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Ita Buttrose: 'Tony Abbott is not a misogynist'
Ita Buttrose says there are no obvious perks being Australian of the Year, but the honour makes it all worth it.
Speaking with 3AW's Justin Smith, the accomplished journalist and businesswoman said she nearly fell off the stage when Prime Minister Gillard announced the winner last week.
"I see Australian of the Year as a recognition of the work I've done in the community but I also think it provides a platform to talk about things that I think are of concern to other Australians," Buttrose said.
Buttrose has been a long-standing champion of issues relating to aging, particularly dementia. She told Justin she will use her title to campaign for dementia awareness.
"Given the rapidly-increasing caseload of dementia cases, I think we should all invest more time and money into the last 'medical barrier', the brain.
"I remember one woman, a former school teacher who was suffering from the disease; she told me she feels diminished as a person and diminished as a Mother to her two children.
"That moment has always remained in my mind because they were some of the saddest words I've ever heard in my life."
Meanwhile, Buttrose finds herself at odds with the Prime Minister after telling Smith she disagrees with Gillard's views on Opposition leader Tony Abbott.
She says she's worked with Tony Abbott and he is not a misogynist.
Ms Buttrose says many Australian men do have an issue with women, but Tony Abbott is not one of them.
Listen to Ita's interview with Justin below.
PLAY: Ita Buttrose with Justin Smith
Why , Ita should address the poly! By letting them deal with what is important! To the average Australian people! Not on personality poly! Working for the rich!!!!! Cheers ItaPaul boncristiano Tuesday 29 January, 2013 - 6:22 PM
Climate change happens ??but no need for a carbon "TAX". It hits everybody.???IAN Tuesday 29 January, 2013 - 12:07 PM
I'm relieved that Ita received the award she has worked hard but Jessica Mauboy that must be a mistake surely.mandy Tuesday 29 January, 2013 - 9:51 AM
It seems to me the Australian of the year award has become quite frivolous in its choices how on earth does Jessica Mauboy become a finalist for Australian of the year?mandy Tuesday 29 January, 2013 - 9:42 AM
Most media support the Conservative Paty, nee Liberal Party, so it's not surprising her remarks are at odds with the Prime Minister's.MELIGIBruce Rogersw Tuesday 29 January, 2013 - 9:01 AM
Well done Ita. Your work is amazing. Sorry but Tony has no idea about a lot of things that are important to Australians. His climate change views are so weak, that he is no leader in my eyes.Jen Gottlieb Monday 28 January, 2013 - 8:30 PM