The Guardian 10 August, 2005

CPA South Australian State Conference

Delegates from South Australian branches of the Communist Party of Australia held their 20th State Conference over the last weekend in July. The opening function on the Saturday afternoon struck the chord of unity needed in these days of snowballing attacks on workers and other exploited people. Auntie Josie Agius, an elder of the Kaurna people, gave the gathering a welcome to her people's traditional lands.

MC and Party State President Michael Perth then introduced speakers Stephen Darley from the Port Adelaide Branch of the Greens, Martin O'Malley, State Secretary of the CFMEU Construction and General Division and President of SA Unions and Jamie Newlyn, SA secretary of the MUA. The main speech of the afternoon was given by Anna Pha, Editor of The Guardian and CPA Central Committee representative at the conference. Not surprisingly, the challenging times created by the Howard government's attacks on trade unions and the importance of the fightback were central to all speakers' contributions.

Entertainment was by a Port Branch member on the Irish whistle; singer and guitarist Vincente Barrientos gave interpretations of songs by Cuban artist Silvio Rodriguez while Edel Perth and guitarist Noni gave renditions other thought-provoking songs. Retired wharfie Rex Munn did a powerful role-play of the way the shipping companies' "bull" foremen used to pick the day's labourers for jobs on the waterfront in days gone by. Local poet Juan Garrido Salgado recited a selection of revolutionary poems.

On Sunday, the work of reviewing the amendments to draft documents for the Party Congress in October was carried out. Delegates also had the opportunity to talk on a wide range of matters relating to Party work and the current political situation. A new five member State Committee was elected. Michael Perth is State President while Bob Briton is the new State Secretary.

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