Dementia Australia’s National President, Ita Buttrose, has been honoured by being named Australian of the Year.
The CEO of Alzheimer’s Australia, Glenn Rees, said: “We are all delighted at Alzheimer’s Australia that Ita has been recognised for her immense contributions to the Australian community.
“This evening’s announcement should be seen as a big thank you from all of Australia for all she has done,” Mr Rees said.
Ms Buttrose has been awarded the honour for her groundbreaking media career and the commitment she has made to championing medical education and health care.
Since Ms Buttrose took on the role of National President in 2011, she has led the Alzheimer’s Australia Fight Dementia Campaign, advocating for the more than 300,000 Australians with dementia to tell their stories and urging the government to put in place a plan to tackle dementia.
“Ita has shown unrelenting commitment and passion for improving the quality of life of people with dementia, taking every opportunity in her busy life to raise issues relating to ageing and dementia,” Mr Rees said.
“As a skilled communicator she has succeeded in getting dementia talked about in the media and the wider community and in promoting a greater understanding of the stigma and isolation that can result from a diagnosis of the condition.
“Since Ita has been President, we have achieved historic changes in dementia policy, including the designation of dementia as Australia’s ninth National Health Priority Area.
“Ita continues to be a particularly powerful advocate for increased funding in 2013 for dementia research and the role research must play if we are to move towards a World Without Dementia.”
National Dementia Helpline: 1800 100 500
The National Dementia Helpline is an Australian Government Initiative
Kayla Morgan: 0407 019 430
Sarah Price: 0403 072 140