All fun and games

Swinging at the piñata, spinning the bottle and bobbing for apples in a year of political party games.

In 2023 political party games were being played in parliament and featured in Australia’s daily news cycle: from the tug of war over the Voice referendum to the fun-for-everyone game of pass the interest rate parcel.

Our cartoonist party people, led by Political Cartoonist of the Year Fiona Katauskas, deftly pinned tails onto many a donkey in their biting satirical drawings, paintings, GIFs and sculptures. They skewered political figures from Australia and abroad, some badly behaved public servants and even the occasional CEO or former soldiers.

In 2023 Australians faced the ripple effects from previous COVID-related economic downturns and the war in Ukraine. Our cartoonists ran that egg-and-spoon race alongside Australians juggling cost-of-living pressures, rising interest rates and pressures on housing and building supplies.

It’s been a big year for Australian democracy, with a referendum on whether to include an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice in the Constitution and with the coronation of King Charles III, who had become our new head of state when he ascended the throne in September 2022.

A conga line of cartoonists commented on these events, as well as on a multitude of official inquiries into potentially undemocratic practices in government and the public service, and reports about Australia’s ‘slip and slide’ towards climate crisis.

On a brighter note, Australia’s national women’s soccer team the Matildas had an inspiring run in the Women’s World Cup, coming fourth in the competition, and attracting a record-breaking viewership.

So pop on a party hat, break out the bunting and crank up the music because here it’s all fun and games.