On behalf of the macular disease community, Macular Disease Foundation Australia wishes to extend our heartfelt congratulations to Ita Buttrose AC OBE on being awarded a Companion of the Order of Australia.
The award, announced as part of the Queen’s Birthday honours, acknowledges Ita’s great contribution to Australian society of many different levels, including her tireless advocacy for those living with macular disease, low vision and blindness.
Ita has been MDFA Patron since 2005, and it is a privilege we do not take for granted.
Ita was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1979 and appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1988. In 2013, she was named Australian of the Year.
The Companion of the Order of Australia recognizes Ita’s service to the community through leadership in the media, the arts, the health sector and as a role model.
"It's a very nice feeling to have your career, your work, your contribution in the arts and health recognised in this way," Ita told ABC News. "It's not something you expect to happen but when it does happen, it's a very nice feeling."
Ita has had a distinguished career in journalism, as a businesswoman, television personality, social commentator and author. Earlier this year she was appointed Chair of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
As well as being an advocate for MDFA, she has also lent her name to other health causes such as dementia, arthritis, cancers and HIV/AIDS.
"My mother brought us all up, my brothers and I, to give back and it resonated with me," she told ABC news.
"I could see there's a pleasure almost, in helping others in doing something in your community, for someone who needs a helping hand."