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Climate Council award recognises Australian cartoonists following Walkleys boycott over fossil fuel sponsor

the Climate Council 3 mins read

THE CLIMATE COUNCIL is supporting a new climate award category for the Australian Cartoonists Association Stanley Awards in October.


The new award is in response to a Walkley Awards boycott in August during which a number of high profile cartoonists withdrew their entries in protest against the Walkleys’ major sponsorship with fossil fuel giant Ampol. 

The top 20 climate-themed cartoons of the year were curated by the Australian Cartoonists Association and from those, six finalists have been chosen by an expert panel of judges.*  

The finalists for the Climate Council Cartoon of the Year award are: Megan Herbert, Alan Moir, Glen Le Lievre, Peter Broelman, John Kudelka and Matt Golding.

Climate Council CEO Amanda McKenzie said: “Every Australian deserves to understand how the climate crisis is affecting us, and the Fourth Estate plays such a critical role in that. We wanted to send a message with this award to cartoonists who are so fearless in drawing attention to injustices and the political absurdities of the climate crisis - we see you, we support and celebrate your work and we know you are having an impact. 

“It is extremely disappointing that the Walkleys Foundation are clinging to their nefarious relationship with Ampol. The cartoonists who walked away from the Walkleys showed great fortitude and bravery in doing so and sent an important message that the media should not accept funding from fossil fuel companies who are driving the climate crisis. 

“When the cartoonists began to boycott the Walkleys, I wrote to the Walkleys Board to ask whether they would consider replacing the Ampol sponsorship. Unfortunately, we are yet to receive any response. 

“So this cartoonists award is our way of saying we recognise your excellent work to highlight the climate crisis, even when Australia’s biggest media awards will not.”

Australian Cartoonists Association President Cathy Wilcox said: “Boycotting one of the most respected awards for journalists, including cartoonists, meant that while we highlighted an important issue, some great work (on many subjects) would not be seen. I acknowledge the sacrifice made, especially, by less-well-known cartoonists, in forgoing recognition.

“I was keen to find a way to showcase the great work of cartoonists, while making the most positive use of their ethical stance.

“Given the boycott was about the indisputable impact of fossil fuels on the viability of the planet, and the insidious use of high profile sponsorship to greenwash polluters’ reputations, the Climate Council’s offer to support a specific climate-themed award was, to me, an opportunity to be seized. I’m proud to present our latest climate cartoons - work we’ve in fact been doing for decades, since climate change is nothing new.”

The winning cartoonist will be announced October 28 at an awards ceremony in Melbourne. 

There is also a separate Climate200 People's Choice Award, where the Australian public can choose their favourite climate cartoon. Go to to vote (and have the chance to win a printed version of their chosen climate cartoon).

Both winners will receive $5000 prize money.


*Judges for the Climate Council Cartoon of the Year Award included Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, Holly Williams, Climate Council CEO Amanda McKenzie and Australian author and researcher on social trends, Dr Rebecca Huntley. 


About us:

The Climate Council is Australia’s leading community-funded climate change communications organisation. It was founded through community donations in 2013, immediately after the then-Abbott Government dismantled the Climate Commission. We provide authoritative, expert and evidence-based advice on climate change to journalists, policymakers, and the wider Australian community. For further information, go to: Or follow us on social media: and

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