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Dr Anne Summers AO

In 1975, Anne Summers released the first modern feminist history of Australia.

Honour Roll

Anne Summers was born on 12 March 1945 at Deniliquin, New South Wales. She was educated at Cabra Convent in South Australia, then Adelaide and Sydney universities achieving a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) and a PhD.

Anne came to prominence in 1975 with her feminist history of women in Australia, Damned Whores and God's Police. Anne was co-founder of the journal, Refractory Girl in 1972, as well as of the first women's refuge, Elsie's Women's Refuge, in Sydney. Anne wrote as a political journalist for the Australian Financial Review and National Times. In 1976, she won the Walkley Award for Print Journalism for her investigation into prison conditions in New South Wales. In 1982, she was elected first female president of the national press gallery.

Anne was First Assistant Secretary in the Office of the Status of Women in the Prime Minister's Department (1983-86). She was, alongside Senator Susan Ryan, Minister for Women's Affairs, the architect of the Hawke government's landmark sex discrimination and affirmative action legislation.

Anne went to the United States in 1987 and worked as Editor-in-Chief of Ms magazine, then Editorial Director of Sassy until 1989. Anne was adviser on women to Prime Minister Keating (1992-93). In 1993, she was appointed editor of the Good Weekend Magazine in the Fairfax Press, where she stayed until 1997. She has also jointly written Her Story: Australian Women in Print 1788-75 (1980). In 1989, she was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for services to the media and to women. In 1999, Anne published the first volume of her autobiography, Ducks on the Pond, and is working on the ensuing volumes. Anne's writing is a lighthouse for feminist ideas and analysis in Australia.