On International Women’s Day we would like to thank all the amazing women who have contributed to JDRF – volunteers, committee members, Board members and hardworking fundraisers. But in particular we would like to celebrate the achievements of one of JDRF’s most valued longstanding members and say congratulations to Gwennyth Baker who was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in the Australia Day 2019 Honours List.
Gwennyth received the OAM for her “service to community health” following years of dedication not only to JDRF but to other volunteers and community groups such as Orienteering Australia.
“Gwennyth Baker is a living example of everything good about JDRF. She is both incredibly passionate but humble, dedicated but always available to help, and persistent but always supportive. She has been the heart and soul of so much of what JDRF has achieved over the years across a range of campaigns, programs, and events, working hard and generally in the background and always with a smile. This recognition is wholeheartedly deserved, and we congratulate her sincerely.” Mike Wilson, JDRF Australia CEO and Managing Director
In 2012, Gwennyth was nominated for the VIC Senior Australia of the Year and this excerpt from the National Australia Day Council perfectly sums up her contribution.
“Forging strong community relationships through her energy, dedication and generosity of spirit, Gwennyth Baker has been an effective campaigner for diabetes research for more than 25 years. When her son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes as a child, Gwennyth became involved in fundraising to assist medical research to find a cure for the disease after joining the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s Melbourne Chapter. Along the way, Gwennyth became involved in every aspect of the not-for-profit venture, including management of people and projects, fundraising, awareness raising and community support programs. For two and a half decades, Gwennyth has volunteered up to 35 hours a week. Anyone who visits the Foundation’s office any day of the week is likely to find Gwennyth in a Walk to Cure diabetes T-shirt, counting out lapel pins to sell or making phone calls to volunteers. From consoling and reassuring the parents of newly-diagnosed children, to educating teachers in schools on how to care for a child with diabetes and speaking at public forums, Gwennyth never misses an opportunity to raise awareness of diabetes and to raise the funds so critical to finding a cure for the disease.”
On behalf of JDRF, we would like to congratulate Gwennyth and thank her for the impact she has made not only to JDRF’s fundraising programs such as Jelly Baby Month, but for her ongoing efforts to raise awareness for type 1 diabetes.