Learn about us and our history

At the National Cartoon Gallery our vision is to be recognised nationally and internationally as the home of Australian cartooning and the number one cultural attraction on the Coffs Coast. As the only Cartoon Gallery in the country, we play a fundamental role in contributing to and preserving the cartooning landscape in Australia.

Bunker exterior

The National Cartoon Gallery is housed in an authentic underground World War II bunker which has been converted into a unique exhibition space.

The metamorphosis of bunker to gallery is largely thanks to the Coffs City Rotary Club and in particular the project leaders, Tom Hamilton-Foster and John Champion. The work of Mr. Hamilton-Foster and Mr. Champion in acquiring sponsorship, local business funding, and community support funded the restoration of the building and laid the foundations for the exciting gallery space we have now.

Today, the Gallery is the custodian of the Coffs Cartoon Collection, with over 25,000 cartoons from leading Australian and international cartoonists including private donations and bequeaths of rare works. The role of the space, although different to its wartime past, is still one of communicator and protector of Australia’s history, albeit in satirical form.

The National Cartoon Gallery operates as a not-for-profit, registered charity with charitable gift recipient. The Gallery is also proud to have the support of many volunteers who play an integral part in the daily running and operations of the gallery, now and into the future.

The Gallery has also been the recipient of many awards, including the distinguished Stanley Award presented by the Australian Cartoonists Association (ACA) for outstanding contribution to cartooning and the North Coast NSW Tourism Awards for Heritage and Culture.

If you would like to learn more about the history of the space, please do so here.