Communist Party of Australia (Marxist–Leninist)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist)
Founder Ted Hill
Founded 15 March 1964
Split from Communist Party of Australia
Newspaper Vanguard
Ideology Communism
Left-wing Nationalism
Colours Red
Slogan For an Independent Australia and Socialism
Party flag

Eureka Flag

Eureka Flag.svg

The Communist Party of Australia (Marxist–Leninist) (CPA(ML)) is an Australian communist organisation which describes its ideology as being influenced by the works of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, Mao and Ted Hill.[1] The theory of the party is unique among Australian Marxist-Leninists due to its belief that a revolution to achieve national independence from primarily United States imperialism must occur before socialism can be achieved.[2]


The CPA(ML) was formed in 1964 as the manifestation of a split within the Communist Party of Australia which occurred largely as a result of the Sino-Soviet split.[3] The leading figure in the breakaway group was Ted Hill, a Melbourne barrister who had been Victorian State Secretary of the CPA. Other noted figures were Paddy Malone and Norm Gallagher of the Builders Labourers Federation, Clarrie O'Shea of the Tramways Union and Ted Bull of the Waterside Workers Federation.[4]

list of General Secretary of the Communist Party of Australia[edit]

Shown by default in chronological order of leadership
Year Name Period Time in office
1964 Ted Hill (Australian communist) 1964-1986
1986 Neil McLean (Australian communist) 1986-??

1970s to 1990s[edit]

The party exerted sizable influence on the militant student movement in Australia during the late 1960s and early 1970s on campuses such as Monash University and LaTrobe University in Melbourne as well as Flinders University in Adelaide through their front group, the 'Worker-Student Alliance'.[5] A notable leader of the Worker-Student Alliance at this time was veteran political activist Albert Langer.

The party also held considerable sway within the Australian trade union movement from inception through to the 1980s. Clarrie O'Shea was party Vice-President at the time of his gaoling in 1969, which led to an unprecedented general strike across Australia until his release was secured.[6] Norm Gallagher led the Builders Labourers Federation for over a decade, a time during which he was a nationally known and controversial figure. Other party members, such as John Cummins and Jim Bacon were also prominent BLF figures throughout the 1970s and 1980s. In the years following the de-registration of the BLF in 1986, CPA(ML) influence within the union movement began to decline.

During the 1980s and 1990s the majority of the founding "old guard" of the CPA(ML) died, retired or split with the party. Examples of such splits were the Committee to Reconstruct the Communist Party, which was close to the line of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement[7] under Clarrie O'Shea and the National Preparatory Committee of the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of Australia[8] under Norm Gallagher. Ted Hill's retirement in 1986 and death in 1988 left the party without its most recognised public figure.

Current Activity[edit]

The party continues to publish the monthly newspaper Vanguard and their theoretical journal, the Australian Communist. It is unknown how many members remain with the party as it maintains strict adherence to its founding policy of the vast majority of members keeping their party membership secret.[9] They have had a new website since 25 October 2014.[10]


External links[edit]

  • The Vanguard expresses the viewpoint of the Communist Party of Australia (Marxist–Leninist).