Volunteer @ PHILAS


Voluntary involvement in the activities of the Philatelic Association of NSW presents opportunities for people who have an interest in collecting postage stamps and postal history both to advance the hobby and to acquire knowledge that will enhance their own collecting pursuits. Collectors who have retired from the workforce might enjoy conversing with like-minded people, not just about the hobby, but about other interests and world affairs, especially over a convivial morning tea and lunch. People also acquire new skills that can be applied elsewhere.

The former ‘PHILAS House’ in Darlinghurst was sold in February 2023, and our operations were moved to another building in Silverwater. Other than the library, which remains closed, PHILAS is open for business, although in temporary accommodation, while the new Executive, in consultation with the clubs, identifies our long-term accommodation requirements.

So ………………… what can I do to help?



These are the lifeblood of our operations, the net revenue from which finances our ongoing costs and keeps the lights on.

Preparation for an auction

  • break down and assess consignments of material;
  • identify scarcer and more valuable items;
  • draft written descriptions and type them into the auction catalogue;
  • scan and edit images of stamps to illustrate the catalogue;
  • maintain and update related documents such as our mailing list;
  • print and mail the catalogue;
  • supervise prospective bidders while they inspect lots;
  • record and reconcile absentee bids.

At the auction

  • set up the auction venue (tables, chairs, speakers and other electronic aids);
  • register bidders by recording their particulars and allocating them a bidder identification number;
  • record the identification numbers of winning bidders and the amount of the winning bids;
  • write invoices for the winning bidders;
  • accept payment from successful bidders; and
  • provide lots to purchasers.

After the auction

  • match lots to successful absentee bidders;
  • calculate the buyer’s premium, postage and other additional costs and complete invoices;
  • mail (by post or email) invoices to successful bidders; and
  • prepare and pack lots for despatch to successful bidders.

What Skills do I Need?

The knowledge possessed by every stamp collector is sufficient to start. Our more experienced collector volunteers can impart their knowledge to you, enhancing your enjoyment of our hobby.
Are you familiar with Microsoft Word and Excel, or have experience with Photoshop Elements and scanning images? These skills easily are acquired, and our more experienced volunteers happily will show you the ropes.

General Office Functions

  • receive inquiries and provide responses, either face-to-face, on the telephone or via email;
  • engage with prospective vendors, from collectors wanting to dispose of surplus.
  • material or who are leaving the hobby, to trustees and beneficiaries of estates;
  • track our stationery needs and order material well ahead of the time it becomes needed;
  • scan documents into our electronic records;
  • accurately classify and file documents; and
  • undertake photocopying and printing tasks.

Club Open Days

  • receive and receipt auction lots from vendors and prepare them for display;
  • set up the venue for clubs and dealers and restore it afterwards;
  • arrange display frames;
  • assist the auctioneer with:
    • distribution of material to winning bidders; and
    • collection of money from winning bidders.


We provide morning tea and lunch for our volunteers and sell snacks and beverages to vendors and bidders at auctions and to visitors during Open Days.
We need people willing to do the rounds of the supermarket shelves to buy the necessaries and to prepare and lay out snacks, meals and beverages.


Are you an unfulfilled author or journalist?
Have you dabbled in desktop publishing? Just for fun or as a career?
Need an outlet for your creativity?
You might enjoy assisting with the draft and printing of ‘PHILAS News’, or other publications that we plan to initiate.


Into the future, we plan to establish a retail service to the members of the clubs, offering philatelic publications and accessories at discounted prices.
You might be interested to:

  • order material;
  • maintain stock; and
  • sell items either face-to-face or online.


Are you interested in research?
Are you a meticulous planner who prides yourself on order and accuracy?
You might be interested to:

  • catalogue new acquisitions;
  • maintain the database of publications; and
  • research our extensive holdings and provide answers to inquiries from collectors.

Repairs and Maintenance

Are you a handy person?
You could assist:

  • identify potential and real problems;
  • undertake minor repairs; and/or
  • make recommendations for pre-emptive and remedial actions and/or identify who is best placed to undertake such tasks.

How to Apply

If you would like to assist in any of the above roles, then please complete the Volunteer Application Form and mail it to us at:

The Philatelic Association of NSW Inc.
PO Box 6046
Silverwater NSW 2128
Email: office@philas.org.au
Phone: 02 9264 8301 

Download the Volunteer Application Form here