Businesswoman, journalist and former magazine editor Ita Buttrose has set her sights on restoring stability at the ABC and upholding the broadcaster's independence as its next chair.
"I'm a passionate believer in the independence of the ABC and I will do everything in my utmost power to make sure it remains that way," Ms Buttrose told reporters in Sydney.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison revealed the appointment of the 77-year-old as chair on Thursday, saying she has the "strength, integrity and fierce independence" needed for the job.
"Australians trust Ita, I trust Ita, and that's why I've asked her to take on this role," he told reporters in Sydney on Thursday.
Ms Buttrose replaces Justin Milne, who left the taxpayer-funded broadcaster six months ago after clashing with former managing director Michelle Guthrie.
Her appointment comes despite her not being included on a shortlist of recommendations for the position given to the federal government.
Mr Morrison said the process didn't meet requirements, paving the way for the government to make its own pick.
Labor has wished Ms Buttrose well but is not pleased the coalition spent $163,000 on a recruitment process - required through legislation brought in by a Labor government - that it then ignored.
"This company received taxpayers' money for nothing," spokeswoman Michelle Rowland said.
The prime minister said the former editor of Cleo and Australian Women's Weekly magazines has a passion, deep knowledge and empathy for Australians.
She has also demonstrated a commitment throughout her media career - which began at age 15 as a copy girl at the Weekly - to putting her audience first.
"That's what the ABC needs to do too," he said.
Ms Buttrose said she is honoured to be leading "one of the important cultural and information organisations in our country".
Restoring stability to the management of the organisation and providing reassurance after the sudden and disruptive departures of Mr Milne and Ms Guthrie will be her most important tasks, she stressed.
"It's time to get the ABC functioning again with proper, stable management and good frank discussion between the chair and whoever is the managing director," Ms Buttrose said.
Ms Buttrose also promised she wouldn't be afraid to ask the government for more funding and defended the ABC's push into the online news space, saying it had a right to be there.
ABC acting chair Dr Kristin Ferguson - who will be Ms Buttrose's deputy - said her experience is a welcome addition to the broadcaster at a time when major strategic decisions must be made.
Some ABC staff are also backing her in, with the host of Media Watch Paul Barry calling her a "remarkably good choice".
Former ABC staff called on Ms Buttrose to defend the corporation against political interference and threats of privatisation.
"We hope she would vigorously reject advertising on all ABC platforms, and will strongly protect the ABC's online digital services," the group ABC Alumni said in a statement.
The Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance union has stressed the need for Ms Buttrose to ramp up the ABC's funding amid a "hostile political environment".
Australian Associated Press
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