NSW Pharmacists recognised for outstanding contributions
17 February 2024
The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) has recognised New South Wales’ top pharmacists as part of the 2024 PSA Excellence Awards tonight on the NSW Central Coast.
The NSW Pharmacist of the Year is Margaret Ruhnau MPS
Western Sydney pharmacist Margaret Ruhnau is a trailblazer, practicing with her community at the heart of all she does. Since becoming one of the first pharmacists to practice in an Aboriginal Health Service, Ms Ruhnau continues to build a diverse and culturally aware team at Emerton Amcal Pharmacy. Every member of her team has undertaken Deadly Pharmacist foundation training as well Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Competence to support their provision of pharmacy services in partnership with Marrin Weejali – a local Aboriginal-Controlled Health Organisation.
As a credentialed pharmacist Ms Ruhnau was also one of the first pharmacists to practice in General Practice, where she was instrumental in generating evidence for the future roles and recognition of GP Pharmacists. Most recently, Ms Ruhnau was involved in the working group co-designing the NSW Pharmacy Trial for the management of urinary tract infections and extended supply of oral contraceptive medicines.
Aside from her pharmacy work, Margaret has been a Guide Dog puppy raiser at home, raising a successful working Guide Dog and another that went into the Pets As Therapy program.
The NSW Early Career Pharmacist of the Year is Angus Koerstz MPS
After completing his intern year in Canberra, community pharmacist Angus Koerstz opened Men’s Health Downunder Dubbo, supporting men with complex urological health issues particularly post-prostate cancer. Angus works closely with urologists, allied health professionals, and prostate cancer support nurses to improve the urological health of these men which has a significant bearing on their overall quality of life. Mr Koerstz is expanding his scope of practice to work closely with this multidisciplinary team to improve urological health outcomes for men, particularly in regional, rural and remote communities.
He has a keen focus on assisting men to recover from prostate cancer surgery, offering a range of non-pharmacological aids for complex issues such as incontinence, erectile dysfunction and pyronines disease. Mr Koerstz’s innovation and motivation to improve men’s health has seen him become a trusted resource and referral point for local doctors, urologists, and nurses.
Through developing a men’s health clinic in Dubbo, and also seeing patients through his pharmacy Angus has provided men with access to vital information to assist with the management of urological health issues. His expertise has seen men travel four to five hours from more remote western communities for consultation and access to his vital service.
The NSW Intern Pharmacist of the Year is Shannon Leglise
South Coast Intern Pharmacist Shannon Leglise has demonstrated passion and commitment beyond his years, becoming an integral part of the pharmacy team and the local community of Callala Bay. Mr Leglise has worked hard to introduce new services to the pharmacy, expanding his scope of practice beyond what would be expected of an intern pharmacist. In doing so, Mr Leglise has proactively engaged with the community, improving the wellbeing of his patients with proactive health promotion.
The NSW Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to Professor Peter Carroll AM FPS
Over a career spanning more than 50 years, Sydney pharmacist Professor Peter Carroll has made an immense contribution to pharmacy professional bodies, changes to pharmacy practice, Government committees, the education of pharmacy students, and the continuing professional development of practising pharmacists.
On top of serving the profession as a PSA National Board Director, President of the NSW Branch and the Offshore Refresher Course’s Education Director, Prof. Carroll was responsible for the development and introduction of the Asthma Card in NSW, allowing pharmacists to counsel patients about their asthma, and the overuse of reliever medicines. He was involved in the initial training of pharmacists to conduct Medication Reviews and played a significant role in developing an accredited vaccination training course for final-year pharmacy students.
Working with both PSA and the Guild, Peter was instrumental in gaining the approval of the NSW Government to allow appropriately trained pharmacists to administer the influenza vaccine. Peter developed a vaccination training course and was personally involved in the training of over 250 pharmacists to administer the influenza vaccine. Peter also played a major role in getting Government approval for pharmacists to administer MMR, DPT, and COVID-19 vaccines.
Prof. Carroll has been a member of the Bachelor of Pharmacy Planning Committee at the University of Newcastle, a member of the Pharmacy Advisory Board at Charles Sturt University, a member of the Pharmacy Trust at Charles Sturt University and Chairperson of the Education Committee of the Pharmacy Practice Foundation at the University of Sydney. Peter was involved in the initial development of the pharmacy courses at both the University of Newcastle and Charles Sturt University.
PSA New South Wales Branch President Luke Kelly FPS congratulated the award recipients.
“New South Wales is lucky to be home to outstanding pharmacists across a breadth of practice areas and specialisations,” Mr Kelly said.
“PSA’s Excellence Awards recognise the many outstanding contributions of our pharmacists, those who innovate, those who strive to raise practice standards, and those who model everything it means to be a part of our profession.
“Congratulations to all our award winners and thank you for your ongoing contributions to the profession, and to the health of our state.”
Media contact: Georgia Clarke M: 0480 099 798 E: firstname.lastname@example.org