Anne Summers is a journalist, author, editor and publisher, whose latest book is The Misogyny Factor (NewSouth, 2013). Her previous recent books were The Lost Mother. A Story of Art and Love (MUP, 2009, 2010) and On Luck (MUP 2009). She writes opinion columns for the Sydney Morning Herald and The Sunday Age. In November 2012 she began her own publication, a lavish free digital magazine Anne Summers Reports which reports on politics, social issues, art, architecture and whatever else takes her fancy.
Anne was chair of the board of Greenpeace International (2000-2006) and Deputy President of Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum (1999-2008). Her book The End of Equality was published in 2003 and her autobiography Ducks on the Pond came out in 1999.
She ran the federal Office of the Status of Women (now Office for Women) from 1983 to 1986 when Bob Hawke was Prime Minister and was an advisor, on women’s issues among other things, to Prime Minister Paul Keating prior to the 1993 federal election.
In 1987 in New York she was editor-in-chief of Ms. – America’s landmark feminist magazine – and the following year, with business partner Sandra Yates bought Ms. and Sassy magazines in the second only women-led management buyout in US corporate history. In 1989 she was made an Officer in the Order of Australia for her services to journalism and to women. In 2011, along with three other women, Anne was honoured as an Australian Legend with her image placed on a postage stamp.
Anne was a leader of the generation and the movement that changed Australia for women. Her involvement in the women’s movement has earned her community respect and has been honoured with Honorary Doctorates from both Flinders University (1994) and the University of New South Wales (2000).
Anne was involved in the early 1970s in helping start Elsie, Australia’s first women’s refuge and Refractory Girl, a women’s studies journal.
In 1975 she became a journalist, first on The National Times, then in 1979 was appointed Canberra bureau chief for the Australian Financial Review and then the paper’s North American editor.
In 1975 her book Damned Whores and God’s Police changed the way women were perceived in this country. This bestseller was updated in 1994 and, again, in 2002 and stayed continuously in print until 2008 – an incredible 33 years. She also published Gamble for Power, an account of the 1983 federal elections and Her-Story: Australian Women in Print (with Margaret Bettison).
These days Anne lives in Sydney with Chip Rolley, her partner of 24 years who is the editor of The Drum, the ABC’s online opinion portal.