Design a Good Life


Mario Calanna is a well-known and well-respected pharmacist who is the owner of a chain of pharmacies in north and south-east Queensland. Mario’s father immigrated from Italy and bought a sugar cane farm in Cairns. This book describes the history of the Calanna family and provides an account of Mario’s life and his considerable achievements.

  • Title: Design a Good Life
  • Published by: Jabiru Publishing
  • Year of publishing: 2018
  • Book format: Paperback
  • Pages: 366 pages, 51 photographs and illustrations
  • ISBN: 9780648292944

Mario Calanna

Mario was born in Cairns and grew up on his father’s cane farm. When Mario decided to pursue his aunt’s profession as a pharmacist, his parents began to sub-divide the farm. Mario graduated in 1970. In 1975, the Calanna Medical Centre was built on the land where the family farm house had stood for over fifty years. The Calanna Pharmacy Woree was opened in 1976.

The Calanna Pharmacy Group, known as Calanna Whole Health Pharmacies, has expanded to eleven sites, all with a mission to provide pharmaceutical and complementary products, support and advice to each customer. Mario has built his business and his reputation by focusing on helping and guiding people so that they can improve their health, their lifestyle and their mindset.

Mario has been heavily involved in community service clubs since 1971 and been President of Jaycees, Rotaract and Rotary.In 1989 he won the Jaycees National Oratory Geoff M King Contest. In 2004 he was named Cairns Regional Council’s Volunteer of the Year. In 2006 he was the Queensland Australian Institute of Management’s Owner–Manager of the Year. In 2017 Mario was the inaugural Legacy Winner of the Cairns Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards. He has served in Board positions for Anglicare North Queensland, the Pharmacy Guild of Australia Queensland Branch, the Australian Institute of Management, the Cairns Hinterland Hospital Health Board and the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation. Mario is currently a Fellow of the Australian College of Pharmacy, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management, and a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Mario is married to Linda, and they have a son, a daughter, and a grand-daughter. They all live in Cairns.

Mario’s memoir, “Design a Goof Life: From Farm to Farmacia to Whole Health”, was published by Jabiru Publishing.