Calling all women in pharmacy to ‘Choose to Challenge’

Held on Monday 8 March at the Sofitel in Brisbane, the sold-out Women in Pharmacy International Women’s Day Breakfast, brought together many in the community pharmacy industry, inspiring all in the industry to ‘Choose to Challenge’ – the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD).

“Community Pharmacy finds itself in a unique position,” says The Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Queensland Branch Vice President and breakfast MC, Chris Owen.

“2020 was a year of challenges thrust on all of us, and 2021 will be a year where we take those challenges on through the roles we play as frontline health care providers in our community.”

Attendees heard from keynote speaker, The Hon. Yvette D’Ath MP, Queensland’s Minister for Health and Ambulance Services, as well as Karen Brown, the owner of Terry White Chemmart Samford who was recently awarded the 2021 Australia Day Dickson Award for Small Business, Person of the Year.

Reflecting on the Minister’s speech, Mr Owen says the “speech … perfectly outlined the importance that pharmacies, pharmacists and pharmacy assistants play in each of our Queensland community as primary healthcare providers”.

“Her challenge to us as an industry, to keep challenging and increasing our scope of practice, is one we certainly deliver on,” he adds.

In her speech, the Minister congratulated community pharmacies for choosing to challenge outdated views of the profession by offering a wider scope of service to communities as frontline primary healthcare professionals.

“Pharmacists and pharmacy assistants play a pivotal role in primary healthcare. You have the community’s trust and confidence. They come to you for heath advice, and you’ll play a pivotal role in rolling out the Covid-19 vaccine [from Phase 2A],” said Minister D’Ath.

“It’s important that community pharmacies continue to expand on the full scope of services offered as they play such a critical role in our Queensland communities. We congratulate you on your ongoing work, and the State Government recognises the pivotal role community pharmacy has played in keeping the community safe.

“We are so grateful to both pharmacists and pharmacy assistants, and when it comes to Covid, you will be playing a critical role in the vaccine rollout. We know that pharmacists have the community’s trust and confidence – that will be critical to the success in our fight against Covid.”

Following Minister D’Ath’s encouraging speech, attendees were fortunate to gear from the inspiring Karen Brown.

“Ms Brown shared with us her dream of owning a pharmacy as a teenager and about her time playing netball with the Firebirds,” says Mr Owen.

“We also heard about Ms Brown’s selfless advocacy walking the Kokoda Track, raising awareness and money for those battling ovarian cancer.”

The pharmacy industry is invited to reconnect again at the Australian Pharmacy Professional Conference and Trade Exhibition (APP) on the Gold Coast, from 20-23 May 2021.

Attendees can view the APP2021 program, registration details, Covid-Safe event information and details on the $50B Business Events Grant Program by visiting:

Delegates who register by 29 March can save by booking at the Early Bird rate.


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