Ms Ita Buttrose AC OBE

Ms Buttrose has had a stellar career in the media landscape within Australia, achieving many firsts during her long and successful career and service to the Australian community.

She was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1979 and became an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 1988. In 2003, she was awarded the Centenary Medal and in January 2013 she was named Australian of the year. In 2019, she becomes a Companion of the Order (AC) for her service to the community through leadership in the media, the arts, the health sector and as a role model.

In addition to her professional career, Ms Buttrose has played a vital role in raising public awareness of a range of social and health issues. She was Chairperson for the National Advisory Committee on AIDS from 1984 until 1988 and was the National President for Alzheimer’s Australia from 2011-2014.

Widely regarded as a trailblazer for women in the media, she was appointed to the Chair of the ABC in February 2019, becoming the second woman to hold this role since its founding in 1932.

Her tireless support for improving outcomes for those impacted by dementia comes from her firsthand experience with her father having dementia, and her deep desire to ensure that no one has to walk the journey alone.

Professor Graeme Samuel AC

Professor Graeme Samuel AC is a Professorial Fellow in Monash University’s Business School and School of Public Health and Preventative Medicine. He is also President of Dementia Australia, Chair of National Health and Medical Research Council National Institute for Dementia Research, Chair of Lorica Health (a Capital Markets CRC company), Director, Digital Health CRC, Chair of South East Melbourne Primary Health Network and Chair of Airlines for Australia and New Zealand.

Graeme Samuel’s former roles include Chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Associate Member of the Australian Communications and Media Authority and President of the National Competition Council. Graeme Samuel was a member of the Panel which conducted the Prudential Inquiry into the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. He was also the Chair of the panel which conducted a Capability Review of APRA. He was Chair of the Commonwealth Government’s Panel of Review of Australia’s Independent Medical Research Institutes and advisor to the Commonwealth Department of Health in its review of private health insurance.

In 2010, he was made a Companion of the Order of Australia for eminent service to public administration through contributions in economic reform and competition law, and to the community through leadership roles with sporting and cultural organisations.

Ms Kate Swaffer

Ms Swaffer is a humanitarian, disability rights activist, author and speaker. She was the 2018 Global Leader in the 100 Women Of Influence in Australia, and the 2017 Australian Of The year (SA). Kate is also the Chair, CEO and a co-founder of Dementia Alliance International, a global advocacy and support group for people living with dementia. She is a current PhD Candidate at the University of South Australia, has a Masters of Science (Dementia), a Bachelor of Psychology, a BA, and is a retired nurse. Kate is an Honorary Associate Fellow in the Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health at the University of Wollongong, and an International Fellow at Canterbury University. Kate has just stepped down as the only Australian to be a full member of the World Dementia Council, and is a current a Board member of Alzheimer’s Disease International.

Ms Swaffer has played a vital role in changing the narrative of dementia globally, and in empowering new dementia advocates, also inspiring the development of numerous new Dementia Advisory Groups. She believes passionately in the power of research, and has herself become a researcher and is involved in a number of current and past dementia research projects. Kate is also on a number of national and international advisory and WHO working groups, and she has been instrumental in bringing human rights to the fore in dementia and aged care, including recognition in practice for dementia being recognised as a disability, through published articles and books, presentations and global campaigning. Her selfless efforts on actively working to improve the lives of all people with dementia and their families, is inspired by herself having been a care partner to three family members who have died from dementia, and herself having been diagnosed with a rare form of younger onset dementia. She has a major focus on human rights and access to the CRPD for people with dementia globally, and empowering others with live positively with dementia, and to have a voice.

The Honourable Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO

The Honourable Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO has enjoyed a rich and distinguished career as an academic, lawyer, politician, and community and human rights advocate. She served as the 25th Governor-General of Australia from 2008 to 2014. She was the first woman to hold the position, after serving as the 25th Governor of Queensland from 2003 to 2008. Her contribution to advancing human rights and equality, the rights of women and children, and the welfare of the family was recognised in her appointment as an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1988 and a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2003. Also in 2003, she was invested as a Dame of Grace of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem. On 25 March 2014, Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced that Ms Bryce had become a Dame in the Order of Australia.

(Photo by Alana Landsberry / The Australian Women’s Weekly)