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National Museum of Australia

Where our stories come alive

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Object information

Physical description

A black and white hand drawn cartoon showing a caricature of Andrew Downer holding a bag of wheat on his shoulder and a paper headed 'BILL" in his hand. A speech bubble from Mr Downer reads 'Before we / start would you / mind paying / your bill!.' He stands in front of a group of men with a flag that reads 'IRAQ'. Behind him is a group of warplanes. The artist's signature is in the bottom right corner.

Statement of significance

This collection comprises 154 political cartoons collected under the auspices of the Museum's 2002 National Political Humour Competition. There are 45 different artists represented in the collection including Alan Moir, Peter Nicholson, Cathy Wilcox, Sean Leahy, Bruce Petty, Dean Alston and Ward O'Neill.

The cartoons provide a satirical record of the major events and personalities in Australian politics in 2002. Major topics addressed within the collection include the asylum seekers (including the Tampa controversy), Cheryl Kernot's autobiography, the split within the Australian Democrats, the Australian Labor Party's attempts to reposition itself within the electorate, the Bali bombing and the possibility of war in Iraq. There are examples from all major metropolitan newspapers as well as material from regional publications. There are traditional black and white editorial and pocket cartoons as well as colour illustrations and caricatures. Taken together the collection provides a diverse visual archive of Australian political events in 2002 and demonstrate the quality of Australian cartooning and illustration.

Object information

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