Category Archives: Editorial Portraits

Each Monday the Newcastle Herald features a portrait of somebody who has made a name for themselves in the news.

There ain’t nothing like this Dame



A tribute to Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, mother of media magnate Rupert Murdoch. A proud matriarch of the family, she was a generous benefactor throughout her long life and was loved by all those who came in contact with her.

Though happy to avoid publicity she famously quipped in an interview that she once took a slipper to young Rupert when he was rude to his governess.

The Human Race

cathyfreemanIn 1994 Australian runner Cathy Freeman won a gold medal in the Commonwealth Games. When she celebrated by carrying the aboriginal flag in a victory lap, an Australian official reprimanded her. The official was  loudly condemned by the public and Freeman became a national hero to Aussies both black and white.

This cartoon won first prize in the National Rotary Cartoon Awards.

Osama Bin Laden

binladenOn the 11th of September 2001, 2 planes flew into the World Trade Centre’s towers, killing thousands of people. Osama Bin Laden went from being a minor middle eastern terrorist to the West’s greatest pariah.

This portrait in smoke won First Prize in the Australian Rotary Cartoon Awards in 2002.

Bernie Banton

BernieBantonberniebantonBernie Banton was a tireless campaigner for people suffering asbestos related conditions caused by working for the company James Hardie. I met him in 2007 a few months before he died of mesothelioma and gave him an inked portrait as a keepsake. He joked at the time that the shoes should have been high heels because the James Hardie boss was a woman.

After he died I redid the cartoon in colour as a tribute and it appeared in the Newcastle Herald. The family requested the new version and it was used as a feature at Bernie’s funeral.


rednecksSarah Palin, governor of Alaska, becomes the Republican Party’s poster girl when selected as Vice-Presidential running mate in the 2008 election. Her conservative views and empty-headed comments reminded me of Pauline Hanson, an Australian politician who rose to prominence in the 1990s.