“Australian Icon Towns”) and is currently being shot in locations around Australia.
Brendon Moo, FOXTEL’s Head of Factual Channels, said The Stamp of Australia is an enthralling documentary series that will chronicle Australia’s history through the role of the post office over the past 200 years.
“Today we take it for granted, but the post office is part of our national DNA and is inextricably tied to our development as a nation,” Moo said.
“Australians have written intimate letters about their lives over the past 200 years – letters delivered by lone horsemen, camel drivers, Cobb & Co coaches and the flimsiest aircraft.
“The Stamp of Australia will document some remarkable stories, such as how Australian POW’s had their mail delivered by a Japanese bomber on a bombing raid of Port Moresby.
“This documentary project will be a milestone event for The History Channel audiences and reinforces our focus on developing exclusive local productions for subscription television.”
The Stamp of Australia project has been developed by Hammerklavier Productions, with support from Film Australia, Australia Post and FOXTEL,
“Australia’s postal service has a great history and we’re delighted that the History Channel is documenting it,” Australia Post Managing Director Graeme John said.
Produced by Brendan Ward, The Stamp of Australia has been in development for three years. Executive Producers are Brendan Ward for Hammerklavier Productions and Graham Burrells for FOXTEL.
Correction: Foxtel has TWO Scott McGregor’s on their hosting books -making life very confusing for us all!