Ita Buttrose AC OBE is a truly exceptional Australian: a legendary media trailblazer, businesswoman, best-selling author, committed community and welfare contributor and former Australian of the Year.
In 2019 Ita became a Companion of the Order of Australia for her service to the community through leadership in the media, the arts, the health sector and as a role model.
Ita balances her high profile role with charitable responsibilities include serving as National Ambassador of Dementia Australia following her term as National President from 2011-2014. She is also Patron of the Macular Disease Foundation, Emeritus Director of Arthritis Australia and Ambassador for Breast Cancer Network Australia. An accomplished communicator with a wealth of experience across a broad range of industry sectors, Ita works behind-the-scenes and in the public eye for major corporates, small business, governments and charities.
In 2019 Ita was chosen as a Shero Barbie, one of a collection of 20 Barbie Dolls that globally recognise female role models and achievers.
Ita was the founding editor of Cleo, the youngest ever editor of The Australian Women’s Weekly, the first woman to ever edit a major metropolitan newspaper in Australia as Editor-in-Chief of the Daily and Sunday Telegraphs, and the first female director of News Ltd Australia. She has hosted prime time shows on radio and television.
She later started her own company, Capricorn Publishing, and created ITA Magazine, a magazine for the woman who wasn’t born yesterday. In 2011, her earlier career was immortalised in the acclaimed ABC mini-series ‘Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo’. Ita was inducted into the Australian Media Hall of Fame in 2017.
Ita has written 11 successful books, including her best-selling autobiography ‘A Passionate Life’.
In 2018, Ita was conferred with the University of New South Wales’ highest honour – an honorary doctorate in medicine in recognition of her eminent service to health, being an inspirational role model for aspiring women in business and making a difference in society. In 2015 she was conferred an Honorary Doctor of Letters by the University of Wollongong, for her contribution to mental health and ageing. In 2014 Sydney's Macquarie University conferred an Honorary Doctor of Letters on Ita in recognition of her contribution to the arts. She was the Inaugural NSW Excellence in Women’s Leadership award winner. (2014).
She received an AO in 1988 for her services to the community especially in the field of public health education when she spearheaded Australia's HIV/AIDS Education Program, an OBE for her services to journalism, and a Centenary Medal for business leadership.
In 2019 Ita became a Companion of the Order for her service to the community through leadership in the media, the arts, the health sector and as a role model.
Ita is Chair of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. She balances this high-profile role with charitable responsibilities, including serving as National President of Alzheimer's (now Dementia) Australia from 2011- 2014 and is now the organisation's Patron. In addition, she has been Patron of the Macular Disease Foundation since 2005 and is Emeritus Director of Arthritis Australia, having served as President from 2003-2006.