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Australian of thje Year Ita Buttrose - her full interview in New Idea!
Australian of thje Year Ita Buttrose - her full interview in New Idea!

Ita Buttrose, newly appointed Australian of the Year, tells it like it is.

And as well as the issues closest to her heart – reversing ageist attitudes in society, boosting funds for Alzheimer’s research, and improving indigenous health – she has plenty to say to New Idea this week about how men and marriage fit into her busy life.

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The popular publishing icon says that romance is unlikely to be at the top of her very busy agenda anytime soon.

"I never rule out any options but I think I’d be unlikely to remarry – although men, like opportunities, turn up when you least expect them," she says.

"You can’t go out and lasso someone, can you?"

Ita knows all about being busy. Twice voted Australia’s most admired woman, she launched Cleo in 1972 and went on to edit The Australian Women’s Weekly.

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Later, she enraged her famously short-fused boss and ‘best friend’ Kerry Packer by jumping ship to become the first female editor-in-chief of Sydney’s Daily and Sunday Telegraph papers.

Today, she plans to leverage her latest honour – "Becoming Australian of the Year was a bit unbelievable, frankly, one of the proudest moments of my life" – into yet more action on the subjects nearest to her heart.

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And that means other matters will have to take a back seat.

"As it is, I’m already being swamped with invitations and requests as a result of becoming Australian of the Year," she says.

"There will have to be a lot of juggling in there to make time for me!"

For the full interview with Ita, see this week’s New Idea, out now.


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