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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Ita Buttrose, 1981

John Williams

montage of gelatin silver photographs

Ita Buttrose AO OBE (b. 1942) is a businesswoman, journalist, author, broadcaster and professional speaker. Her media career began when she joined Australian Consolidated Press as a copygirl at the age of fifteen. She went on to become editor of the women's pages of Sydney's Daily Telegraph, the founding editor of Cleo, editor of the Australian Women's Weekly, and founding editor of Ita. She has hosted prime-time radio shows on Sydney stations 2UE, 2KY and 2GB. As Chairperson of the National Advisory Committee on AIDS from 1984 to 1988, she spearheaded Australia's national AIDS education programme. She has held executive positions with many of Australia's major companies and has twice been voted Australia's Most Admired Woman. John Williams photographed Ita Buttrose in her office at News Ltd, Sydney, shortly after she had left Australian Consolidated Press.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 1999

Accession number: 1999.35

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

John Williams (age 48 in 1981)

Ita Buttrose AC OBE (age 39 in 1981)

Subject professions

Media and communications

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

Jessie Street, 1929 Jerrold Nathan
Jessie Street, 1929 Jerrold Nathan
Jessie Street, 1929 Jerrold Nathan
Jessie Street, 1929 Jerrold Nathan

First Ladies

Significant Australian Women 1913–2013

Previous exhibition, 2013

First Ladies profiles women who have achieved noteworthy firsts over the past 100 years.

In the mirror: self portrait with Joy Hester, 1939 Albert Tucker
In the mirror: self portrait with Joy Hester, 1939 Albert Tucker
In the mirror: self portrait with Joy Hester, 1939 Albert Tucker
In the mirror: self portrait with Joy Hester, 1939 Albert Tucker

Depth of Field

Portrait Photography from the Collection

Previous exhibition, 2004

Over the last five years the National Portrait Gallery has developed a collection of portrait photographs that reflects both the strength and diversity of Australian achievement as well as the talents of our photographers.

The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery

The Gallery

Explore portraiture and come face to face with Australian identity, history, culture, creativity and diversity.

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.