Anne Summers: Her Story


Anne Summers is a person of phenomenal energy and copious talent. She's an editor, a publisher, a writer, an activist and, for many, the godmother of Australian feminism.

She's also a memoirist. Summers’s ninth book, Unfettered and Alive, chronicles the fierce debates ignited by her first: the groundbreaking, bestselling Damned Whores and God's Police. It details, too, her progress as a journalist through the ranks of Australia's major mastheads and her work setting up the federal Office for the Status of Women, under Bob Hawke. There are also, of course, the years in New York City – working on feminist titles Ms and Sassy – and her return to Australia to helm Good Weekend and Greenpeace International.

How are the challenges of feminism changing? Where are debates around equality in Australia getting stuck, and where is there reason for optimism? And which issues animate Summers today? In conversation with Susan Carland, Summers discusses these questions and more.


Portrait of Anne Summers

Anne Summers

Dr Anne Summers AO is a best-selling author, journalist and thought-leader with a long career in politics, the media, business and the non-government sector in Australia, Europe and the United States. She is author of nine books, including the classic Damned Whores and God's Police, Ducks on the Pond, The Lost Mother, and The Misogyny Factor.

Portrait of Susan Carland

Susan Carland

Dr Susan Carland is an academic, author, and social commentator. She has a PhD from Monash University, and is a Discovery Early Career Research Award (DECRA) Fellow and a Churchill fellow, researching the intersection between gender, Islamophobia, and social cohesion. Susan hosted the television quiz show Child Genius, and currently hosts the podcast What Happens Next? Her first book, Fighting Hislam: Women, Faith and Sexism, was published by Melbourne University Publishing. She is a columnist for Sunday Life in the Sydney Morning Herald and the Age, and her writing has also appeared in the Guardian, the Age, The Saturday Paper, The Conversation, The Australian Women’s Weekly, Australian Vogue, The Quarterly Essay, in academic publications, and numerous anthologies.