Portrait of an activist: Elizabeth Vassilieff

Elizabeth Orme Hamill, née Sutton, was a 31-year-old teacher, writer and divorcee when they met in Warrandyte. Although Danila had an anti-communist background – he fought with the Whites during the civil war in Russia and was captured by the Reds[3] – Elizabeth, both during their marriage and well beyond, was not only an artist in her own right, but an activist in the peace movement and the Communist Party.

Jack Mundey

Verity Burgmann Jack Mundey (17/10/1929-10/05/2020), legendary leader of the green bans movement, showed the world how important workers could be in protecting the planet.[1] ‘What is the good of fighting to improve wages and conditions’, he asked unionists, ‘if we are going to choke to death in polluted and plan-less cities.’[2] He emphasized that workers... Continue Reading →

Becoming John Curtin and James Scullin

This year marks 75 years since the death of John Curtin. The Melbourne Branch's Dr. Liam Byrne has written the forthcoming biography of John Curtin and James Scullin, being published by Melbourne University Press in June 2020: https://www.mup.com.au/books/becoming-john-curtin-and-james-scullin-paperback-softback The book explores pivotal moments of Australian history that are directly linked to key points history and... Continue Reading →

Childe Unbound

By Rowan Cahill What follows is in part a review, but also a commentary, and it benefits from the perspective of an insider. As Terry Irving notes in his Acknowledgements to The Fatal Lure of Politics: The Life and Thought of Vere Gordon Childe (2020), I encouraged his “political intentions for the book” and read... Continue Reading →

8 May 1970 Moratorium

Melbourne’s Moratorium demonstration of 8 May 1970 was the city’s largest public gathering ever and the highpoint of a movement that had been steadily building over a number of years in opposition to Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam war.  Despite scaremongering and predictions to the contrary, the Moratorium demonstration exceeded all expectations – it was... Continue Reading →

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