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

Plenty of feud for Bruce's family

TV BECKONS: Miss9 discovers the joys of comparing Family Feud in the Devereaux household.

Bruce shares his hilarious tales of life with a big family

That was a crazy week

Women writing on paper with a pen on a white background.

Colin shares his views on the week that was.

Rattler business case raises plenty of questions

Gympie Regional Council wants to get the Rattler up and running again, but this letter writer says the business case has some serious flaws.

Mary Valley Rattler business case has plenty of holes: letter writer

Local Partners

Brad Pitt won't file legal response to divorce petition

Brad reportedly refused to send off the paperwork

Azealia Banks won't take legal action against Russell Crowe

Rapper Azealia Banks

Rapper drops legal action against Russell Crowe

Brad Pitt meets with his kids amid divorce proceedings

Actor Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt has met up with his oldest son Maddox

Pictures of Taylor Swift allegedly being groped are sealed

They could "complicate jury selection".

Bruce Springsteen finds therapy useful

Singer Bruce Springsteen

Singer encourages others to seek help

Kerry Washington wants one more child

Kerry Washington recently gave birth to her second child

Kerry has only just become a new mum again

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

What our mayor thinks of the new draft SEQPlan

The plan to use the innovative technology as part of the new Maroochydore CBD was cemented on site today when Mayor Mark Jamieson and Envac Asia Region president Chun Yong Ha formally signed the contract for the $20 million underground waste collection system.

New plan accommodates Sunshine Coast Council's vision for growth.

Dusit Thani finance crisis 'just a small hiccup'

ON TRACK: Springfield Land Chairman, Maha Sinnathamby, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, Developer Richard Turner and Springfield Land Deputy Chairman, Bob Sharpless, at the recent resort sod turning ceremony.

Property developer says project remains firmly on track