'Burke's backyard' by Eric Lobbecke, the Australian, 2007


This is a cartoon by Eric Lobbecke featuring Prime Minister Kevin Rudd as a gnome and former West Australian Labor premier, John Burke, as a gardener digging up money.

Educational value

In 2007 Prime Minister John Howard said there was evidence the federal Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd met the disgraced former West Australian premier and lobbiest Brian Burke to build support for a leadership challenge. At the time Burke had been involved in a series of scandals involving the West Australian government, including accusations of him buying political favours for his business interests.

Political cartoons have a long history in Australia, and remain one of the most popular forms of political commentary. Though caricatures and satirical illustrations appeared in some of Australia's earliest newspapers, it was not until the 1830s that they became a frequent and respectable feature of the print media. Publications such as the Melbourne Punch, the Sydney Punch, the Bulletin featured both caricatures and cartoons, and it was through these publications that political cartoons became a popular element of the Australian press.

Eric Lobbecke has worked as a cartoonist for the Australian, the Sunday Telegraph and the Daily Telegraph.

© Education Services Australia Limited and the National Museum of Australia 2009 onwards (except where otherwise indicated).

You may view, display, print out and copy this material for non-commercial educational purposes provided you retain all acknowledgements associated with the material.