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Max Stern, FAP (Hon)

In 1946, Max Stern became the First post-WWII overseas member of the American Stamp Dealers' Association and, since that year has also been a member of the International Federation of Stamp Dealers Association, as well as its President for a period.

He had arrived in Australia from Czechoslavakia in 1948, and created a niche business in Australia by wholesaling world new issues to the trade.  In 1950 he opened his first stamp shop in Melbourne in the Empire Arcade.  He has enjoyed a distinguished career in the stamp industry both as a trader and a member of organised philately.

He was admitted to membership of the then ASDA, in February 1950.  It is a measure of his enthusiasm and ability that within six months of his joining the ASDA, he became its Secretary.  He also served as President of the Australian Stamp Dealers' Association in 1954, 1955 and 1956; and continued as a committee member for over 40 years.  He is an Honorary Life Member, as well as the longest serving Australasian Stamp Dealers Association/APTA member who is still active in stamp trading.  His firm is arguably the largest retail philatelic operation in Australia, now representing thirty or more major overseas Postal Administrations, and services the trade and collectors worldwide.

Max has always been dedicated to his industry and has introduced new concepts in stamp promotion and advertising. He developed a giveaway scheme which operated between 1963 and 1965, expanding the number of stamps available to collectors.  This laid the basis for a strong growth of Australian philately in the 1960s and 1970s.

He received the Victorian Philatelic Association Award of Merit in 1970.  Max Stern helped found the Victorian Philatelic Council, and served as its President and Secretary for several years.  He also served as a member of the Australian Stamp Promotion Council, which later became the Australian Philatelic Federation.  During 1974 when he was a member of the Victorian Stamp Promotion Council, he also assisted in the initiation of the first National Stamp Day in 1974, which has since developed into National Stamp Collecting Month, an annual philatelic promotion by Australia Post.  1979 saw him become the first Australian registered stamp valuer for taxation purposes [Department of Home Affairs].  He drafted the original submission to Australia Post to finance AUSIPEX 84 in 1982.  He was Trade Adviser to AUSIPEX '84: Australia's first World Philatelic Exhibition and served as a member of the Organising Committee.

Using his years of experience and international contacts, he helped organise Australia's first joint stamp issue with the United States of America and Britain, to celebrate the bicentenary in 1988.  He also assisted with negotiations for a joint issue with the USSR.  He has over the years acted as a specialist adviser on international marketing to Australia Post and represented them at overseas stamp exhibitions.  Another of his trade appointments was as official agent for the Royal Australian Mint and Note Printing.  He assisted fundraising for the Royal Women's Hospital by donating prizes and complimentary stamp packs.

This prominent Melbourne stamp trader was honoured in June 1999 when he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in the Queen's Birthday Honours list.  He received his honour for services to stamp collecting and for his promotion of Australian stamps overseas.  His nomination received worldwide support from members of the stamp trade, Postal Administrations as well as collectors.

There can be no question that Max Stern has made an outstanding contribution to the stamp trade and philately in Australia.  He is indeed a worthy Honorary Fellow of the Australian Philatelic Order.  The presentation was made by ACT Chief Minister the Hon. Mr Gary Humphries, MLA.

[ Source:  APF News, October 2001 ]