In the lead-up to Remembrance Day, Australia Post, with the assistance of five proud serving Australian Defence Force women, launched a ‘Women in War’ series of stamps on the steps of the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne.
Officially issued on 6 October, the stamps are the fourth in a series, which commemorate a century of service since the First World War, and acknowledge the evolving role of women in war and conflict, as well as in peacekeeping efforts.
To mark the launch, a selection of Australian Defence Force members each held a stamp that had some significance to them.
Leading Seaman Maritime Logistics-Personnel Operations Zoraya Tibos and Able Seaman Medic Lillie Heymann, of HMAS Cerberus, had the duty of holding the Afghanistan/Iraq and the First World War themed stamps respectively.
Both said they were honoured to represent Navy at the official launch.
“It is important to commemorate and celebrate the service that women before us have given for their country,” Leading Seaman Tibos said.
“I was selected to hold the Afghanistan/Iraq stamp as I served in Afghanistan in 2015, and most recently on Operation ACCORDION.
“I felt privileged to serve in that theatre with other men and women in the Australian Defence Force, and felt like I was contributing to something much bigger than anything I had previously done in the Navy.”
She said the stamps recognised the women who had served in previous wars and how their efforts directly contributed to Australia’s mission.
“To be able to hold the Afghanistan/Iraq stamp and know that I stand with all women who have served in those theatres of war is both humbling and empowering,” she said.
Able Seaman Heymann said it was also a privilege to be involved in the launch.
“It is not often that a junior medical sailor at my level that has not been in the spotlight so far in her career gets highlighted,” she said.
“I have been a medic in the Navy for close to eight years. One of the stamps I was given to launch was an image captured back in the First World War of a nurse, and I was selected because I represent modern military nurses.”
The stamps were designed by Melbourne graphic visual artist Stacey Zass.