Ita Buttrose is a founding member and former President of CEW. She is an accomplished communicator advising corporate, community and welfare organisations and has a wealth of experience across a broad range of industry sectors. She combines many roles – businesswoman, journalist, author and professional speaker.
At 30 she was Founding Editor of Cleo Magazine; at 33, she became the youngest-ever Editor of The Australian Women’s Weekly. She later became the first woman to ever edit a major metropolitan daily newspaper in Australia when she was appointed Editor-in-Chief of Rupert Murdoch’s Sydney Daily & Sunday Telegraphs. She was one of the first woman to join the board of Australian Consolidated Press and the first woman to be appointed to the board of News Ltd Australia. Currently she runs a specialist publishing company in Sydney, is host and interviewer of Ita’s Musical Theatre on the Ovation Channel, appears weekly on Channel Nine’s Today Show as a social commentator and is Editor-at-Large of OK! Magazine. She is a prolific author. Her 10th book A Guide to Australian Etiquette was published by Penguin in February 2011. She has had a long interest in health and ageing issues. She has been Brand Ambassador for the St Ives Group, a leading provider of retirement accommodation and community care services in Western Australia, since 2002. She is National President of Alzheimer’s Australia, Vice President Emeritus of Arthritis Australia and national patron of the Macular Degeneration Foundation of Australia. She chaired the (Federal) Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Aged Care in 2007 and 2005; chaired the National Breast Cancer Centre’s Advisory Network from 2003-2006 and served as a director of the Prostate Cancer Foundation, 2002-2003. As chair of the Federal Government’s National Advisory Committee on AIDS (1981-84) she and her committee spearheaded Australian’s national HIV/AIDS education program.
Ita was made a Companion (AC) of the Order of Australia in the Queens Birthday Honours 2019 for eminent service to the community through leadership in the media, the arts, and the health sector, as a role model. She was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 1988 for her services to the community especially in the field of medical education and health care. She received an OBE for her services to journalism in 1979 and the Centenary Medal in 2003 for business leadership to Australian Society.