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Category Archives: conference cartoons

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Cartoon recording from the Barwon Regional Assembly (Regional Development Victoria), Geelong, on the 14th September. Above, a summary graphic showing the top 5 priorities for the Barwon region from the assembly; below, some of the cartoons from the evening.

 

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Cartoons – 3 second stories, my workshop at The Story Conference, at the University of Melbourne, November 23-25. The conference theme was ‘Influencing cultural change, one story at a time’.

Cartoons tell a compact story in 3-4 seconds of a reader’s time. Using that short opportunity is the cartoonist’s challenge. The aim of my workshop was to have participants produce their own cartoon poster to express to the rest of the conference community their thoughts about an issue that was important to them.

The workshop was in two parts. First I explained what I think are some of the principles that make an effective cartoon, how they help a cartoon connect with the reader and, using that connection, spark ideas in the reader’s head. Armed with this preparation  participants then worked on developing ideas and drawing up their cartoon posters. These were put up on walls for others at the conference to see – and be influenced by!

Cartoons do have the ability, either gently or provocatively, to get their readers to question their attitudes. This questioning is an ingredient in cultural change.

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Some of the cartoons drawn at the Australasian Association for Environmental Education conference ‘Tomorrow Making, our Present to the Future’, in Adelaide, South Australia, 5-7 October.

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Some cartoons from this year’s Future of Communities: Power To The People Conference, held in Melbourne 14-15th September, an annual event created by the Bank of Ideas and the Municipal Association of Victoria.

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Cartoon illustration for the Australian Association for Environmental Education (AAEE) 19th Biennial Conference 2016 -‘TomorrowMaking – our present to the future’, to be held here in Adelaide, South Australia, 5-7th October.

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Wonderful stories and wonderful people! A few of the cartoons inspired by stories at Weaving Stories together – the Sydney International Storytelling Conference , last weekend, 27-29th May.

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Cartooning at the Victorian Regional Development Australia Forum 21-21 April 2016, at Ballarat.

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One of the Municipal Association of Victoria’s annual conferences is its national two day The Future of Communities: Power to the People conference.  I was there as cartoonist, listening and trying to get as much of the sessions into cartoons as I could.  The cartoon above does sum up my impression of the conference.  At first it didn’t have the ‘Woohoo!’  Without it the the cartoon seemed to say ‘Oh oh, what have we done?’; that wasn’t what I saw.  Adding the ‘Woohoo!’ DOES express what the 250 upbeat and enthusiastic conference participants and presenters showed over the two days.  It was a great experience!

The event was facilitated by the quite amazing Peter Kenyon, director of The Bank of Ideas. The complete set of cartoons can be found on their Facebook page. Here are a few of the cartoons…

 

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The Local Government Managers Australia (SA Division) 2014 conference Active Citizenship – The Future of local Government had a facilitated ‘World Cafe’ as its final session. There were two tables for each of five key questions and participants ‘speed dated’ their way around the tables; the responses to the questions reported back to the conference at the end of the hour session. It is an intense brainstorming process and an effective way of collecting the feelings of the group, at the end of a conference, on the main issues.

Although I do cartoon/illustrate as a form of recording at conferences I don’t specialise in graphic recording – recording people’s responses on the spot, in real time, in a coherent graphic. There are a number of very skilled graphic recorders around. So for me, I needed to do some preparation for recording the responses at the end of the Active Citizenship ‘World Cafe’.

Knowing the five questions beforehand, I was able to get a graphic in mind for each. The facilitator suggested basing them on conference’s ‘people tree’ poster image – a great suggestion as it was a good image to borrow and play with. Once the session started I moved around, listening in on each table, to get a feel for what was being said. From this I saw that three of my graphic ideas seemed to fit, but I had to rethink the other two. In the times when participants were changing tables I drew up my images on butcher’s paper – leaving room to add in the actual responses. This paid off. Although it was a rush as the reporters read out their lists, I was able to get down most of the responses to each question, incorporating them into each graphic.Here are three of them…

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Moorabool Shire Council, in country Victoria, Australia held its Vibrant Communities Conference 2013, in the Ballan Mechanics Institute Hall ,on the 20th of April.

I was there to cartoon the issues and ideas that emerged in the workshops and sessions. Cartooning on the spot, among people passionate about their community and its future is a dose of reality.

It is also a good test for the cartoons. Do they help capture what people are feeling and saying? Do they have ‘yes we can’ positiveness? (Tricky, cartooning lends itself to more negative ways of looking at things). Can they help remind participants of the conference discussions weeks and months down the track?

It is that mnemonic role of cartoons, and other images, that gives them value after the fun on the day.

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