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A decade of sketching the sector


13 December 2022 at 9:54 pm
Wendy Williams
To celebrate 10 years of Kneebone cartoons in Pro Bono News, we ask the man behind the drawings to choose his favourite cartoons through the years.


Wendy Williams | 13 December 2022 at 9:54 pm


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A decade of sketching the sector
13 December 2022 at 9:54 pm

To celebrate 10 years of Kneebone cartoons in Pro Bono News, we ask the man behind the drawings to choose his favourite cartoons through the years.

More than a decade ago, Pro Bono News’ founding editor Lina Caneva attended a FIA conference and saw a cartoonist sat in the foyer sketching cartoons based on the main presentations.

The cartoonist was Simon Kneebone. 

“He was a big hit,” recalls Caneva, who promptly called Kneebone to see if he would be interested in doing cartoons focused on the not-for-profit sector for Pro Bono News.

“He really understands the sector and the issues it faces,” she says. 

“He always keeps his ear to the ground, delivering speedy and accurate depictions of issues that are starting to play out in the sector. It was always a pleasure to see his cartoon arrive in the inbox.”

Since then Kneebone, who has been a freelance cartoonist and illustrator for over 40 years, has contributed hundreds of cartoons, capturing a decade of trends in the sector.

“Originally I studied psychology and worked as a youth worker in Port Adelaide. Both turned out to be good training for work as a cartoonist,” he recalls.

“I have used graphics as a means of communicating ideas and information, with positive depictions and humour to engage the reader.”

Here he shares his favourites from the past decade:

2012 – Aged care system maze

“This cartoon did strike a chord for a number of people. Since then, from my family’s experience with aged care, I see the system as more human and fragile, a more dimensional maze.”

2013 – Not for profit reforms

“Reforming without genuine consultation – with the people who do know their business – is easier, but…”

2014 – Corruption is a barrier to growth

“PM Abbott put it out there that the way to tackle growth-stifling corruption was to have fewer checks and balances. But don’t overthink it, just go with it.”

2015 – Advocacy work; back to your offices

“Advocacy is political and that’s not what charities and not for profits are about, apparently. So watch your step…”

2016 – Treasurer Morrison’s tax reform

“Again, don’t overthink it, political economics isn’t meant to add up.”

2017 – Social impact, your font size is raising expectations

 

“I can’t remember just what provoked this cartoon. But it does try to show how some of the absurdities of reality can be visualised in a cartoon.”

2018 – Australian foreign aid, it’s the thought that counts

 

“Australia does have a reputation for over-promising, in a well-meaning – not virtue signalling – way.”

2019 – Can you hear the people?

“‘Virtue signalling’, along with ‘woke’ and other terms, is a dehumanising put down used by certain people to shut down uncomfortable voices. It is lazy.”

2020 – How long have we been running on poverty?

“It seemed that a successful economy, with a surplus and all, can only come about on the back of demonised poverty. This doesn’t add up either.”

2021 – But what can one person do?

“Now, if we didn’t keep thinking ourselves out of doing our little bit…”

You can find more Kneebone cartoons here including his catalogue from 2022. 


Wendy Williams  |  Editor  |  @WendyAnWilliams

Wendy Williams is a journalist specialising in the not-for-profit sector and broader social economy. She has been the editor of Pro Bono News since 2018.


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