Summers, Anne

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Summers, Anne Gender: F
Cooper, Anne Fairhurst
born on 12 March 1945 at 16:00 (= 4:00 PM )
Place Deniliquin, Australia, 35s32, 144e58
Timezone AEST h10e (is standard time)
Data source
Rodden Rating B
Collector: Scholfield
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_piscol.18.gif 21°18' s_mo.18.gif s_aqucol.18.gif 24°35 Asc.s_cancol.18.gif 26°42'


Australian feminine activist, one of the first people to lead a women's liberation group in her hometown of Adelaide, and to establish a women's refuge in Sydney. The author of a classic historical study of Australian women, "Damned Whores and God's Police: The Colonization of Women in Australia," 1975, she also wrote an autobiography called "Ducks on the Pond."

Her media career includes spells as a political correspondent and editor. This led her to New York from 1986 to 1992, where she became editor-in-chief of "Ms." magazine, and eventually a co-owner of Ms. and the short lived younger sister publication, "Sassy," after a then pioneering management buyout. Sassy came under assault from a Moral Majority campaign, and Summers later severed her connections with the magazines to return to Australia.

She became a political adviser to the last Labor Prime Minister, Paul Keating, until 1993. During this time she headed the Office of the Status of Women. Then she again became an editor, this time of the "Good Weekend" magazine which appeared in the largest newspapers in Sydney and Melbourne.

The University of New South Wales awarded Summers an Honorary Doctorate in April for her contribution to journalism and the advancement of women. Dr. Summers said that receiving a doctorate for her lifetime achievements led her to reflect on the successes of the past century and the endless possibilities for the next generation.

Little known for her green credentials, and just a year after she was appointed to its board, Dr. Anne Summers in late September 2000 was appointed to take over the chair of Greenpeace International, at a crucial time for the organization. From December 2000, she will head Greenpeace -- the world's pre-eminent green activist organization -- as it recruits its most crucial position -- international executive director, shifts its focus towards Asia, and reportedly faces a membership and funding crisis. On her appointment she stated, "I look forward to working with all parts of the organization and to continue Greenpeace's unparalleled record of making the planet safe for all living things." Claiming around 2.5 million members, Greenpeace has a presence in 41 countries and a 1999 income of $US 110 million. The seven- person-board that Summers will chair broadly represents global regions for Greenpeace and is seen as a supervisory body. Summers will be responsible for such tasks as identifying key strategic issues, and supervising the Dutch headquartered organization's governance.

Raised in Adelaide, South Australia, Anne Cooper was the oldest child and only girl in a Catholic family. She had five younger brothers. Her mother was a busy homemaker, her father an aviation instructor and alcoholic. As the nurse at her birth remarked, Summers was born according to a once-in-a-century [dd/mm/yy] numerical sequence -- 12.3.45 -- (as it is written in Australia) and she has followed "signs" all her life, although she doesn't believe in an afterlife. When she was about six weeks old "a large red splotch" appeared on her face. Eventually she would have surgery to remove it.

At 17 she left convent school and her restrictive home life in Adelaide, moving from a bank to a bookshop assistant's job in Melbourne. She began a sexual relationship with a Catholic man; his guilt about their trysts leading her to question her religious faith. In early 1964, she returned to Adelaide. After sex with another man on a beach, she headed to Sydney in 1965, seeking an abortion that would be illegal but at least available in such a big city during those pre-Pill days. She was eventually referred to Melbourne where (two weeks short of her 20th birthday) a doctor performed an expensive operation. Back in Adelaide, she started university but walked around hemorrhaging. She returned to the doctor that had originally refused her a termination, and he referred her to a gynecologist who attended to her "incomplete abortion."

Summers was studying politics when she married John Summers in Adelaide on 4/28/1967 (on his 24th Birthday). Her drunken father called her a slut at her wedding reception, and she resolved henceforth that he had ceased to exist. The day after the wedding the couple headed to a remote Aboriginal reserve where John worked as a government pottery and gem-cutting teacher.

Back in Adelaide, she left her marriage in December 1969. In the same month, she entered radical politics -- as one of a group of five women -- to first form the Women's Liberation Movement (WLM) in Australia. In May 1970, she joined some 70 feminists at the University of Melbourne for the first national WLM conference.

In 1971 she moved to Sydney, co-founding the feminist journal Refractory Girl in 1972. In early 1974 she defended herself against (and defeated) an obscenity

charge for "unseemly language" after a street altercation with some policemen. On the night of 9/04/1973, she had her first "brilliant idea about the women's shelter." With some women friends, she found a house (named "Elsie") in inner Sydney -- thus establishing Australia's first women's refuge. She sold marihuana to support Elsie, and after nine months of politicking, received government funding.

Her book, "Damned Whores and God's Police: The Colonization of Women in Australia" was published 11/05/1975 during International Women's Year. Damned Whores proved a highly influential contribution to the second wave of Australian feminism. The first edition was printed eight times, and the updated second edition (1994) has been reprinted three times by 2001.

During a total eclipse of the sun (10/23/1976) in Adelaide, her beloved brother Jamie lost consciousness for the last time during his battle with cancer, passing away the next day. Subsequently, she managed to reconcile some of her differences with her father.

After working as a reporter for the left wing National Times (1975), Summers won the 1976 Walkley Award for print journalism for her investigation of prison conditions in NSW. Her media career includes spells as an editor (Financial Review, 1981) and political correspondent (Le Monde, 1983). In 1982 she was elected first female president of the national press gallery.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • (has as) boss relationship with Keating, Paul (born 18 January 1944). Notes: Worked as his political adviser


  • Family : Abortion/ Miscarriage 1965 (Abortion)
  • Relationship : End significant relationship December 1969 (Left John)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Begin Major Project 1972 (Started publishing feminist journal)
  • Misc. : Great Insight 4 September 1973 (Brilliant idea for women's shelter)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1975 (Historical women's book released)
  • Work : Prize 1976 (Received the Walkley Award)
  • Death of Sibling 25 October 1976 (Brother died of cancer)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : New Job 1981 (Editor of Financial Review)
  • Work : New Job 1983 (First assistant secretary, five years)
  • Family : Change residence 1986 (To New York)
  • Work : New Career 1987 (Editor-in-chief of "Ms." magazine)
  • Family : Change residence 1992 (Back to Australia)
  • Work : New Job 1992 (Political advisor to Prime Minister)
  • Work : New Career 1993 (Head of the Office of the Status of Women)
  • Work : New Job 1993 (Editor of Good Weekend magazine)
  • Work : Gain social status April 1993 (Received honorary doctorate)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 2000 (Autobiography released)
  • Work : New Career September 2000 (Chair of Greenpeace International)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

Sy Scholfield quotes Anne Summers, "Ducks on the Pond: An Autobiography,1945-1976", 2000, pp. 2 & 11.


  • Diagnoses : Body Part Problems : Cosmetic surgery (Red blotch removed from face)
  • Family : Childhood : Order of birth (First of six, only girl)
  • Family : Relationship : Number of Divorces (One)
  • Family : Parenting : Birthing - Abortions (One)
  • Family : Parenting : Kids none
  • Lifestyle : Financial : Philanthropist (Women's shelter)
  • Vocation : Business : Business owner (Co-owner magazine)
  • Vocation : Business : Top executive (Greenpeace Intn'l.)
  • Vocation : Politics : Activist/ feminist
  • Vocation : Politics : Government employee (Prime Ministers dept.)
  • Vocation : Writers : Autobiographer
  • Vocation : Writers : Publisher/ Editor (Editor-in-chief)
  • Vocation : Writers : Textbook/ Non-fiction (Women's rights)