The finalists in the Mercury Cartoon Competition have been announced.
The top 20 entrants are aged from 15 to 24 and hail from right around the Illawarra.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott and the 2014 federal budget were popular topics, with other entries inspired by Wollongong City Council, Gina Rinehart, the Crown Street Mall redevelopment, and even Benji Marshall signing for St George Illawarra.
Sarah Kachovich, 23, said her status as a student studying a PhD in geoscience had prompted her to take aim at the budget for proposing to raise university fees.
"I depend on my scholarship to pay for living expenses, and the budget looking to change education funding is a bit scary," Ms Kachovich said.
"I had about five different ideas for the competition, for what I could do."
She said she hoped one day to combine her passion for art and her knowledge of science to help educate the public on her field of micropalaeontology, the study of microfossils.
"I'd like to cross the disciplines, to promote science to the public through art," she said.
The 20 finalists will be on show at Wollongong Art Gallery from June 26 until July 10.