'The dawn sermon' cartoon by Bill Leak, the Australian, 2007


This is a cartoon by Bill Leak showing Prime Minister John Howard and Defence Minister Brendon Nelson giving Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd (drawn as Tintin) a lecture. Howard says, 'Let that be a lesson to you, son - only a hypocrite plays politics with ANZAC Day.' Rudd is holding a sign which says, 'Sunrise contract cancelled'.

Educational value

In early 2007 Vietnam veterans were offended by Labor leader Kevin Rudd's request for a 'fake' dawn service so he could commemorate Anzac Day live on Channel Seven's breakfast show from Long Tan in Vietnam. Not long after this event, Rudd cancelled his appearances on Sunrise, which he had used for a number of years to build a profile before being elected Labor leader. Under the Howard Government, Anzac Day had also become highly politicised.

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.

Bill Leak is a caricaturist, cartoonist and illustrator for the Australian.

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