The first Sydney Post Office: This photograph was taken a few years before the building was demolished in 1889. (Photos: State Library of NSW)
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.
By 1809 there were escalating complaints to the Lieutenant-Governor of fraud, theft and extortion at the docks.
The New South Wales Corps, which had deposed Governor Bligh in 1808, moved to rein in the chaos by appointing an official postmaster.
On 25 April 1809 Isaac Nichols, an emancipated convict, was appointed as Postmaster, a position that authorized him to board ships and receive letters and parcels addressed to people within the colony.
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.
On 26 June 1809 Isaac Nichols boarded the brig Experiment and collected the first bag of mail from Britain.