Profile - Audrey Blake (1916-2006)

Audrey Blake was born into a working-class family in Melbourne in 1916. At a young age she became interested in learning more about the Russian Revolution and aged just 15, she joined the Youth Section of the Friends of the Soviet Union, eventually becoming State Secretary.  

In 1932 Audrey joined the Young Communist League (later known as the Eureka Youth League) and she quickly became a prominent member of the group, becoming a member of the Victorian State Executive the same year. It was here that she met fellow communist and young miner Jack Blake, who she married in 1933. They remained married for 66 years until Jack’s death in 2000.  

Audrey had left school at the age of 14 and commenced working at Lucullus Ltd. The company had plans to train Audrey as a junior executive, however they would not do so unless she renounced her membership of the YCL. She refused, and instead left the company to work full-time for the YCL.  

In 1937 Audrey travelled to Moscow, where she stayed for a year, acting as the YCL’s representative at the Young Communist International. Upon her return to Melbourne, she became the first president of the newly formed League of Young Democrats (the new version of the YCL). When the League was banned, Audrey was instrumental in forming the Eureka Youth League (EYL) and became its national secretary. In this role she helped campaign for peace and civil liberties and assisted with organising the highly successful Youth Carnival for Peace and Friendship in Sydney in 1952. 

In 1952 Audrey left the EYL and focused on her work in the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Australia (CPA), to which she had been elected in 1938. However, this was short-lived, and Audrey resigned from both the Central and State Committees of the CPA due to tensions with the Party, particularly following Krushchev’s damning revelations about Stalin’s actions. She eventually resigned from the Party in 1966, although still considered herself to be a socialist.      

Audrey spent her later years studying sociological and political theories, art and poetry, and she featured in a number of radio and television programs. 

Audrey Blake died in 2006, survived by her daughter, four grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.  



Connolly, S n.d., Audrey Blake 1916-2006, SEARCH Foundation, accessed <>


Audrey Blake, c. 1950s (Photo courtesy of the SEARCH Foundation)

Audrey Blake, c. 1950s (Photo courtesy of the SEARCH Foundation)