Tribute to Anne Kantor AO (1935-2022)

Updated: Oct 15

Anne was not only generous with financial resources and philanthropy, for example, the Dara Foundation, she was also very generous with personal contributions and ideas. I chaired the Professional Development Committee of the Victorian Child Psychotherapy Association (VCPA) as it was known, shortly after its inception, for a period of ten years and Anne was a member for that period, as well as being a member of the VAPP. As we planned monthly speakers and topics each year, Anne always had the name of a local, interstate or international speaker, whom she knew or had heard, presenting at a conference.


Ros Webb adds, “Anne had also been a member of the VCPA-CPPAA from early days for decades until she lessened her clinical work. Anne had a lifelong commitment to emotionally struggling children, youth, and families. This was manifest in her professional therapeutic work, creating safe spaces for marginalized children and families, at times in their own family homes. Anne developed a deep respect and understanding of indigenous culture. She helped to evolve CASSE (Creating a Safe Supportive Environment), a project that links indigenous traditions with psychoanalytic understanding in working with aboriginal youth and families. Anne radiated quiet generosity of spirit and love with a cheeky twinkle in her eye”.


At a more personal level, I met Anne when I was planning to undertake a research masters in psychology at Melbourne University, entitled, “Children’s Attachments to Both Parents Following Divorce”. Anne had been part of a study group on the effects of divorce on children. She not only introduced me to the large 10-year Californian study conducted by Kelly and Wallenstein in the 1970s - 1980s, but also gave me nine printed copies of their published articles on the subject. These publications helped me to design and conduct my own research project, which finally resulted in a Master’s degree being conferred in 1984.


I recall visiting Anne and Milan‘s property in Taggerty, where we all strolled through the meadows after lunch, to admire all of the native trees that Anne had planted as we shared a passion about preserving native Australian flora.


As a psychologist at the Royal Children’s Hospital for the decade 1977 – 1987, on several occasions, I visited Cruden Farm owned by Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, a patron of the hospital and whose garden was open to staff annually. Dame Elisabeth was Anne‘s mother.


And so, as the curtain closes on Anne’s life and generosity, the family legacy will live on in the recorded history of major contributions to so many health and mental health facilities.


Vale Anne


Dr Jan C. SMITH

Clinical Psychologist and Psychotherapist

13 October, 2022

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