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Australian media icon

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Life’s only limitations are the ones we put on ourselves.

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.

Current work

Ita is Chair of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Chair of the Australian Mental Health Prize Advisory Group. She balances these high profile roles 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.

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.

Previous experience

Media: 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.

Author: Ita has written 11 successful books, including her best-selling autobiography ‘A Passionate Life’.

Awards: 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.

Talking Points

A Passionate Life: The Ita Buttrose Story

Positive Ageing: Growing Older with Zest - and occasionally disgracefully!

How to manage the ever increasing pace of change - the business and personal landscape

The Secrets of Success

Resilience and Leadership - an unbeatable combination

Why your personal brand is the best investment you can make

Ita Buttrose was very well received at each event for the Commonwealth Financial Planning Ongoing Service Briefings! Her presentation was very well suited to the audience and they made comments that she was excellent! I thoroughly enjoyed hearing her presentation! Colonial First State Investments Ltd

Ita, consistently a true professional. Greatly appreciated her willingness to change schedule at short notice. Ita has unique ability to continuously adapt. Ita brings life, energy and enthusiasm to any event. Extremely knowledgeable of her subject.

Edelman Public Relations Worldwide

Ita Buttrose was fantastic! One of the best speakers we have had for our leadership program. You could have heard a pin drop during her presentation, everyone was so attentive and hung on every word. We had fantastic feedback from all who attended.

Destination Melbourne

Ms Ita Buttrose was inspirational. Everyone in the audience was impressed with the amount of research on the sports industry she had done and her ability to relate her life and work experiences to members of the audience (CEO and State Sport Board members). Ita delivered her presentation on women in leadership (particularly women on boards) in an informative and motivating way. The evidence in the power of her presentation has been the follow-up feedback by members in the audience and the motivation to support change and engage in strategies and opportunities to increase women's representation in sport leadership positions. Well done Ita.

NSW Education & Communities

Ita pitched her presentation perfectly for the audience. She had the audience enthralled - lots of good stories and lots of laughter. Ita received a standing ovation from the audience.

SA Rural Women's Gathering

Thank you so very much for speaking at the REINSW Women in Real Estate Conference - what a fantastic day it was! Your presentation was so motivating and inspiring that you could hear a pin drop in the room as everyone was so very engaged with what you had to share. Your wealth of knowledge, richness of life experiences and humbleness of success was truly amazing and will stay in the memories of our delegates. While they say we are all ordinary people doing extraordinary things, you are an exceptional extraordinary lady and it was a delight and privilege to have you speak. Your words touched so many people and created a memory that will last with them forever as you certainly did for me. Thank you.

Real Estate Institute of New South Wales

Ita recently spoke at an online event with our Chamber to launch our Leaders in Conversation series. Ita spoke to a spectrum of issues and experiences including the role of media in business and society, the evolving requirements of leadership and the guiding value of purpose. She is a wonderfully accomplished and direct speaker who was generous in sharing her years of experience and resulting insight with our audience. Following our event we received glowing feedback from guests who noted what an inspiring role model Ita is for both current and emerging leaders.

Australia-United Kingdom Chamber of Commerce
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