Chris Owen is now the confirmed President of The Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Queensland Branch, after fulfilling the role as acting branch president since March this year when Trent Twomey vacated the position as he became National Pharmacy Guild President.
“As the former Queensland Branch President, Chris was my deputy, so I’ve had the pleasure of working with Chris first-hand over a number of years,” says Mr Twomey.
“Chris is a great leader and a fantastic pharmacist; in 2020, he was awarded the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Queensland Branch’s President’s Award in recognition of his outstanding commitment to community pharmacy and he is also the immediate Past-President of the Australasian College of Pharmacy,” he says.
Mr Owen, a third-generation pharmacist, says he was honoured and humbled by the opportunity to serve in the role.
“It’s an absolute pleasure to serve community pharmacy and a leader of industry. I am inspired by the dedication of our profession to their patients, especially throughout the pandemic,” says Mr Owen, “it has been truly amazing to see the way in which pharmacists and their team members have risen to the challenge of Covid-19 in their local communities.”
Mr Owen is a strong supporter of supporting early career and young pharmacists into ownership, seeing this as an avenue to better establish pharmacies as community health hubs.
“I bought my first pharmacy in 2009, but I remember growing up working over holiday periods with Mum and Dad in their pharmacies.”
“Working in pharmacy in those early years, I really felt part of the community, engrained in it. This sense of community inspired me to give back to the profession and to advocate for the role and scope of pharmacists, particularly in rural areas,” says Mr Owen.
Mr Owen also said the increasing role community pharmacies are playing in the fight against Covid-19 was demonstrating the need for community pharmacies to be able to provide their full scope of practice.
“Now, more than ever, communities across Queensland are depending on their local pharmacies to provide health care support and advice, and we know community pharmacies are only too happy to step up and meet the needs of their communities,” says Mr Owen.