An Post has issued a stamp marking the 50th anniversary of Sydney Opera House, and the Irish engineer Peter Rice who brought its iconic design to life.

The stamp was unveiled on site at Sydney Opera House by consul general of Ireland Sydney, Rosie Keane; Kieran Rice, son of Peter Rice, the late Irish structural engineer who made possible the building’s infamous ‘white sails’ roof, Isabella Rice and Kerryn Coker, co-chair of Arup Australasia, the original design company. 

Revolutionary modern structure

Irishman and structural engineer Peter Rice (1935-1992) played a central role in creating the revolutionary modern structure using his mathematical expertise and artistic intuition to convert concrete, steel and glass into a world-renowned building, famous for its iconic, white sails roof structure. 

His son Kieran Rice, responding to the stamp issue, said: “We, Peter Rice’s family, are all really touched that his contribution to the Sydney Opera House design is being recognised with this wonderful First Day Cover of the commemorative stamp on 50th anniversary of the completion of the Sydney Opera House.

"The stamp is a lovely artwork in itself and Peter’s quote on the FDC is very well-chosen and is often used in our family to motivate his grandchildren.

"Peter was a proud Irishman, who worked across the globe on many iconic projects, but the Sydney Opera House was where it all started. He moved to Sydney in 1963 for three years with his wife, Sylvia, and two young daughters Julia and Heidi. Our time in Sydney had a huge impact on our family – Kieran was born there, and Sylvia still visits friends, who were made at that time, every year.

"Peter was very proud of his involvement with the Sydney Opera House design and construction especially his work on programming the setting out of the sails. He would have been humbled to be recognised in this way in his native Ireland.”

One of the most loved and recognised landmarks in the world

Consul general of Ireland Sydney Rosie Keane said: “50 years on from its construction, the Sydney Opera House is still one of the most loved and recognised landmarks in the world.

Kerryn Coker, Kieran Rice, and Isabella Rice.

"As the Irish consul general in Sydney I feel enormous pride that the Irish engineer Peter Rice played a significant part in the creation of this unique and graceful design. I was delighted to join with Kieran and Isabella Rice and Kerryn Coker from Arup at the Sydney launch of this An Post stamp, commemorating the great Peter Rice and his historic legacy in this city.”

An Post CEO David McRedmond said: “Ireland has been slow to recognise its contribution to Modernism.  The 50th anniversary of Sydney Opera House is the perfect time to celebrate the role of Irish people,  and of engineer Peter Rice in particular,  to the great canon of world-class architecture and engineering.”

Kieran Rice, Isabella Rice, and Rosie Keane.

An Post’s stamp shows a striking illustration of Sydney Opera House by renowned Irish artist David Rooney capturing the organic nature and acoustics of the building, while also referencing art created by First Nations Australians. 

The ‘W’ rate international stamp €2.20 covers postage anywhere in the world and is available online at (with free delivery) and from the GPO and selected post offices nationwide.

The renowned engineer’s visionary career is also celebrated with a limited edition First Day Cover envelope featuring the new stamp alongside an illustration of Peter Rice and a quote from his writings – 'The courage you need is the courage to start. Once launched, then each step can be evolved naturally.'