Independence for Australia


Donated by Barry York

Museum of Australian Democracy collection

Maoist Communists were a group of activists who in the 1960s broke away from the Communist Party of Australia to form the Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist). The CPA(ML) closely followed the Chinese Communist Party line. Many of its members were students from Monash and La Trobe Universities in Melbourne and Flinders University in Adelaide. They challenged university authority and opposed Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War.

Maoist Communists formed the Australian Independence Movement in the mid-1970s, using the Eureka flag as its symbol. The Movement aimed to persuade members of the national bourgeoisie to join the cause of Australian independence, and waged a campaign against what they considered the imperialism of the Soviet Union.

Badge donor Barry York says:

‘Independence for Australia’ … was part of the left-wing nationalism of some on the Left, associated (like me) with the Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist) … our nationalist campaign for ‘Independence for Australia’ proved popular (but) it turned sour for us when the racist Right seized upon the Eureka Flag and the same slogan of ‘Independence’.