The First Post Office in Australia?
It was a momentous day when The first Post Office in Australia opened its doors. For the convicts, settlers and officials arriving in the early colony of New South Wales, letters were the only way to maintain a connection with Britain. Ships arriving in Sydney were mobbed by people looking for mail. Fraud, theft and extortion were rife.
As the population of the colony grew, so did the volume of incoming mail. When ships arrived in Sydney Cove, they were mobbed by people searching for letters and parcels. On 25 April 1809, Nichols, an emancipated convict, was appointed as Postmaster, a position that authorised him to board ships and receive letters and parcels addressed to people within the colony at The first Post Office in Australia.
He was ordered to establish an office at his home in George Street, where letters could be picked up, and the collection prices would be fixed. The opening of The first post office in Australia brought some order to the chaotic scene at Sydney Cove, and it soon became an important institution in the fledgling colony.
On 26 June 1809, the first bag of mail from Britain arrived – recognised as the birth of the postal system in Australia! It’s been over two hundred years since those first letters made their way across the ocean, but the postal system still plays an important role today.
The First Postmaster in Australia
The first postmaster in Australia was Isaac Nichols had always been a hard worker. When he was younger, he’d been convicted of stealing and sentenced to seven years of transportation. But Isaac had worked diligently in prison, and when he arrived in Australia, Governor Hunter saw his potential and appointed him as Sydney’s Chief Overseer of convict gangs at The First Post Office in Australia.
In just a few years, Isaac had saved up enough money to buy land. He purchased 1400 acres in the Concord district and opened his own inn on George Street. His rise was meteoric, and people began to look up to him as a leader in the community. Isaac was a fair and honest man, and the people of Sydney trusted him implicitly. When the postmaster position became available, Isaac was the obvious choice. He had the experience and knowledge that was needed for the job.
On 25 April 1809, Isaac Nichols became Australia’s first postmaster. He dedicated himself to providing excellent service to his fellow Australians and soon gained a reputation for being one of the most reliable postal workers in the country.
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