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The 2013 Australian of the Year will reflect on the Society that she hopes Australia can be
Ita will talk about the reforms that are being implemented in aged care, disabilities and mental health and the potential of these reforms to reduce the stigma and social isolation that these groups so often experience.
Ita will identify some of the challenges the implementation of these reforms will present to an incoming Government if we are to provide a better quality of life
Ita has had a long interest in health and ageing issues. She has been National President of Alzheimer’s Australia since February 2011, having previously been a member of the Advisory Committee of Alzheimer’s Australia NSW for three years. She is also an Alzheimer’s Australia NSW Ambassador.
Ita is also Vice President Emeritus of Arthritis Australia, having served as President from 2003-2006 and as national spokesperson for several years. She is patron of the Macular Degeneration Foundation of Australia.
Her interests in health have included chairing the National Breast Cancer Centre’s Advisory Network and serving as a director of the Prostate Cancer Foundation.
In 2013 Ita was named Australian of the Year.
Ita was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1988 for her services to the community especially in the field of medical education and health care for her work as Chairperson of the National Advisory Committee on AIDS when her committee spearheaded Australia’s HIV/AIDS Education Program. She received an OBE for her services to journalism in 1979 and the Centenary Medal in 2003 for business leadership to the Australian society.
She has had a distinguished media career. She was Founding Editor of Cleo Magazine, Editor of The Australian Women’s Weekly, the magazine’s youngest-ever editor, a distinction she still holds today, and the first woman to ever edit a major metropolitan newspaper in Australia when Rupert Murdoch appointed her Editor-in-Chief of the Sydney Daily & Sunday Telegraphs. She was also the first woman to be join the board of News Ltd.
Currently she is chairman of Reddo Media Services, the Sydney-based digital publishing company, and a regular social commentator on Channel Nine’s Today show.