Journalist and businesswoman Ita Buttrose has been awarded UNSW’s highest honour – an honorary UNSW Medicine doctorate.
At last week’s UNSW Medicine graduation ceremony, Ms Buttrose received Doctor of the University, honoris causa, honouring her for her eminent service to health, and for being an inspirational role model for aspiring women in business and for those wanting to make a difference in society.
“Throughout her career, Ita has been a committed contributor to many community and welfare organisations and is passionate about the field of health and aged care and the rights of older Australians to receive appropriate and adequate care,” said Professor Rodney Phillips, UNSW’s Dean of Medicine, in the citation commending Ms Buttrose.
In her Occasional Address, Ms Buttrose said she was honoured and delighted to receive the honorary degree. She spoke of the importance of never stopping dreaming one’s dreams and working to achieve them.
“All too often, we allow people to talk us out of doing things that are close to our hearts. All through my career, people have told me I couldn’t or I shouldn’t do something I set my heart on…
“I’ve listened, but I’ve never allowed other people’s negativity to deter me. No-one else dreams your dream. I’ve always had this belief in myself that whatever I put my hand up for, I would be able to do it.”
Ms Buttrose also encouraged graduates to take risks, to never give up trying, and to always try to make a difference.
“You must always believe in yourself, and be prepared to push yourself out of your comfort zone every now and then. Take the risk, dare to make a difference, dare to try. I believe everyone can make a difference. Something very small could actually make a big difference,” she said.