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Joyce Florence Batterham (1916–2006)

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Joyce Florence ‘Joy’ Batterham, (1916-2006) clerk, housewife, communist 

Birth: 16 May 1916 in Rockdale, Sydney, New South Wales. Daughter of English-born parents Rev. Absalom Deans, Congregational minister, and Annie Beatrice, née Williams. Marriage: 26 April 1941 in Gordon, Sydney, to James Robert ‘Bob’ Batterham (1909-1984), textile machinist and Communist. They had four children. Death: 16 November 2006 in Royal North Shore Hospital, North Sydney, New South Wales.  Religion: Congregationalist. 

  • Active pacifist and Communist Party of Australia (CPA) functionary in Newcastle after joining party in 1937, where also involved with the New Theatre and Workers’ Educational Association. Organised housewives and miners' auxiliaries. Concerned also with countering sexism in male CPA cadres and teaching sex education.
  • Instructed to work among militant women in textile industry in Sydney, working at Australian Silk Knit, Chic Salon and Alexandra Spinning Mills, promoting 1941 strike.
  • Remained active in CPA after marriage, promoting childcare centre and kindergarten in Castlecrag, also active in Sydney pacifist and CPA circles.

Joyce Stevens, Taking the Revolution Home: work among women in the Communist Party of Australia 1920-1945 (Fitzroy, Vic., c.1987).

Citation details

'Batterham, Joyce Florence (1916–2006)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 14 April 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Deans, Joyce Florence

16 May, 1916
Rockdale, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


16 November, 2006 (aged 90)
North Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

Religious Influence

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Key Organisations
Political Activism