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NSW Tourism Awards Finalist

We're special and the NSW Business Chamber and Destination North Coast think so too!

We have just been notified of our selection as a finalist in the NSW Tourism Awards for 2018.
These awards are open to every tourism operator in NSW and the competition to make the finals is very tough.

2018 has been a rewarding year for the Bunker with selection as a finalist in the local Sunny Awards, the North Coast Regional Tourism Awards and now the NSW State Tourism Awards.
Paul McKeon, the Chairman of the Bunker Cartoon Gallery Board, said the Gallery Manager, Margaret Cameron, the Board and all the volunteers have worked extremely hard to get the gallery to a level where it’s competitive with the best tourist operators in NSW.

The full list of contenders for the Cultural Tourism award is:

Bunker Cartoon Gallery (North Coast NSW)
Hello Koalas Sculpture Trail (North Coast NSW)
Nundle Woollen Mill (Country & Outback NSW)
Old Dubbo Gaol (Country & Outback NSW)
Port Macquarie Museum (North Coast NSW)
Q Station Sydney Harbour National Park Manly (Sydney Surrounds North)
Tribal Warrior Aboriginal Corporation – Tribal Warrior (Sydney Metro)

Representatives of the Gallery have been invited to Sydney – to Luna Park, no that a sign? - on November 22 to attend the gala, black-tie event, hosted by Kerri-Anne Kennerley, when the NSW Tourism Awards winners will be announced.

stomping ivories google my business

Stomping Ivories return to Coffs

Two pianists & one drummer. What can they do?

A better question is what can't the Stomping Ivories do! They've had three sell-out performances at the Bunker in recent years and are returning for one night - and one night only - Thursday 11 October.

Don't miss out - book your tickets now! $40 (plus small booking fee). Doors open at 6.30 pm, entertainment begins at 7.30 pm. Cash bar available. Call in 10 am to 4 pm to prepurchase or phone us on 6651 7343 to book & pay.

After filling the old halls and theatres of Australia, the Stomping Ivories are now performing on international stages to rave reviews. The world-class pianists and drummer sing their way through Gershwin to Gaga bringing crowds along for the ride. Greg Agar, Hugh Murray and Murray Sheridan are the Stomping Ivories. Now touring the world with two grand pianos and a drum kit!

The vocal trio swerves off a seemingly spontaneous hit list of over 350 songs from Gershwin to Gaga.

It’s a hit concept sparked from the piano halls of New Orleans but organically infused with hundreds of performances across the back roads of Australia and now to rave reviews in Europe. With rock'n'roll swagger, they deftly weave the hits songs of all eras, turning any venue into an intimate space where audiences can't help but sing along.

As at ease with the honky-tonk of Elton John, the rock of AC/DC or Queen, from Mancini to Madonna or the swingin' class of Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald, their roguish spontaneity is a guarantee for one-off memorable moments every time they step on stage.

With songwriting credits alongside Keith Urban, INXS and USA soul legend Lou Rawls, Hugh has songs on albums near one million sales. Greg and Murray have a recent national Aria award as producer and engineer respectively. None other than Al Pacino chose a song co-written by Greg to sing and act out on film as the lead track in his latest Hollywood film ‘Danny Collins’.

cartoon of the year

30th Rotary Cartoon Awards – Winners’ List

What a fabulous evening we had for the official opening of the 30th Rotary Cartoon Awards.

Here's who won:

Cartoon of the Year - David Pope
Sport - Merit - Mark Lynch
Sport - Winner - Chris 'Roy' Taylor
Open - Merit - John Farmer
Open - Winner - Phil Judd
Caricature - Merit - Simon Schneider
Caricature - Winner - Simon Schneider
Politics - Merit - David Rowe
Politics - Winner - Peter Lewis
Comic Strip - Merit - Chris 'Roy' Taylor
Comic Strip - Winner - Phil Judd
Plastic Planet - Merit - Pat Campbell
Plastic Planet - Winner - Phil Judd
And our two extra categories this year:
International - Merit - Agus Horsanta (Indonesia)
International - Winner - Rod Emmerson (NZ)
12-18 years
Merit - Lucy Dunning
Winner - Brielle McAlister

Head over to our Facebook page or the Rotary's page to see the Winner & Merit cartoons.  Or come & visit us to see the cartoons - and other entries - in all their glory. The Exhibition runs until 21 October.

Cartoon Festival Program

2 September - Father's Day - and the very first Cartoon Festival happens, here in Coffs Harbour at the Harbourside Markets!



NSW Tourism Awards Finalist

Breaking News...we received a Highly Commended at the Regional Tourism Awards held at Opal Cove Resort.

Yes! We're finalists in the North Coast Regional Tourism Awards, in the Cultural Tourism category. This category recognises tourism operations fostering a greater understanding and appreciation of authentic culture, history, heritage, and/or the arts.

Ours is a unique experience for any visitor with an interest in something a little quirky and different, an interest in history, a love of cartoons, or enthusiasm for fantastic art.

And it's not just what's inside that's of interest. The nature of the building itself – a World War II bunker - is another unique experience for visitors. A number of tributes to its history have been added, including a map showing all ships and submarines located (some were sunk) off the coast of northern NSW, photographs relating to the historic activities, an illustrated information board outside the Gallery, as well as a video explaining the war time role of the Bunker and its original appearance, plus the process that was required to bring it to life as a gallery.

The North Coast Regional Tourism Awards will be held at Opal Cove Resort, 25 July.
The Awards and Gala Dinner recognise and celebrate success and the exceptional achievements of tourism operators from across the North Coast region and are a pathway to the NSW State Awards with winners automatically becoming finalists.

State finalists will be announced 15 October, 2018, with The 2018 NSW Tourism Awards held on 22 November at Luna Park, Sydney.


Future Bunker Plans: Calling for your Support and Comments

When Council decided that the Cultural Centre for the city would be in the CBD and not City Hill, the Bunker Board was faced with the challenge of continuing to operate as a stand-alone facility with no future flow-on traffic from surrounding cultural buildings. We are further challenged as the Bunker leaks badly during heavy rain and is expensive to maintain.

Our proposed solution is to build a new gallery on a self-supporting platform above the existing bunker, which will act like a big umbrella. The new building will look like a modern version of a WW11 Nissen Hut, to reflect the design and purpose of the original bunker. This would double the size of the gallery, give us room for a café and, as a highly visible building, be likely to attract more drop-in visitors.

The second part of the solution is to create a permanent educational exhibition in the upper gallery destined to become a must-see attraction for both locals and tourists. Our vision is for this exhibition is to trace Australian history from 1900 to today as viewed through the eyes of the cartoonists at the time. This would be a high-tech, multi-media exhibition and we have already attracted offers of support from a number of well-connected individuals.

We would continue to show various cartoon exhibitions in the current gallery, much as we do today. This extended and far more visible gallery, plus a spectacular and unique historical exhibition, will significantly increase numbers of visitors to the gallery and will be a popular tourist attraction.

We are asking Council to provide us with funds to prepare a Development Application for the expanded gallery and to prepare a small sample exhibition showing what the Historic Exhibition would look like. The figure involved is $180,000. Once we have an approved Development Application and the project is ‘shovel ready’ we can apply for grants from State and Federal Governments and other bodies to fund the construction. Council is NOT being asked to fund any of the construction.

Of course, we need to show there is community support for this plan. If you like this idea, please send us an email stating that you support our plans for an expanded gallery and a historic exhibition. This is really important for the future of the Bunker; without evidence of community support, it will be far more difficult for Coffs Harbour Councillors to agree to give support and to allocate the $180,000 necessary to get the project underway.

Please send your email to

Plans for the expanded gallery are on show in the Bunker if you would like to call in and view them and make your comments in person. To discuss further, please call 02 6651 7343 during our opening hours and make a time to meet with one of our Board members.

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