Anne Summers

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Anne Summers AO (born 12 March 1945) is an Australian writer and columnist, best known as a leading feminist,[1] editor and publisher. She was formerly First Assistant Secretary of the Office of the Status of Women in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Early life[edit]

Born Ann Fairhurst Cooper in Deniliquin, New South Wales in 1945, the oldest of six children to AHF and EF Cooper.[2] Summers grew up in a strict Catholic household in Adelaide, South Australia and was educated at a Catholic school in Adelaide.[3] In her autobiography, she writes that her father (an aviation instructor) was an alcoholic and that she had a difficult relationship with her mother.[4]

Leaving school at 17, Summers left home to take up a position in a bank in Melbourne then worked as a bookshop assistant until 1964, when she returned to Adelaide, enrolling in 1965 in an arts degree in politics and history at the University of Adelaide. After becoming pregnant following a brief relationship in 1965, and refused a referral for a termination by her Adelaide doctor, she arranged an expensive abortion in Melbourne which was incomplete. She returned to her GP in Adelaide and was referred to an Adelaide gynaecologist to complete the abortion safely. She credits this experience as a key influence on her later work on behalf of women.[4]

Career[edit]

While at university, Summers became a member of the Labor Club, later becoming aligned with the radical student movement and in marching against the Vietnam War. On 24 April 1967[5] she married a fellow student, John Summers, and the couple moved to a remote Aboriginal reserve where he worked as a teacher. Following an incident at her wedding Summers became estranged from her father, and never returned to her maiden name despite the short life of her marriage.[4]

In December 1969, Summers left her marriage and in 1969 became one of a group of five women to form a Women's Liberation Movement (WLM) group in Adelaide.[6][7] Other Women's Liberation Movement groups were being established around Australia: an equal pay submission in the name of the movements was submitted to the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commission in Melbourne in 1969,[8] and a WLM meeting was held in Sydney in January 1970. The group held their first national conference in May 1970, at the University of Melbourne, with 70 feminists attending.[4]

Moving to Sydney in 1970, Summers and other WLM members squatted in two derelict houses owned by the Anglican Diocese of Sydney, turning them into the Elsie Women's Refuge to provide shelter to women and children who were victims of domestic violence.[4][9][10]

Summers received a postgraduate scholarship to do a PhD, which she used to write the book Damned Whores and God's Police which looked at the history of women in Australia.[11][12][13] She was offered a position to work as a journalist on The National Times, where she wrote an investigation into NSW prisons which led to a royal commission and to Summers' being awarded a Walkley Award.[4][14]

Summers was appointed a political adviser to Labor prime minister Bob Hawke, heading the Office of the Status of Women in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet from late 1983 to early 1986.[15][16][17][18] From 1986 to 1992, Summers lived in New York,[19] becoming editor-in-chief of Ms. magazine,[20][21] and, following a management buyout, co-owned the magazine, which eventually succumbed to a Moral Majority campaign and went bankrupt.[4] She then returned to Australia and was appointed editor of the "Good Weekend" magazine, in The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.[4][22][23][24] She was also an advisor on women’s issues to Labor prime minister Paul Keating prior to the 1993 federal election.[25] Summers joined the board of Greenpeace Australia in 1999 and from 2000 to 2006 was chair of Greenpeace International.[4][26][27] Since 2017, she once again lives in New York.[26]

Awards[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Her long-term partner is Chip Rolley, the 2010 creative director of the Sydney Writers' Festival, former editor of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's opinion program The Drum,[31][32] who has been Senior Director of Literary Programs at PEN America since May 2017.[33]

Appearances[edit]

Summers was on the program for three events at the 2017 Brisbane Writers Festival in Brisbane, Queensland.[34][35][36]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Summers, Anne (1975). Damned whores and God's police : the colonisation of women in Australia. Ringwood, Victoria: Penguin Books. 2nd ed 1985, 3rd ed 2002
  • Bettison, Margaret; Summers, Anne (1980). Her Story, Australian Women in Print 1788-1975. Sydney: Hale & Iremonger.[37]
  • Summers, Anne Gamble (1983). Gamble for power : how Bob Hawke beat Malcolm Fraser : the 1983 federal election. Melbourne: T Nelson Australia.
  • Summers, Anne (1999). Ducks on the pond : an autobiography 1945-1976. Ringwood, Victoria: Viking.
  • Summers, Anne (2003). The end of equality : work, babies and women's choices in 21st century Australia. Sydney: Random House.
  • Summers, Anne (2008). On luck. Melbourne: Melbourne University Publishing. ISBN 978-0-522-85586-9.
  • Summers, Anne (2009). The lost mother : a story of art and love. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press.
  • Summers, Anne (2013). The misogyny factor. Sydney: NewSouth Publishing. ISBN 978-1-74223-384-0.
  • Summers, Anne (2018). Unfettered and Alive: A Memoir. Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 978-1-74331-841-6.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Henderson, Margaret (2006), Marking feminist times : remembering the longest revolution in Australia, Peter Lang, ISBN 978-0-8204-8038-1
  2. ^ Herd, Margaret (ed.), Who's Who in Australia, 2002, 38 edn, Crown Content, Melbourne, 2002
  3. ^ "FIVE STARS CLUB". Southern Cross. LXIV, (3220). South Australia. 6 June 1952. p. 13. Retrieved 12 October 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Anne Summers (1999). Ducks on the pond : an autobiography 1945-1976. Viking. p. 436. ISBN 978-0-670-88262-5.
  5. ^ Summers, Anne (18 August 2017). "From my wedding dress to a childhood coat, history is sewn into our clothes". The Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 24 March 2018. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  6. ^ Magarey, Susan. "Women's Liberation Movement". The Encyclopedia of Women & Leadership in Twentieth-Century Australia. Archived from the original on 10 April 2018. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  7. ^ Magarey, Susan (May 2013). "Sisterhood and Women's Liberation in Australia". Outskirts. 28. Archived from the original on 21 April 2018. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  8. ^ "Women's Liberation Movement". Archived from the original on 29 August 2017. Retrieved 29 August 2017.
  9. ^ Gilchrist, Catie, Forty years of the Elsie Refuge for Women and Children, Dictionary of Sydney, 2015, http://dictionaryofsydney.org/entry/forty_years_of_the_elsie_refuge_for_women_and_children Archived 5 July 2018 at the Wayback Machine., viewed 11 October 2018
  10. ^ "Elsie: A women's shelter". Tribune (1846). New South Wales, Australia. 26 March 1974. p. 7. Retrieved 12 October 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
  11. ^ McGrath, Ann. “Labour History.” Labour History, no. 73, 1997, pp. 236–238. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/27516514.
  12. ^ "Damned Whores and God's Police". Tharunka. 40, (5). New South Wales, Australia. 3 May 1994. p. 40. Retrieved 12 October 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
  13. ^ Shane Rowlands & Margaret Henderson (1996) Damned bores and slick sisters: The selling of blockbuster feminism in Australia, Australian Feminist Studies, 11:23, 9-16, DOI: 10.1080/08164649.1996.9994800
  14. ^ a b "Khemlani story Walkley winner". The Canberra Times. 51, (14, 515). Australian Capital Territory, Australia. 21 October 1976. p. 22. Retrieved 12 October 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
  15. ^ "Journalist for PM's department". The Canberra Times. 58, (17, 559). Australian Capital Territory, Australia. 26 October 1983. p. 3. Retrieved 12 October 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
  16. ^ "Affirmative action: much more than a slap on the wrist". The Canberra Times. 58, (17, 682). Australian Capital Territory, Australia. 26 February 1984. p. 9 (Sunday Edition). Retrieved 12 October 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
  17. ^ "PM: Sex Discrimination Bill would be best achievement". The Canberra Times. 58, (17, 691). Australian Capital Territory, Australia. 6 March 1984. p. 15. Retrieved 12 October 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
  18. ^ "Victorian to direct Office of Status of Women". The Canberra Times. 60, (18, 415). Australian Capital Territory, Australia. 3 March 1986. p. 1. Retrieved 12 October 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
  19. ^ "IN BRIEF". The Canberra Times. 60, (18, 362). Australian Capital Territory, Australia. 9 January 1986. p. 3. Retrieved 12 October 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
  20. ^ "Management to buy Sassy, Ms". The Canberra Times. 62, (19, 203). Australian Capital Territory, Australia. 4 May 1988. p. 29. Retrieved 12 October 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
  21. ^ "Steinem: Will allow feminist cross-fertilisation Fairfax owners, editor revitalise 'Ms' magazine". The Canberra Times. 62, (19, 103). Australian Capital Territory, Australia. 24 January 1988. p. 2. Retrieved 12 October 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
  22. ^ Wired Up Young People And The Electronic Media (Media, Education, and Culture)Library binding (1st ed.), Routledge, 1998, ISBN 978-1-85728-804-9
  23. ^ "Anne Summers". MPC - Hall Of Fame. Melbourne Press Club. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  24. ^ Taylor, Anthea (2008), Mediating Australian feminism : re-reading the first stone media event, Peter Lang, ISBN 978-3-03911-099-5
  25. ^ ABC TV Q&A Panellist: Anne Summers. http://www.abc.net.au/tv/qanda/txt/s2667166.htm Archived 8 March 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  26. ^ a b "About | Anne Summers". www.annesummers.com.au. Archived from the original on 8 September 2018. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  27. ^ Vidal, John (12 January 2002). "Melchett quits Greenpeace board". the Guardian. Archived from the original on 13 June 2014. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  28. ^ "THE QUEEN'S BIRTHDAY 1989 HONOURS". Commonwealth Of Australia Gazette. Special (S192). Australia, Australia. 12 June 1989. p. 2. Retrieved 12 October 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
  29. ^ University of South Australia Citation for Dr Anne Summers AO, PhD. https://www.unisa.edu.au/Documents/About%20UniSA/Summers-Citation.docx Archived 11 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine.
  30. ^ "Honour for acclaimed author and alumna Anne Summers". The University of Sydney. Archived from the original on 24 July 2017. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  31. ^ Schmidt, Lucinda (10 June 2009), "Profile: Anne Summers", The Age, retrieved 23 April 2012
  32. ^ "Chip Rolley". ABC News. Archived from the original on 9 July 2016. Retrieved 21 March 2016.
  33. ^ "Chip Rolley - PEN America". pen.org. Archived from the original on 23 April 2018. Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  34. ^ "Uplit". Archived from the original on 4 September 2017. Retrieved 4 September 2017.
  35. ^ "Melbourne University Publishing". Archived from the original on 4 September 2017. Retrieved 4 September 2017.
  36. ^ "Must Do Brisbane". Archived from the original on 4 September 2017. Retrieved 4 September 2017.
  37. ^ 'Untold History of Women', in "PEOPLE". The Australian Women's Weekly. 48, (5). Australia, Australia. 2 July 1980. p. 6. Retrieved 12 October 2018 – via National Library of Australia.

External links[edit]