The National Cartoon Gallery is Australia’s only dedicated cartoon gallery, exhibiting the largest private collection of contemporary cartoons in the Southern Hemisphere.
The original Gallery is housed in an underground WWII bunker that has been converted to a funky exhibition space, but hard work and government grants more recently allowed an extensive above-ground extension to be built that more than doubled the Gallery’s floor space and included a cafe.
The creation of the gallery is largely thanks to our Rotary Club and, in particular, to two drivers of the project: Tom Hamilton-Foster and the late John Champion. Their work in acquiring sponsorships and local business funding enabled the restoration of the building to proceed. Their caricatures are proudly displayed in the Gallery’s foyer.
Today, the Bunker is custodian of the Coffs Cartoon Collection, with well over 23,000 cartoons from leading Australian and international cartoonists including private donations and bequeaths of rare works. Its role, although different to its wartime past, is still one of communicator and protector of Australia’s history, albeit in satirical form.
These days the gallery is run by the independent, not-for-profit Bunker Cartoon Gallery Inc, but Coffs City Rotary remains an ardent supporter of the gallery and all of its events.
You can visit the Gallery’s website here.