The University of South Australia will honour Anne Summers for her lifetime of fighting for women’s rights when it makes the pioneering feminist an honorary doctor of the University this week.
A leading feminist, editor and publisher, Dr Summers will be presented with her honorary doctorate during the graduation ceremony being held tomorrow (Tuesday March 18) from 3pm.
UniSA Vice Chancellor Prof David Lloyd says Dr Summers is an inspiration not just to young women, but to all graduates, on what can be achieved through scholarship and commitment to ideas and change over a long period of time.
“Anne is one of Australia’s most accomplished women, a best-selling author, journalist, political activist and thought leader with a long career in politics, the media, business and the non-government sector in Australia, Europe and the United States,” Prof Lloyd says.
“Born in Deniliquin in New South Wales but raised in Adelaide, Anne was a leader of the generation and the movement that changed Australia for women and contributed to increasing women’s participation in higher education. Her involvement in the women’s movement earned her widespread respect and she has even been honoured as an Australian legend with her image placed on a postage stamp.”
Dr Summers is the author of several books, including Damned Whores and God’s Police, first published in 1975, which changed the way women were perceived in this country. A best-seller, it was updated in 1994 and again in 2002 and stayed continuously in print until 2008 – an incredible 33 years.
She was one of five women who formed the Women’s Liberation Movement in Australia, created the Elsie Women’s Refuge for women and children who were victims of domestic violence and, as a journalist, won a coveted Walkley Award for her investigation into the NSW prison system.
In 1983 she joined the Hawke Government’s Prime Minister’s Department running the Office for the Status of Women and helped develop policies that put into practice all the things she had fought for at an activist level.
In 1987 she became editor-in-chief of America’s landmark feminist magazine Ms. and the following year, along 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.
Dr Summers joins other prominent national and international identities including NASA Administrator, Major General Charles Bolden, Vice Chancellor of the University of Queensland Professor Peter Høj and renowned winemaker Wolf Blass who are being awarded honorary doctorates during the University’s graduation ceremonies this week at the Adelaide Convention Centre.
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