Bicentennial Cartoon Book


Anti-Bicentennial Cartoon Book 1988

On January 26th 1988 the Australian Labor Government of Prime Minister Bob Hawke spared no expense when it came to the big party that was to be the Bicentennial Celebrations centred in Sydney on that day. The Hawke Government had commissioned an advertising campaign to enthuse the people. Unfortunately for the Government the jingle to accompany the campaign was called " The Celebration of a Nation", which was a slogan that was easily subverted by Aboriginal activists who dubbed the occasion "the Masturbation of a Nation".

Aboriginal people saw nothing to celebrate on an occasion that was the 200th anniversary of the British invasion of their homelands and mounted a substantial campaign against the Bicentennial celebrations. As part of that campaign (which had wide support in the broader Australian community, a group consisting of some of Australia's then leading cartoonists donated some of their work to an 'Anti-Bicentennial Cartoon Book" which is reproduced below. Of interest among this collection is a cartoon by Bill Leak from the period prior to him adopting a racist, right-wing political stance late in his life just prior to his death.

Click on cartoon to see enlarged image