Ita Buttrose has been named 2013 Australian of the Year. Ita is only the 10th woman to receive this honour, since this very first honour was handed out in 1960! The last woman to do so, was Fiona Wood in 2005.
Ita has always inspired me. I remember as a child, being in awe of what she was achieving in the media world. I still am! She is the true meaning of the word role model. Using her brains and working hard to carve out a place for herself in this world, but not forgetting those around her – always giving back.
Ita began her media life as a copy girl. She worked her way up the ranks – becoming a respected journalist, the founding editer of Cleo, Editor of Australian Women’s Weekly Editor and the first ever female on the News Ltd Board.
Beyond her professional achievements, throughout her life she has championed many causes and issues, and continues to do so to this day. She is the National President of Alzheimer’s Australia and the Vice President Emeritus of Arthritis Australia. She raises awareness of breast cancer, HIV/AIDS and prostate cancer.
Below is the speech Ita gave upon receiving the honour
“The Young Australian of the Year 2013 is 25-year-old mentor Akram Azimi, an Afghan refugee kid who was ostracised when he started schoool in Western Australia 13 years ago. He became his school’s head boy and now he’s triple-majoring in law, science and arts at university. So he belongs now, but he hasn’t forgotten what it felt like not to belong, which is why he also mentors marginalised young Indigenous people in remote communities.” (www.bordermail.com.au)
Here is Akram at the WA Young Australian of The Year Ceremony, late last year.
Congratulations to both Ita and Akram – you make me proud to call myself an Australian!