By Rama Gaind
PS News Books
A Passionate Life
By Ita Buttrose (Viking, $29.95, softcover, 362 pages)
Even at 70 years of age, Australia’s media doyenne Ita Buttrose retains her passion for causes close to her heart and shares her vision and philosophies with the utmost candour.
In a distinguished career that has spanned more than 50 years, Ita has been involved in every aspect of the media, from newspapers and magazines to television and radio—and now digital publishing.
She began work at 15 and went on to become a writer, editor, editor-in-chief and publisher. She has also run her own publishing company and edited its flagship title ITA magazine.
Ita Buttrose, AO, OBE, was founding editor of Cleo, later editor of the Australian Women’s Weekly and became the first woman to ever edit a major metropolitan newspaper in Australia when she was appointed Editor-in-Chief of the Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph.
She pinpoints many significant events and reflects on the “frank and honest” reporting about women’s health and bodies that Cleo pioneered, “ broke lots of new ground” including the first nude male centrefold (actor Jack Thompson).
The dynamic working mum to Kate and Ben is now a proud grandmother of four, businesswoman, a prolific author, etiquette specialist and has numerous causes she feels strongly about including Alzheimer’s disease, Arthritis Australia, Macular Degeneration and research into dementia.
Ita provides glimpses of the inner workings of the media, politics and the arts, shifting role of men and women, value of friendship, changing nature of families and of the lives and personalities of many of the ‘giants’ she worked with, including media magnates Kerry Packer and Rupert Murdoch.
A pioneer in many respects, Ita has never feared controversy or shied away from tough issues. Fortified with sagacity, buoyancy and wit, her perception is distinctive—and ardent.
A Passionate Life sees Ita brimming with ideas, replete with an engaging infectiousness that commands authority.
Edition 406, 22 April 2014
To find out more about Rama Gaind click here.