This stamp issue commemorates the end of convict transport to the Australian colonies. In January 2018, it will be 150 years since the last convict ship, the Hougoumont, docked in Australia, at the Swan River Colony in 1868. Between the arrival of the First Fleet, in 1778, and the cessation of convict transportation, some 165,000 convicts arrived here to be punished for their crimes, whether political activities or something as trivial as stealing a loaf of bread.
Initially, convicts were sent to the colony of New South Wales, but into the 19th century Norfolk Island, Van Diemen’s Land, Port Macquarie and Moreton Bay were all convict destinations. Though initially colonised by free settlers, Swan River (Western Australia) also became a location for convict detention.