'A basis for scepticism' cartoon by Matt Golding, the Age, 2007


This is a cartoon by Matt Golding about the Northern Territory Emergency Response or 'intervention'. The cartoon depicts key Indigenous leaders calling for a national emergency based on reports of child abuse and sexual assault in years prior to the intervention. Prime Minister Howard calls for a national emergency after reading a newspaper report declaring him 'out of touch'.

Educational value

In August 2007 the Australian Government, citing rising levels of child sex abuse, drug and alcohol addiction and domestic violence, launched an 'emergency intervention' in some Northern Territory Indigenous communities. Parliament passed controversial legislation that assumed a five-year lease over Indigenous settlements in order to provide additional welfare, health and schooling services.

Political cartoons have a long history in Australia and remain one of the most popular forms of political commentary. Although 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 print media. Publications such as the Melbourne Punch, the Sydney Punch and the Bulletin featured both caricatures and cartoons, and it was through these publications that political cartoons became a popular element of the Australian press.

Matt Golding is a freelance cartoonist based in Melbourne. Golding draws political and gag cartoons on a weekly basis for the Sunday Age, the Melbourne Times and the Melbourne Weekly Magazine.

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