Paul McKeon – Chair
As a long-term member of the Rotary Club which instigated the Bunker Cartoon Gallery, I decided to join the Board in 2015, as the gallery was in a state of decline and change was necessary. I have been Chairman since 2016.
I have had a career spanning the fields of marketing, advertising, public relations, airlines, tourism, events management and publishing. I have worked in Sydney, London, Bangkok, Hong Kong and Coffs Harbour.
During my time as Chair, the Board has re-established the gallery as a popular cultural and tourist attraction; built the new 3 million dollar National Cartoon Gallery and developed plans for a 2 million dollar hi-tech permanent exhibition. My focus is now on turning these plans into reality.
I started working in the media in 1960. I have been a cartoonist for over 40 years and have been writing on the history of Australian cartooning since 1986.
I was Deputy Editor of The Bulletin in the late 1980s and Australian Business Monthly in the early 1990s. After that, I worked at The Australian for 15 years. In 1985 I helped establish the Stanley Awards for Australian cartooning and have twice been the president of the Australian Cartoonist’s Association.
I have been a member of the Media and Entertainment Arts Alliance since the early 1960s and was on Federal Council for over 25 years and a board member of the NSW Journalist’s Benevolent Fund since 2005. I am also involved with the Australasian Humour Studies Network review panel.
I've lived most of my life around the Coffs Coast and have been interested in cartooning since I was young. I now have a far greater appreciation of the art since joining the Gallery's board in 2014 as a member of Coffs City Rotary.
I have been involved in community service clubs (Apex, Lions & Rotary) since 1988 and was employed in retail and commercial banking for 41 years, having gained a Graduate Diploma in Business Administration from the University of Newcastle.
Being a part of the continuing evolvement and success of the Gallery is both challenging and rewarding.
I joined the Board of the National Cartoon Gallery when the Council handed back management of the Bunker Cartoon Gallery. I could see great potential for City Hill, The Gallery was being established in the Bunker and this was a great start for the 'vision' of this precinct. In addition, I could see great potential for the Rotary Cartoon Awards as an ongoing tourist attraction for the Coffs region.
I have some 45 years plus experience in the finance industry in Sydney, Newcastle and Coffs Harbour in roles including branch management, senior administration, and commercial lending. I retired from the finance industry in 2012.
My family and I moved to Coffs Harbour in 1988 and I have been a member of the Rotary Club of Coffs Harbour City since 1989.
I recently joined the Board of the National Cartoon Gallery. I have a background in Analytical and performance-driven accounting and finance with a history of successful sales, proven ability to originate business, maintain, develop and grow customer base to maximize volume and profit. Efficient manager and cooperative team player with over 30 years of relevant experience and strong problem-solving skills, working in multinational banks and accounting firms.
As a 5th generation local and a passionate supporter of all things Coffs Harbour joining the board of the gallery was a great opportunity to give back to my town and to assist however possible with the growth of this tremendous community asset.
Our family business The Observatory Self Contained Apartments also has a strong commitment of giving back to the community and realising that the gallery is a major driver in our visitor economy we have been long term supporters of the gallery.
I have had a long history of community involvement from APEX, RFS, Orara Valley Fair, CanDo Cancer Trust, P&C, industry bodies and various committees. To many, I am known as “the trainman” as each year I organise the Rainforest Rattler that brings joy to many thousands of people.
Many great things have already been achieved by past boards and I firmly believe there is still much to be done before the potential of this unique gallery is fully realised. I look forward to contributing towards its future growth and prosperity.