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The Hon Peter Garrett AM MP
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts

Classroom politics: Cartoon winners announced

Media release
1 December 2008
PG /178

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Australia's future political cartoonists were today presented awards as winners of the National Museum of Australia’s national political cartooning competition for schools.

Presenting the awards at the National Museum in Canberra, Arts Minister Peter Garrett said cartooning is an important part of our political culture.

“Whether ridiculous, wry or shocking, cartoons powerfully distil political issues, providing a visual historical record as well as the opportunity to have a laugh at our colleagues or even, sometimes, ourselves.

"The high standard of all of these entries, particularly the strong and insightful focus on current political issues, suggests to me that it might not be long before we see a few of these names scrawled across the bottom of cartoons in the national press," Mr Garrett said.

Students were encouraged to submit a black and white or colour cartoon on A4 paper dealing with a recent political issue of national significance.

The individual winners are Kathleen Gleeson, Holy Name Primary School, Forster, New South Wales; Rebecca Willis, St Brigid’s Primary School, Raymond Terrace, New South Wales; Brodi Grant, Castlemaine Secondary College, Victoria; and, Christian Townsend, Stromlo High School, Australian Capital Territory.

Pauline Gattenhoff’s Year 5/6 class at Gilmore Primary School, Australian Capital Territory won the award for best class entry in the primary schools category and Frances Duggan and her students from Ballajura Community College, Perth, Western Australia won the secondary schools category.

The winning student entries, including those who were awarded highly commended prizes, can be viewed at 

The competition complements the Behind the Lines: The Year's Best Cartoons 2008 exhibition, which was opened by the Minister today.

It traces the major events of the year including the Government’s first year in office, the apology to the stolen generations, the 2020 summit, global warming and the world financial crisis. The exhibition is on display at the National Museum of Australia from December 2, 2008 to February 1, 2009. For more information about the exhibition visit 

For interviews, images and more information on the competition winners please contact Dennis Grant on 02 6208 5351, 0409 916 481; Caroline Vero on 02 6208 5338, 0438 620 710 or

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