PSA23: Locum and Intern Pharmacist of the Year awarded

29 July 2023


The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) is proud to announce the 2023 Intern Pharmacist of the Year and Locum Pharmacist of the Year, which were awarded at PSA23’s plenary session this morning.


William Chan MPS has been awarded the 2023 PSA Locumate Locum Pharmacist of the Year.


Grace Quach has been awarded the 2023 PSA MIMS Intern Pharmacist of the Year.


The PSA Locumate Locum Pharmacist of the Year Award recognises the incredible impact locum pharmacists make all over Australia.


“I’m proud to award William Chan with the PSA Locumate Locum Pharmacist of the Year Award, acknowledging the vital work of locum pharmacists around the country,” Dr Sim said.


“William has brought his expertise and infectious smile to pharmacies around Australia, making sure that communities have access to pharmacist advice when they need it.


“The work of a locum pharmacist often goes unnoticed. William, like many locum pharmacists, takes the challenges of a new pharmacy in his stride. On behalf of all pharmacists, we thank William and all locums for their work.”


Locumate co-founder Kavita Nadan also extended her congratulations to William.


“Locumate, from it’s inception, has put a focus on creating a community for our locums.” Ms Nadan said.


“Resilience, adaptability, and collaboration will be key skillsets that will see a locum thrive during these unprecedented times and William Chan has exemplified this in his career to date.


“At Locumate we will strive to provide continuing support now and into the future.”


The PSA MIMS Intern Pharmacist of the Year Award recognises intern pharmacists who show outstanding performance in their development as professional pharmacists.


“During her internship, Grace was already leading a range of initiatives in her pharmacy, from developing brochures for patients to supporting other students and interns to develop their practice.


“Congratulations Grace, we cannot wait to continue supporting you throughout the rest of your pharmacy career.


MIMS CEO Robert Best also congratulated Grace, reaffirming MIMS commitment to supporting the next generation of pharmacists.


“2023 is a special year for MIMS and our involvement in Intern of the year award. It’s our 60th Anniversary as the most trusted provider of drug and medicines information across the Australian healthcare industry,” Mr Best said.


“For the last 6 decades, MIMS has acknowledged that pharmacists are the cornerstone of advising, educating and dispensing medicines across Australia, and continue to view the pharmacy profession as the most important and pivotal part of our medicines ecosystem when dealing with consumers and patients.


“For six decades, MIMS has been the most trusted provider of drug and medicines information across the Australian healthcare industry. It’s this longevity of use that compels MIMS to ensure that we continue to provide the Pharmacy industry, from its interns through to many with decades of experience, the most of up to date drug and medicines information to be available at the point of care for their use.”


PSA extends thanks to award sponsors, MIMS and Locumate, and looks forward to working with them again in 2024.


PSA Excellence Awards – media notes


William Chan MPS, PSA Locumate Locum Pharmacist of the Year


William Chan MPS is a community pharmacist and locum, travelling around the country to support understaffed pharmacies. He is known for his can-do attitude and adaptability when it comes to his locum roles.


Working across five states and territories over the last 18-months, William has worked across community pharmacies in both metropolitan centres and single-pharmacy towns. He says that being a locum pharmacist has given him the opportunity to work in a wide range of settings.


William is passionate about supporting other locum pharmacists, and hopes to provide management consultancy services to pharmacies in the future.



Grace Quach, PSA MIMS Intern Pharmacist of the Year


Grace Quach is an intern pharmacist at Star Discount Chemist in Arana Hills, Queensland. Grace served as the President of the Queensland Pharmacy Students’ Association in 2022 while completing her studies at the University of Queensland.


In her role with the Star Pharmacy National Support Office, Grace has supported interns and students, organising university networking events including “Networking and Cocktails with the Stars”.


Using her passion for marketing and engagement, she has developed a range of materials for patients promoting key health messages. From MedsChecks and Diabetes Checks to championing Dose Administration Aids (DAAs), Grace is focussed on what will best serve patients and their health outcomes.


Grace’s dedication in investing time to have meaningful consultations with patients, their families or carers, and doctors has aided in the organisation of many DAAs for patients. Grace continuously makes the effort to check her resources to ensure she is providing in-depth counselling to her patients and utilises physical resources such as demo devices and consumers’ medicines information printouts to enhance her patients’ understanding, as well as her own.



Media contact:   Georgia Clarke   M: 0480 099 798  E: georgia.clarke@psa.org.au

PSA23: QUT student takes out Pharmacy Student of the Year honours

29 July 2023


The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) proudly congratulates Samantha Montgomery from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) for taking out the 2023 PSA Viatris Pharmacy Student of the Year (PSOTY) award.


The annual PSOTY awards recognise and celebrate outstanding pharmacy students by showcasing their counselling skills to the pharmacy profession and is a highlight of PSA’s annual flagship conference.


Congratulations also to Ingrid Stroud from the University of Canberra, who took out the People’s Choice award.


PSA National President Dr Fei Sim FPS congratulated Samantha on her achievement and commended the talent of all finalists.


“Congratulations to Samantha Montgomery for successfully taking out the Pharmacy Student of the Year award,” Dr Sim said.


“This competition provides students the opportunity to demonstrate important skills such as gaining patient insights and patient understanding, active listening and skills that support positive patient outcomes.


“PSA is committed to making pharmacy an attractive career path and celebrating success regardless of where you are in your career.


“Each of the students who participated in the PSOTY competition has demonstrated impressive professionalism, skill, and dedication. On behalf of PSA, I wish them the best in what I’m sure will be successful careers as pharmacists.”



Media contact:   Georgia Clarke   M: 0480 099 798  E: georgia.clarke@psa.org.au

PSA23: PSA Symbion Excellence Awards

28 July 2023


The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) is proud to announce the recipients of its 2023 Excellence Awards. Alongside award sponsor Symbion, PSA presented the awards at its National conference, PSA23, in Sydney.


The following awards were presented this morning:


Elise Apolloni MPSPSA Symbion Pharmacist of the Year

Dee-Anne Hull MPSPSA Symbion Early Career Pharmacist of the Year

Warwick Plunkett FPS – PSA Symbion Lifetime Achievement Award


PSA National President Dr Fei Sim FPS congratulated the recipients on their awards.


“The PSA Excellence Awards acknowledge the pharmacists who go above and beyond, those who are involved in innovative practice, those who are striving to raise practice standards, and those who, through their professionalism, provide a model of practice which others strive to emulate,” Dr Sim said.


“We are proud to recognise outstanding contributions not only to pharmacy, but also to the pharmacists who go the extra mile to support their patients.


“PSA is proud to name Elise as Pharmacist of the Year, recognising years of passion, dedication, and leadership in pharmacy practice. Elise lives and breathes pharmacy, and she is constantly developing her practice to deliver the care and services that her community need,” Dr Sim said.


“I am proud to award the 2023 Early Career Pharmacist of the Year to Dee-Anne Hull, who has taken the opportunities to carve a career path of her own in pharmacy, and we congratulate Dee-Anne on her commitment to deliver quality and impactful aged care.


“Warwick Plunkett has given more than his lifetime to pharmacy, dedicating his career to strengthening our profession through education and programs like the Return of Unwanted Medicines project.


“As PSA National President in 1996, Warwick introduced these Excellence Awards for the first time, making it even more special for us to present him with this Lifetime Achievement Award today.


“On behalf of PSA and the pharmacy profession, congratulations to Elise, Dee-Anne, and Warwick on your achievement,” Dr Sim concluded.


Symbion CEO Brett Barons also congratulated the award winners.


“Symbion is extremely proud to have enjoyed a 19-year association as a sponsor of the PSA Excellence Awards,” he said.


“As the pre-eminent individual awards in our industry the PSA Excellence Awards duly acknowledge the great contribution of this year’s winners to our communities and our industry as a whole.


“A well-deserved congratulations to Dee-Anne Hull PSA Symbion Early Career Pharmacist of the Year, Elise Apolloni PSA Symbion Pharmacist of the Year and Warwick Plunkett on the great honour of being this year’s PSA Symbion Lifetime Achievement Award winner. Well done to all!”


PSA extends thanks to award sponsor, Symbion, for their ongoing support.


PSA Symbion Excellence Awards – media notes


Elise Apolloni MPS, PSA Symbion Pharmacist of the Year

Elise Apolloni MPS is the co-owner of Capital Chemist Wanniassa, in the Australian Capital Territory. Under her leadership, Capital Chemist Wanniassa has grown into an extended hours pharmacy offering more than 40 professional services tailored to the unique needs of her community.


Whether through social media or community open days, Elise and her team are constantly finding new ways to connect with the community. Realising the hardship that members of her community were experiencing, Elise launched the Capital Chemist Wanniassa Food Pantry and Book Library for local families in need. She has also lobbied local government to install a secure sharps disposal bin to facilitate safe sharps disposal and harm minimisation in her local community.


Elise invests in her education well above what is usually expected of a pharmacist, including as a Credentialled Diabetes Educator, a Mental Health First Aid trainer and advocate, a volunteer crisis support counsellor, and an asthma educator. On top of these qualifications, Elise is also a Heart Foundation Health Professional Ambassador, and ambassador for local charity PANDSI, supporting women experiencing post-natal depression.



Dee-Anne Hull MPS, PSA Symbion Early Career Pharmacist of the Year

Covering a maternity leave position for the South Australian Pharmacists in Aged Care Project, Dee-Anne discovered her passion for working as part of a multidisciplinary team, collaborating to support high risk residents. Channelling her experience, Dee-Anne has influenced the impact of pharmacists’ role in Aged Care.


This led to a change in career trajectory to her current, non-traditional role, as a Quality and Clinical Specialist for Southern Cross Care within a multi-disciplinary leadership team. She has engaged with a broader audience, as a panellist, workshop facilitator and presenter. Dee-Anne has quickly developed the confidence to speak to colleagues and stakeholders about the changing landscape for pharmacists in aged care and she continues to encourage and support other pharmacists considering a career in aged care.


She launched the Aged Care Pharmacist- Australia Facebook page, and has quickly built this to a community of about 260 pharmacists sharing research and discussion. She continues to advocate for that vital connection onsite aged care pharmacists will build and foster with community pharmacies that are already dispensing medications for aged care. Dee-Anne values this vital link between prescribers, residential facilities and pharmacist services in both the current RMMR/QUM model and future on-site pharmacist models.



Warwick Plunkett FPS, PSA Symbion Lifetime Achievement Award

Warwick Plunkett FPS has made an enormous contribution to pharmacists and the pharmacy profession. Throughout his career, Warwick has served as National President of PSA, NSW Branch President of PSA, President of the Australian College of Pharmacy Practice, President of the University of Sydney Pharmacy Practice Foundation, and President of the Board of Trustees of the Pharmacy Research Trust of NSW.


Warwick’s contributions to pharmacy practice and the quality use of medicines have also been numerous, including establishing the Return Unwanted Medicines (RUM) program, which has greatly reduced the potential harm of having no longer needed, and out-of-date medicines in the home.


Plunkett was also heavily involved in the development and introduction of the PSA Self Care program which greatly assists pharmacists in counselling patients on the appropriate use of their medicines. Warwick has also played a pivotal role in the ongoing professional continuing education of pharmacists with the highlight being his leadership as the Chairman of the PSA Offshore Conference. He was responsible for introducing the annual PSA Excellence Awards and the annual UTS Innovative Pharmacist of the Year Awards.




Award winners are available for interviews. Please contact Georgia (PSA Media) on 0410 505 315 or georgia.clarke@psa.org.au


PSA National President – Opening Address at PSA23

Opening speech delivered at PSA23, 28 July 2023

Check against delivery


I would like to begin by acknowledging the traditional custodians of the land we meet on, the Gadigal People of the Eora Nation.


In the spirit of reconciliation, PSA acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.


This time last year, I stood on this stage and delivered my first plenary as the newly elected National President, brimming with excitement for our profession. Fast forward 12 months later, I stand here today, feeling solemn, but proud – proud of our profession’s resilience, agility and reliability.


Members, just as we thought we had emerged from the global emergency of the pandemic, just as we thought we have an opportunity to catch a breath, just as we thought we can finally go home on time to have a meal with our family – our profession is yet again faced with another challenge.


Since I was young, my dad has taught me to appreciate that change is the only constant. Reflecting on the past 12 months itself, the change that pharmacists have endured have been nothing but intense and monumental. But these changes, are necessary. From the change in scope of practice, prescribing, accreditation, and now 60-day dispensing and aged care pharmacist program – there has never been a dull moment.


PSA has not let our profession’s concerns go unvoiced. We know that the anxiety caused by the lack of certainty is unnerving.


However, one thing has not changed – and that is my genuine belief in the positive and upward trajectory of our profession.


Everyone here today is bound by one shared belief – we know pharmacists can do more, and our health system needs pharmacists to do more.


Vulnerable groups, including our rural and remote communities, First Nations people and those with multiple comorbidities and medications who rely on community pharmacy services need to be looked after.


I am grateful to our Federal Minister for Health and Aged Care the Honourable Mark Butler, and Assistant Minister for Rural and Regional Health and Assistant Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, the Honourable Emma McBride, for addressing our profession today, for the first time since this year’s Federal Budget announcement.


Minister, pharmacists are your solution to a stronger primary care. We know we have an aging population in Australia who are going to have increased healthcare needs; we know medicines use is on the rise and people are hospitalised due to medication misadventure; and we know we have a GP access crisis. Minister, the people in this room today are ready, we rely on you, as our Health Minister, to enable us to deliver for our patients. Pharmacists are one of your irreplaceable pieces of puzzle to improve access to care and achieve medicine safety in this country.


The Government has made the commitment to strengthen primary care, and our profession is committed to delivering high quality care to patients. As we move forward together, we can anticipate changes to our scope, and immense opportunities for our profession, we must not forget about our accountability to deliver care with standard, quality, safety and effectiveness.


For that reason, I am enormously proud to officially launch the next generation of Professional Practice Standards here today. These standards underpin everything we do as pharmacists.


By upholding these standards, pharmacists can confidently navigate through changes and challenges, embracing opportunities for growth and improvement while maintaining the highest level of care for those they serve.


This new approach sets out 9 domains of Professional Practice – each representing one stage of the medicines management cycle.


Within these 9 domains are 17 standards – one for each clinical activity pharmacists undertake, from pharmacy service delivery and patient assessment, to prescribing and medication review.


Every pharmacist in Australia will be united by these Standards, which give us all the building blocks for the foundations of professional pharmacy practice.


To support you, Australia’s pharmacists, in implementing the new Professional Practice Standards, PSA has developed an online tool to self-assess against the new standards.


In our commitment to supporting your professional development, you will see that throughout the weekend, the conference is aligned to the Professional Practice Standards, and you will see how they apply to your practice.


You will see how this quality framework gives confidence in our expanded scope of practice.


I’d like to thank everyone who was involved in this project and our PSA Project Team.


In the redesigning of the Professional Practice Standards, we saw unprecedented support from across the pharmacy profession and the healthcare sector.


In attendance today, we have members of the Australian Pharmacy Leaders Forum, the leaders of all pharmacy organisations – the Pharmacy Board of Australia, the Australian Pharmacy Council, the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, PDL, the Society of Hospital Pharmacists Australia, National Australian Pharmacy Students’ Association, Council of Pharmacy Schools, Professional Pharmacists Australia.


To all our VIPs today, you and your organisation have all made impactful contribution to this work, whether it’s through the Project Advisory Group or Standard Review Group. Thank you for your support and collaboration. On behalf of our PSA Board, thank you, and welcome to PSA23.


Our Lifetime Achievement Award winner last year, Rhonda and Terry White, gave me a book by Dr Seuss called “Oh, the places you’ll go!”. In the book, Rhonda wrote “Fei, wherever you will go, go with all your heart”. I’d like to leave you today with a paragraph from this book:


“On and on you will hike.

And I know you’ll hike far

And face up to your problems

Whatever they are.

You’ll get mixed up, of course,

as you already know.

You’ll get mixed up

with many strange birds as you go.

So be sure when you step.

Step with care and great tact

And remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act.

Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.

And never mix up your right foot with your left.”


I think, we can all learn something from this.


We will face challenges, but never forget that we are a profession that delivers for Australians.


It is now time, for us to warmly welcome our Minister for Health and Aged Care, the Honourable Mark Butler to the stage.


Professional Practice Standards for the future launched at PSA23

28 July 2023


The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) has launched a reimagined Professional Practice Standards today at its national flagship conference, PSA23.


The Professional Practice Standards have undergone a dramatic rebuild, making them more flexible to meet the diverse and contemporary needs of pharmacists practising in different specialty areas and scopes.


Under the new Professional Practice Standards, each clinical activity undertaken by pharmacists falls into one or more of 17 standards that are built off the medicine management cycle. Applying the PPS to practice will require pharmacists to look at the clinical activities they undertake, and the minimum practice standards that apply to those activities.


PSA National President Dr Fei Sim FPS launched the standards as part of her address at PSA23, the national flagship conference of PSA, in front of pharmacists, organisation leaders, and government officials.


“Over the past few years, we have seen significant expansion of the roles of pharmacists in Australia. As we work towards enabling pharmacists to practice to full scope, we must be mindful that the practice of pharmacists must be underpinned by a robust set of standards, to ensure the quality of the work that we do.


“At its core, the PPS are designed to define and articulate the minimum expected standards of professional behaviour in all aspects of pharmacy practice,” Dr Sim said.


“Pharmacists should be everywhere that medicines are, at all stages of the Medicine Management Cycle. We are giving pharmacists the flexibility to build their standards based on their individual practice.


“Every pharmacist in Australia will be united by these standards, which gives us all the building blocks for the foundations of professional pharmacy practice.


“The standards support us to be more flexible, to confidently expand our scope when our practice evolves. It offers clear and actionable direction, and importantly, it ensures the quality and standard, and increases the safety and effectiveness of the services we provide.”


Chair of the Project Advisory Group, Deanna Mill MPS, considers it to be one of the most important projects to set up the future of the profession.


“Through careful collaboration with stakeholders and consumers, we have developed a contemporary and evidence-based resource that provides improved clarity and usability for pharmacists across different roles, practice settings and career stages.


“I encourage all pharmacists to use the newly revised and updated Professional Practice Standards as a contemporary, evidence-based resource to guide their quality professional practice. By incorporating these standards into daily practice, we can all deliver safe, effective, and person-centred care for all Australians.”


PSA thanks members of the Project Advisory Group, the Standard Review Group, and the PSA Project Team, as well as the pharmacists, consumer representatives, regulators, educators, researchers, and government agencies who contributed to the development of the Professional Practice Standards.


The Professional Practice Standards are available to pharmacists and the public here.


Media contact:   Georgia Clarke   M: 0480 099 798  E: georgia.clarke@psa.org.au