Link to order "Comrades! Lives of Australian Communists"

100 Biographies are available in print only in the new book Comrades! Lives of Australian Communists which is available for pre-order here from the New International Bookshop.  

Comrades! Promotional Video



It’s here! You can now order a copy of Comrades! Lives of Australian Communists from the New International Bookshop by clicking here.

There is only a limited print run, so don’t miss out - order now to ensure you get a copy of what will no doubt be a must-have for the bookshelves of all good comrades.  

The biographies project has produced over 150 biographies of Australian communists - from Aarons to Zorino and plenty in between.

100 of the bios are only available in the printed version, so click here to get in quick.

The book includes 100 biographies of Australian communists, listed below. Some people featured are more prominent than others. Some would otherwise be lost to history if this book wasn’t produced. Each one gives a fascinating insight into the activism of the 20th century, their passions, the struggles, the splits and the successes. Quite deliberately, half of the bios in the book are of women.

A further 50 more biographies will be posted here on the Communist biographies project tab on the SEARCH website progressively over the coming weeks. The first online-only bio, of Laurie Aarons, is up online now for everyone to read and share. If you would like to support this important project, as well as buying the book, it is very helpful to visit the Communist biographies project tab on the SEARCH webpage and share each bio via email and social media when it is published.

Also, please forward this link to your friends and networks. Profits from the book will go to supporting the Tribune digitisation project, which you can also donate to directly by going here.

The launch of the book took place at 6pm AEDT on Friday 30 October, at the online CPA Centenary celebration event.

The launch event featured a keynote by Reds author Stuart Macintyre, a toast by a former CPA member, Meredith Burgmann to launch the book and co-editor Bob Boughton in reply, all MC’d by Brian Aarons.

About the book:

This collection of biographies of 100 Australian communists celebrates the foundation of the Communist Party of Australia (CPA) a century ago.

The CPA started small on 30 October 1920 but its members’ dedication and the course of world events made it a national, even international force.

They worked on the wharves, building sites, railways, factories, mines, shops and hospitals. Others were novelists, playwrights, filmmakers, and lawyers. Many were union officials. One was Australia’s only Communist Member of Parliament. Some were seared by World War, Depression, or the Cold War. Others were propelled by the social movements of the sixties and seventies and the struggles for peace, women’s liberation and gay rights.

What drew them together was their passion for a world without war, without divisions of race and class, for a society based on cooperation and shared wealth. They believed that ordinary people working together could change the world. The CPA was the first party to oppose the White Australia policy, to stand up against fascism, and to fight for Aboriginal rights. It was the first communist party in the world to condemn the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. Its members imposed the world’s first Green Bans.

They helped build hundreds of social movement organisations through which people fought to have their say in the future. Their books, plays, films, art and songs helped create a uniquely Australian culture. Many were subjected to surveillance and repression, discrimination at work, and constant public attacks. Few were ever acknowledged in history books or the media.

To mark the centenary of the Communist Party of Australia, the SEARCH Foundation, in association with the Australian Society for the Study of Labour History, is compiling short biographies of Australian communists. This selection of 100 will be supplemented by many more on the SEARCH website.

Edited by Bob Boughton, Danny Blackman, Mike Donaldson, Carmel Shute and Bev Symons, (Sydney: SEARCH Foundation and the Australian Society for the Study of Labour History).

ISBN: 978-1-876300-00-5

RRP: $30 - release date: 30 October 2020

Here is the full list of the biographies and their authors which appear in the book.


Bill Earsman by Bob Boughton

Christian Jollie Smith by Bob Boughton

Jack Morrison by Ken Norling

Adela Pankhurst Walsh and Tom Walsh by Susan Hogan

Fred Paterson by Ross Fitzgerald

Nelle Rickie by Cathy Brigden

Topsy Small by Danny Blackman

Hettie Weitzel (Ross) by Danny Blackman

Idris Williams by Phillip Deery

Mary Wright (Lamm) by Danny Blackman

Tom Wright by Bob Boughton

Paul Yolkin by Mike Donaldson


Jean Blackburn by Craig Campbell

Betty Bloch by Cathy Bloch

Max Bound by Mike Donaldson

Neil Byron by Daren McDonald

Joe Carter and Jim McNeil by Mike Donaldson

Flo Davis (Cluff) by Danny Blackman

Ken Coldicutt by John Hughes

Noel Counihan by Peter Beilharz

Ruth Crow by David Nichols

Alan Finger by Ken Bridge

Bill Gollan by Scott Poynting

Joan Goodwin (Finger) by Carmel Shute

Oriel Gray by Michelle Arrow

Sylvia Harding by Daren McDonald

Phyl Harnett (Ophel) by Charlie Fox

Charlie Jarrett by Don Jarrett

Rupert Lockwood by Rowan Cahill

Dick Makinson by Bob Makinson

Aileen Palmer by Sylvia Martin

Ted Roach by Mike Donaldson

Olga Silver by Carmel Shute

Pete Thomas by Meredith Burgmann

Paddy Troy by Hazel Butorac

Joan Williams by Bobbie Oliver

Kath Williams by Danny Blackman


Hal Alexander by Bob Boughton

Kay Alexiou by George Zangalis

Shirley Andrews by Bob Boughton

Eva Bacon by Deborah Jordan

Jean Bailey by Margaret Penson

Jean Bowden by Therese Collie

Sally Bowen by Mike Donaldson

Mona Brand by Michelle Arrow

Jack Cambourn by Daren McDonald

Laurie Carmichael by Don Sutherland

Marie Crisp by Paddy McCorry

Barbara Curthoys by Ann Curthoys

Vera Deacon by Rod Noble

Lloyd Edmonds by Julie Kimber & Peter Love

Della Elliott by Rowan Cahill

Rivo Gandini by Pat Gandini

Gwen George by Bronwen Campbell 

Helen Hambly by Heather Goodall

Joan Harrison by Paula Rix

Connie Healy by Therese Collie

Noreen Hewett by Rex Hewett

Alice Hughes by Therese Collie

Jack Hutson by Peter Love

Stan Irvine by Annette Brownlie

Elliott Johnston by Don Sutherland

Stanley Wei and the Chinese Branch of the A.C.P. by Drew Cottle

Tom McDonald by Beverley Symons

Don McLeod by Jan Richardson

Bernice Morris by Carmel Shute

Sonny Myles by Patricia Hovey

Ailsa O'Connor by Julie Copeland

Jeannie O'Connor by Therese Collie

Thelma Prior by Carmel Shute

Joyce Stevens by Judy Mundey

Wal Stubbings by Lesley Synge

Louise West by Beverley Symons

Roger Wilson by Alex Ettling & Diane Kirkby 


Ralph de Boissière by Li Jianjun

Norma Disher by Margot Nash

Brian Dunnett by Roger Jowett

Judy Gillett-Ferguson by Patricia Ranald

Don Jarrett by Ken Bridge

Brian Manning by Julie Kimber

Audrey McDonald by Beverley Symons

Jack Mundey by Greg Mallory

Rex Munn by Don Jarrett

Ray Peckham by Mike Donaldson

Mavis Robertson by Bob Makinson

Yvonne Smith by Judy McVey

Bill Sutton by Phillip Edmonds

George Zangalis by Jock Collins

1960s and 1970s

Peter Barrack by Greg Giles

Rob Durbridge by Don Sutherland

Lance Gowland by Peter Murphy

Denis Kevans by Peter Earley

Marilyn (McCormack) Pittman by Jaquie Widin & Geoff Evans

Brian McGahen by Peter Murphy

Judy Mundey by Pam Hawkins

Merv Nixon by Peter Cockroft

Joe Owens by Verity Burgmann and Mike Donaldson

Pierina Pirisi by Simone Battiston

Nadine Williams by Deborah Durnan

Serge Zorino by Frank Panucci


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