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Dean Alston
Born 1950
South Perth, Western Australia
Nationality Australian
Awards 1991 Walkley Award

Dean John Douglas Alston (born 1950) is an Australian cartoonist who became the editorial cartoonist of The West Australian newspaper in 1986.[1]


Dean Alston was born in South Perth, Western Australia. He grew up in Mount Pleasant and attended Applecross Senior High School.[2] In 1967 he started a cadetship in cartography with Western Australia's Lands and Surveys Department. In 1980, he bought into the Carine Glades Tavern. He travelled to London via New Zealand and the US, working for British Gas as a cartographer, illustrator and caricaturist.[3] In 1985, Alston was employed by The West Australian. He took over as editorial cartoonist the following year. As of February 2016, he is estimated to have published over 14,000 cartoons. He has won numerous awards, including a Walkley Award for Best Cartoon in 1991 and Stanley Awards for Best Single Gag cartoon in 2003 and 2012.[4]


The final two frames of Alas Poor Yagan by Dean Alston

In September 1997 The West Australian published an Alston cartoon entitled Alas Poor Yagan, which criticised the fact that the return of Yagan's head had become a source of conflict among the Indigenous Australians of Western Australia, instead of fostering unity. The cartoon could also be interpreted as casting aspersions on the motives and legitimacy of named indigenous people who were humorously identified with mixed racial heritage. The content of the cartoon offended many Aboriginal people. The elder Robert Bropho levelled accusations of racism against The West Australian. Eventually the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission ruled that the cartoon made inappropriate references to Noongar beliefs but did not breach racial discrimination law. This ruling was upheld on appeal by the Federal Court of Australia.[5]


  1. ^ "Inside the wicked mind of cartoonist Dean Alston". ABC Stateline. 2005-07-15. Retrieved 2015-01-08. 
  2. ^ "Dean Alston". City of Geraldton-Greenough Library. 
  3. ^ Dean Alston interviewed by Helene Charlesworth for the Battye Library collection (sound recording) at National Library of Australia, 1999
  4. ^ Tomlin, Sam (19 November 2012). "Alston's gag earns top award". The West Australian. Retrieved 18 February 2016. 
  5. ^ Federal Court of Australia (2004). Bropho v Human Rights & Equal Opportunity Commission [2004] FCAFC 16. 6 February 2004


External links[edit]

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37 news items

The West Australian

The West Australian
Wed, 13 Apr 2016 18:43:43 -0700

And check out the video with The West's cartoonist Dean Alston if you don't believe me. He also drew me earlier. It took him about a minute. The pencil is probably a bit of a novelty, but a great novelty at that. Lets talk price, which is always the ...

Daily Life

Daily Life
Mon, 09 Nov 2015 11:41:15 -0800

It's lazy and boring and completely reliant on retro ideas of women and feminism, but that's what I'd expect from a comic whose bio jokes that he's been "cartooning long enough to remember when politicians were real". Dean Alston is old and one day he ...

ABC Online

ABC Online
Mon, 09 Nov 2015 03:32:03 -0800

Kristy Diffey : 09 Nov 2015 11:27:48pm. Obviously her win put a few noses out of joint over at the West Australian. You might want to look at the cartoon by Dean Alston in the Weekend edition (7/8th nov). Reply Agree (0) Alert moderator ...

The West Australian

The West Australian
Fri, 30 Oct 2015 17:07:56 -0700

The photo archive at The West Australian has been opened up online at www.westpix.com.au , where readers, publishers and businesses can buy and license images, front pages and Dean Alston cartoons. 20 years since giraffes share 'The Kiss'. Some of ...

The West Australian

The West Australian
Sun, 25 Oct 2015 10:07:48 -0700

They said highlights of the day included touring the TV studio and watching cartoonist Dean Alston at work. The Generation Z editors, who watched their edition roll off the presses last night, said they were surprised by just how much work went on ...

The West Australian

The West Australian
Mon, 21 Dec 2015 08:38:10 -0800

Methamphetamine use among Perth's criminals continues to rise, with 43 per cent of detainees in the city's biggest lock-up testing positive to the drug this year. The latest Australian Institute of Criminology figures show the rate of use by detainees ...

The West Australian

The West Australian
Wed, 02 Dec 2015 17:11:39 -0800

Two cars in high-speed crash · Festivals & Events: News and reviews · The right home at the right time · Female footballer kicked two goals with broken leg · Acid Reflux Disease & GERD. TUMS Sponsored · Cartoonist Dean Alston test drives the new iPad ...

Irish Times

Irish Times
Tue, 12 Aug 2014 07:48:14 -0700

A group claiming to speak on behalf of some Irish people living in Australia is preparing an official complaint over a cartoon in an Australian newspaper which they claim is a “racist” depiction of Irish nurses. The cartoon by Dean Alston, printed in ...

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