The Cane Toad Times. On show 5 November 2011 - 25 March 2012. Poking fun in a police state
"It was a declaration of independence, a generation claiming its own space, its own fun."
− Robert Whyte, Cane Toad Times contributor

The exhibition, Cane Toad Times: Poking fun in a police state, showcases original issues of Cane Toad Times publications as the centrepiece of an unfolding cultural history created by a collective of individuals who sought to expose a hidden Brisbane.

During a time that saw street marching banned, the demolition of heritage buildings, corrupt police and the tightening grip of a conservative government, Cane Toad Times offered an alternative view of Queensland. "This view conflicted with the then 'official' view, but was nevertheless tinged with a sense of nostalgia, with genuine feelings for the place where most of the contributors either lived or grew up" (Simon Stocks).

With stories called Death of a Prostitute, Queensland Politics – Trust Honest Greed, A Cute Psychotic State, Kicking the Sunbeam and Expo Aversion Therapy, the Cane Toad Times contributors embraced satire and popular culture in their irreverent storytelling whilst exploring the issues, events and problems predominantly misrepresented by mainstream media. Indeed, the Cane Toad Times contributors anticipated the rise of Citizen Journalism with their street-press style magazine that responded to the eroding trust in the media and public disillusionment with politics and civic affairs.


Check out the full program of Politics & persuasion - slq talks, curator's tours and other events.

Digital Stories

Watch interviews with Cane Toad Times contributors on Vimeo:

Stephen Stockwell - Cane Toad Times from State Library of Queensland on Vimeo.

Professor Stephen Stockwell

Stephen Stockwell, Professor of Journalism at Griffith University, talks about his involvement in the second editorial collective of Cane Toad Times. He also speaks specifically on his interest in corruption within the Queensland Police Service, Queensland's love of big roadside monuments and his pseudonym "Clifford Clawback."

Anne Jones - Cane Toad Times from State Library of Queensland on Vimeo.

Anne Jones

Anne Jones was an editor, writer and organiser of Cane Toad Times during the magazine's second phase. She talks about the magazine's objectives, management and production. She also talks about the political and social climate during Brisbane and Queensland during the early 1980s.

John Jiggens - Cane Toad Times from State Library of Queensland on Vimeo.

John Jiggens

John Jiggens talks about the beginning of Cane Toad Times and his influences, including underground publishing and New Journalism. He talks about the first collective's approach, particularly its take on "journalism of the ordinary", its response to the politics of Malcolm Fraser and Joh Bjelke-Petersen and the writers and cartoonists it featured.

Further information

Find out more about this time in Queensland's history in the John Oxley Library