On October 30 1920, the Communist Party of Australia was founded at a small conference in Sydney. From small beginnings, the party and its members went on to significantly influence Australian society, especially through workers’ struggles and the union movement but also through many other radical and progressive movements, campaigns and struggles in many spheres of social life. From the mid-1960s, the party rejected repressive, authoritarian models and committed itself to a democratic and participatory vision of, and road to, socialism.
In 1990, the Communist Party decided to cease operating as a political party and to work with others towards the formation of a new party of the left. It also established the SEARCH Foundation to preserve the party’s assets and legacy and use them to further democratic socialist and progressive aims.
SEARCH maintains access to the Communist Party archives - including its publications, newspapers and photographic collection, which are held in trust by the State Library of NSW.
We preserve and celebrate the heritage of the socialist movement in Australia, especially the Communist Party of Australia through the production of books, publications and other educational material such as podcast series. We also hold events and bring veteran members and activists together with younger activists to educate a new generation on the lessons and achievements of our past.
You can help us bring to life more projects that promote the legacy of the Communist Party and radical left-wing activism in Australia, including stories from the feminist movement, the land rights and emancipatory movements of First Nations Australians and the global workers movement by making a donation today.
The archives of the Communist Party of Australia including its publications, newspapers and photographic collection are held in the State Library of NSW.
You can view the digitised collection of photographs and negatives from the newspaper 'Tribune' (1964-1991) at the State Library of NSW.
For information about accessing our archives, please contact our office.
You can view the digitised collections of our newspapers and journals on Trove:
Books and Publications
Communist Biographies Project
The Communist biographies project was launched in 2020, in association with the Australian Society for the Study of Labour History, as part of the centenary celebrations of the founding of the Communist Party of Australia. Over the course of the project 150 biographies were collected. The publication 'Comrades! Lives of Australian Communists' features one hundred of the biographies and the remaining fifty are published here on our website.
You can read the biographies here and find out how you can purchase the book below.