Australia Post seeks old sailing letters to celebrate 200 years

A letter of advice from Sir Hubert Opperman to an aspiring cyclist along with a letter from
England's test captain, praising the winning effort's of Ray Linderwall in Bradman's 1948
Australian cricket team, are just some of the sporting letters uncovered through Australia Post's
Letters of a Nation Campaign so far.

Sailing has played an important role in Australia's sporting history and Australia Post would
love it to be represented in the timeline. The organisation is seeking interesting and poignant
letters discussing sailing from institutions, organisations, past and present crew members,
memorabilia collectors and fans.

Launched in March 2009, Letters of a Nation has already received hundreds of memorable
letters relating to our much celebrated – and sometimes controversial – sporting history, and hopes to
receive many more to help celebrate 200 years of Australia's postal service.

Australia Post Managing Director, Graeme John said that the project has inspired many Australians to rifle through their drawers, cupboards and personal collections and share their part of history.
“We have already received letters written by one of our most celebrated athletes Sir Hubert Opperman as well as letters telling stories of Australian test cricket selection and we hope to uncover many more,” Mr John said. “Australia has a proud sporting history and we are looking for letters of historic significance or letters that captures the role sport has played in the lives of everyday Australians throughout the years. Scribbled notes written from Australia's Olympians to home, letters of invitation to participate in a national team or letters of congratulations from Australian fans – everyone has a story to tell and Letters of a Nation hopes to tell them all.”

Letters are uploaded to a dedicated website, , which will become an educational resource for everyone to access for years to come and preserve these letters for future generations. In October a judging panel, which includes acclaimed Australian writer Les Carlyon and eminent historian Geoffrey Bolton will select the top 200 which will be added to the National Archives of Australia collection.
National Archives of Australia Director-General Ross Gibbs said the project had the potential to unearth letters that will touch and inform us all. “I encourage you to look through your own family's letters – perhaps tucked away for many years. They will contain the stories of individuals precious to you, and are important to help us all understand who we are as Australians,” Mr Gibbs said.

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