Entertainment

Magazine queen still a star

Ita Buttrose, President elect for Alzheimer's Australia, speaking at Crowley village in Ballina yesterday.
Ita Buttrose, President elect for Alzheimer's Australia, speaking at Crowley village in Ballina yesterday. Doug Eaton

SHE is one of Australia's most influential women, but Ita Buttrose told a gathering in Ballina yesterday that a humble tea towel helped kick-start her successful media career.

Ita was at Ballina's Crowley aged-care facility in her role as president-elect for Alzheimer's Australia, talking to residents for a Seniors Week event.

But the residents were keen to hear Ita talk about the days when she was in the limelight as founding editor of Cleo magazine, then editor of the Women's Weekly, but the 70-year-old said she doesn't feel as though she has ever been out of the limelight.

She told the gathering about her first job in media as a copy girl where one of her duties was to make coffee for the 40 or so staff.

Long after those days, she learned that management considered her to be a person to keep an eye on, and, she said, it was all because as a 15-year-old she brought her own tea towel to work to wipe up the coffee cups.

"It shows the importance of making a good first impression," Ita said.

Ita nowadays has a television slot on Channel 9's Today show and is the ambassador for Alzheimer's Australia. Her father had a form of dementia.

She said a drama on ABC television last year about her role as the founding editor of Cleo magazine, Paper Giants, "introduced me to a new generation of younger women".

Getting the magazine off the ground in the early 1970s, Ita said, was a challenge.

It targeted the "progressive woman in changing middle-class Australia", with stories on sex and the famous centrefold, with Aussie actor Jack Thompson baring all.

But she said the reality of the time was that women were oppressed, even as the times were a'changing.

Ita said modern women "don't understand what it was like to be a woman in Australia in the 1970s".

She said the freedoms and earning capacity women have today is a vast improvement on those days.

"But women are not represented enough in boardrooms and not represented enough as CEOs," she said.

Ita has an uncle living in Ballina, but this was the first time she had been to what she said he always describes as "God's country".

"And I can see why," she said.

She also was excited to learn that Cold Chisel will be playing at this year's Bluesfest at Byron Bay.

The iconic Australian rock band penned a song about the iconic Australian woman, called Ita.

"They're my favourite band, and my favourite song," she said.

She only met Chisel frontman Jimmy Barnes two years ago in a taxi during a trip to the US for the "G'day America" promotion.

In her role as an ambassador for Alzheimer's Australia, Ita said she wants to give a voice to those affected by the disease.

Topics:  alzheimer's ballina cleo magazine ita buttrose lismore


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Our hidden treasures

TREASURES: Ballina MP Tamara Smith two local treasures with Patricia Templemen and Dawn Sword.

Regional treasures uncovered

Flicks in the Field returns for New Year's

FIELD OF FILMS: Bangalow locals Melanie, Lyle, Kristen and Suzy enjoying the atmosphere at last April's Flicks in the Field.

BANGALOW Flicks in the Field drive-in cinema is returning

NSW lightly loosens liquor, lockout laws

Critics say the relaxed lockout laws are still too stringent to promote a thriving night life.

Bottle shops will be allowed to stay open until 11pm

Local Partners

Joey survives after koala stomped on by cow

"Mum was literally stomped to death and the little joey had a broken arm and broken leg."

Kernaghan's a 'boy from the bush' with a timeless quality

Country music singer Lee Kernaghan.

Lee Kernaghan is celebrating the 25th year of his breakthrough song.

Local acts to hit the stage at Falls Byron

Angie Jeann and Merryn Boller watch Falls Director Brandon Saul and GM of Top Shop Aaron Montano strum a few tunes.

Artists from across the Northern rivers set to go on stage

Local band returns to deliver the music goods

BAND: Louie Swain, Anatole Serret, Noah Hill, Jules Crommelin and Patrick Hetherington.

Playing a homecoming free gig on Thursday in the area

Justin Timberlake stuns students with secret class

Justin Timberlake stunned high school students in Sydney

Carrie Fisher says Ford will be bugged by affair confession

Carrie Fisher is sure Harrison Ford is annoyed at her

Dakota Fanning rekindles romance with childhood sweetheart

Dakota Fanning rekindles romance with ex

Jennifer Lawrence apologises to the people of Hawaii

Jennifer Lawrence sorry for 'offensive' story

Cruz Beckham's single a 'one-off'

He is not planning to launch a full-time music career yet.

Louis Tomlinson's mother dies aged 42

Louis Tomlinson's mother has died.

'Crucial' farm land eyed by defence department

Lawson Geddes moving the Brangus cattle to higher ground - which is the land the Defence Department is interested taking for the Shoalwater Bay expansion.

"You can't have one without the other.”

Former Shark Show for sale for $1.3 million

Vic Hislop at the old Shark Show.

TALK about a jaws-dropping real estate opportunity.

There's a whole lot of luxury in this home

The Endeavour Foundation's latest prize home in Mountain Creek.

WHEN it comes to desirable homes, it's hard to go past a prize home.

WATCH QTV: The highlights of your $150 million CBD

GRAND PLAN: The highlights of the Ipswich CBD redevelopment and where they will be located.

Work on city heart's radical transformation to begin next year

VOTE IN OUR POLL: Sand mine opponents face serious dilemma

Public meeting for the proposed sand mine at Maroochydore last week.

Coast MP calls on Minister to stop KRA proposal with stroke of a pen

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!