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The Icon That Is Ita: Changing Australian TV Forever

OpinionGuest Contributor

Studio 10 presenters, Sarah Harris, Joe Hilldebrand, Ita Buttrose and Jessica Rowe
image source - News Corp

As Ita Buttrose celebrates her 75th birthday live on air, it's worth noting that she is one of the eldest women to ever grace our Australian TV screens.

This year marks a staggering 60-year career in the media for the powerhouse that needs no surname for identification - an accomplishment that Australian women and men alike can draw encouragement from.

Ita has become the poster-girl for perseverance and hard work (she was 15 when she left school and landed a job for the Australian Women's Weekly, a magazine she would go on to edit), and her work ethic and prolific triumphs as a journalist, editor, author, chairwoman, speaker, board member, Alzheimer's Australia president, Australian of the Year and television host have aligned her to be the icon that is celebrated nation-wide. 

Her role on Channel Ten's morning show Studio 10 (which she's been a panellist on since its 2013 launch), provides a necessary voice that is too often lacking in the realms of the Australian media. Listening to her pepper her opinions with the astounding anecdotes of a 60-year career and an era of accomplishments has become important, and it has been through this that older Australians have re-initiated their voice.

It’s refreshing that within an industry that is cruel to maturing women, Ita continues to thrive and make her voice heard. Her swift sentiments and ability to remain timely and informed on the contemporary world should be applauded – hearing the regular outlook of an older Australian is fascinating, and works as a luxury for Network Ten.

In recent years, breakfast television has taken on a sense of political correctness, with hosts often too anxious to showcase views that are perceived as being fervent or controversial, however Ita has changed this. Her opinions are strong. They’re black and white, good and bad - and she is a fighter, prepared to defend her opinions right up until the last minute. Her wisdom shines through the camera and she has a profound ability to speak directly to viewers at home.

It’s refreshing, necessary and commendable, and with a new book on the way in 2017, it looks like we’ve got a whole lot more of Australia’s favourite senior personality to come! 

You can watch Ita every Monday and Tuesday on Studio 10 at 8:30am on the TEN & WIN Networks.