Ita Buttrose

Name: Ita Buttrose

Occupation: Journalist

Ita Buttrose AO OBE is the National Ambassador for Alzheimer's Australia, having served as National President from 2011-2014.

A legendary media editor, best-selling author and businesswoman, she was the 2013 Australian of the Year. She currently co-hosts Studio 10 on Network TEN.

A committed community and welfare communicator, she is also the Patron of the Macular Disease Foundation and Emeritus Director of Arthritis Australia. 

She received an AO for her services to the community especially in the field of public health education when she spearheaded Australia's HIV/AIDS Education Program, an OBE for her services to journalism, and a Centenary Medal for business leadership.


5 Minutes with Ita Buttrose.

Why is brain health important to you?

I saw my father live with vascular dementia and therefore I have a good understanding of what the dementia journey is like. It’s one I wouldn’t wish on anyone and consequently I am keen to do whatever I can to reduce my risk of getting dementia and to raise awareness in the community about the steps people can take to keep their brain in good health. I am encouraged by the evidence we now have that shows by living a brain-healthy life a person can reduce their risk of developing dementia. It’s really not as difficult as some people may think. By leading a brain-healthy life, a person not only lowers their risk of dementia, but also other chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

What do you do for your brain health (i.e. regular exercise, eat healthily, do cross words)?

I am passionate about exercise. I try to walk every day with my dog, Cleo, who is a Groodle (Golden Retriever/Poodle cross), for at least an hour. I like having a little uninterrupted time to think, while getting some exercise. Not only is it good for my brain, it also helps keep stress under control and is a wonderful way to enjoy the many walks that Sydney has to offer.

If you could change one thing to benefit your brain health what would it be (i.e. quit smoking, eat more fruit and vegetables, exercise more, learn new things)?

I do everything I can to keep my brain healthy and follow the Your Brain Matters guidelines zealously. I always try to start my day by eating a piece of fresh fruit such as an apple or a mandarin. I love chocolates but when I get them as gifts, I usually eat a couple but then throw the rest out so I’m not tempted to eat them all! 

Call the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500 for questions, information, advice.


Your Brain Matters was supported by funding from the Australian Government under the Chronic Disease Prevention and Service Improvement Fund from July 2012 to June 2015.



Dementia Australia would like to acknowledge the Aboriginal people as the traditional custodians and carers of the country of Australia.