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Koori Mail cartoons on display

More than 450 original drawings by Australia’s best-known Aboriginal cartoonist Danny Eastwood were recently acquired by the Library, with a selection currently on display in the Amaze Gallery. 

Mr Eastwood, a self-taught artist, has been a regular contributor to the Koori Mail since 1992, and we’re thrilled that his original drawings are now part of the Library’s collection.

Established in 1991, the Koori Mail is a national newspaper that focuses on Indigenous people, issues and events, and is based in Lismore, NSW. 

Danny Eastwood, Survival Day, 2001

Survival Day cartoon by Danny Eastwood published in Koori Mail, 2001

This cartoon was created for the 24 January 2001 edition of the newspaper — two days before the start of official Australia Day celebrations. Indigenous people throughout the country marked the day with a celebration of heritage and survival. More than 10,000 Sydneysiders attended the 2001 Survival Day concert at Waverley Oval, Bondi.

Survival Day continues in Sydney as the popular Yabun Festival, and has been staged at Victoria Park, Camperdown, since 2001. Yabun’s slogan: Resist Invasion — Celebrate Survival — Continue Culture. 

Mr Eastwood is a descendant of the Ngiyampaa people of western NSW on his mother’s side. He was born in Sydney in 1943, living in the inner west until he was 13. Today he is a recognised Elder currently living in western Sydney, in Dharug country, where has lived for more than 30 years. He had a long career as a fire fighter with the NSW Fire Brigade while also pursuing his interest in art. He was awarded the NAIDOC NSW Aboriginal Artist of the Year in 1992 and received the National NAIDOC Art Award in 1993. Eastwood won the Parliament of New South Wales Indigenous Art Prize in 2008 for his pen, ink and watercolour work called ‘My Reconciliation’.  His commissioned mural and mosaic designs using traditional Aboriginal motifs can be seen in schools and streetscapes throughout Sydney.

Mr Eastwood continues working today as an artist, cartoonist and teacher of visual art.