The highest accolade awarded by CMA, the Lady Cilento Award, recognises an individual who has demonstrated a lifelong contribution to natural therapies and complementary medicines in Australia.
And outstanding and consistent contributor
Over many years in the industry, this award acknowledges John’s dedication, commitment and professionalism. It recognises a leader who has made an outstanding and consistent contribution to the industry and to the broader community.
Unsung hero of the complementary medicines industry in Australia, John Baker, is awarded the Lady Cilento Award
Industry veteran, John Baker, was presented with the distinguished Lady Cilento award by CMA CEO Carl Gibson at the Conference Gala Dinner in Sydney in October.
John says, “I am a member of the board and was utterly shocked at being recognised! The board kept it completely secret from me, and I was so surprised when Carl called my name!”
A stalwart and a gentleman
Carl Gibson adds: “John is a stalwart of the industry, a true gentleman, who has often put our industry before his own business, and sometimes his health. He is a true unsung hero.”
John has been at the forefront of health food retail in Australia, having owned his store in the Blue Mountains for over 30 years.
He has actively contributed to CMA and is also passionate and enthusiastic in Go Vita; Australia’s largest health food coop. John has owned the Go Vita Springwood health shop in NSW since 1989.
He has been instrumental in bringing several brands into the Go Vita warehouse, including Melrose, Oil Garden and Orgran; he has always focused on the interests of smaller stores ensuring that they are not overlooked.”
The CMA gala dinner in October is when John officially retired from CMA as a Director having dedicated nine years on the Board of Directors. He was the Chairman of the Finance and Audit Committee and esteemed Treasurer. Previously, he served as Vice President and President.”
Overseeing the merger
John oversaw the transition from the Nutritional Foods Association; the merger with the Council for Responsible Nutrition and the move to Canberra. John also helped develop the Industry Code of Practice and its complaints handling procedures.
“Countless times, John has come to Canberra to clarify and ameliorate challenges at CHC and in Parliament and during his latest term of office as a Director the successful launch of CMA.
Dedication and duty
Carl Gibson says: The CMA is in a much stronger financial position today because of John’s selfless dedication and incredible sense of duty. The Association has gone from strength to strength, because of John’s tight hold on the Association’s purse strings and his absolute ability to have his finger on the pulse of the issues that matter to our consumers. And he isn’t afraid to call out people such as Ken Harvey!”
Background to the Award
The complementary medicine industry’s most prestigious award is named after a ground-breaking medical doctor, Phyllis Dorothy Cilento (1894 -1987). Lady Cilento, whose husband was knighted for his incredible advances in medicine, was a pioneering Australian medical practitioner and prominent medical journalist.
Many congratulations, John!