HerStory

Ita Clare BUTTROSE

Born: 17/1/1942

Special Achievements:

Acknowledged for her brilliant and groundbreaking media career, Ita Buttrose has also dedicated her considerable energy and skills to championing medical education and health care. Ita was the first woman Editor-in-Chief of a major daily newspaper (Sydney Daily and Sunday Telegraphs) and the first woman board member of  News Ltd Australia.  She was the founding editor of Cleo, a high-circulation magazine aimed at women aged 20 to 40 that was frank about sexuality (and, in its infancy, featured nude male centrefolds) and, later, as the editor of the more conventional Australian Women's Weekly. She is the youngest person ever to be appointed editor of the Weekly, which was then, per capita, the largest-selling magazine in the world. She also spearheaded Australia's AIDS Education Program and set up the Odyssey House Drug Rehabilitation Program.

Additional Information:

In 1979, Ita Buttrose was awarded Order of the British Empire for services to Journalism.  In 1988, she became an Officer of the Order of Australia for her services to the community especially in the field of public health education and Australia's HIV/AIDS Education Program.  In 2001, Ita was inducted into the Victorian Honour Roll of Women; in 2003, she was awarded the Centenary Medal for business leadership; and in 2013, Ita was recognised as the Australian of the Year.

Ita made frequent appearances on radio and TV and in 1980, her media prominence led to her becoming the subject of the song "Ita", recorded by rock band Cold Chisel, which was included on their successful East album.


Resources

  • Image - Ita Buttrose

    Image courtesy of Ita Buttrose, NPWHF collection


  • References

    Ita Buttrose is also a prolific author and has published nine books, including her autobiography, A Passionate Life