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July 20, 2024

The new Wollumbin stamp that doesn’t feature Wollumbin…

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Paul Bibby

When Australia Post’s new volcano series was proudly unveiled last week it included an image labelled ‘Wollumbin Mt Warning NSW’.

There was only one problem: the stamp didn’t actually feature a picture of the sacred and iconic peak.

Front and centre of the image was Wollumbin’s near neighbour – a knoll known as Doughboy Hill or Doughboy Mountain.

The new “Wollumbin Mt Warning” stamp issued by Australia Post. Image: Australia Post

Wollumbin can just be made out in the top right corner of the image, its distinctive hook completely cut off like a poorly taken tourist selfie.

‘The summit has been unceremoniously cut off!’ said the sharp-eyed Echo reader who brought the apparent error to our attention.

But Australia Post is standing by its new stamp.

A spokesperson for the government-owned corporation declared that it was accurate.

‘All the features on the stamp are features of the Tweed Volcano, which is often called Mt Warning volcano in literature,’ the spokesperson said.

‘Wollumbin is the central plug of the volcano, and the “Doughboy” is a lump of more resistant lava from the volcano.

‘While we can understand that locals might have expected that Wollumbin Mt Warning would be featured in the foreground, the decision was made to caption the stamps with the common geographic names.’

This last statement in particular may come as a significant surprise to the traditional custodians, who have referred to the mountain itself as Wollumbin for tens of thousands of years.

More recent arrivals have also adopted this name, or the colonial moniker, Mt Warning. The entire caldera is known locally as the Tweed Caldera and is virtually never referred to as ‘the Mt Warning volcano’.

When The Echo asked the spokesperson whether any locals or Indigenous groups had been consulted in relation to the production of Wollumbin stamp, they did not answer.

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  1. Near enough is good enough for these folks., Wollumbin dominates views for many miles around, Cook named the central plug of the caldera Mt Warning after nearly being forced onto a lee shore in 1770, it is the most noticeable geological feature south of the shield wall. The stamp is a mistake. Buy up big as it will probably become very collectable in years to came as are many philatelic mistakes.

  2. Taking a leaf out of the Prime Minister’s book and trying to weasel out of a cock-up? Why not just apologise and reissue it?

  3. What a load of rubbish, the real scandal is that Wollumbin was taken as the heritage and name of my family’s peak and applied as a fake dual name to Mt Warning.


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