When the Pharmacy Guild of Australia opened its newly refurbished Queensland Branch premises this week, Guild National President George Tambassis had three good reasons for calling it “a momentous day”.
Not only was it World Pharmacists Day, but Mr Tambassis was at the Branch opening, where he would also be honouring outgoing director of the Queensland Branch, Robyn Ede, retiring after 25 years of service.
Mr Tambassis’s full speech is below.
“As National President of the Pharmacy Guild, it’s a great honour to be here on this momentous day. I say it’s a momentous day for a number of reasons – for a start, it’s World Pharmacists Day.
“September 25 was designated World Pharmacists Day in 2009 in Istanbul, Turkey by the Council of the international pharmacist body FIP.
“FIP encourages pharmacists to use this day to organise activities that promote and advocate for the role of the pharmacist in improving health in every corner of the world. ‘Safe and effective medicines for all’ is the theme of this year’s World Pharmacists Day.
“The theme for 2019 aims to promote pharmacists’ crucial role in safeguarding patient safety through improving medicines use and reducing medication errors.
“World Pharmacists Day is also a golden opportunity for us to repeat our key message to the community and to governments across Australia, which is that pharmacists stand ready to make an even bigger contribution to our health system for the benefit of patients, through being able to practise to our full scope, just as pharmacists are doing every day in comparable countries around the world.
“In a moment it will be my pleasure to invite Jennifer Howard [MP] to open this shiny new building which will be a major new beginning for the Guild’s fantastic Queensland Branch.
“But as well as a new beginning today, we are marking the end of a stellar career in the pharmacy Guild with the departure, after 25 years, of the outstanding director of the Qld Branch, Robyn Ede.
“Wow, 25 years! A quarter of a century of service to the Pharmacy Guild, the Branch, to the community pharmacists of Queensland, and through them to the people and communities of Queensland.
“In her vital role in the Branch, Robyn has made many positive contributions to the healthcare system, ensuring safe, affordable and easy access to medications for all Queenslanders. She has been the driving force behind the scenes, on countless projects.
“I know she is particularly proud to be part of the team that initiated pharmacist administered vaccinations, [to have ] developed the Guild’s first Reconciliation Action Plan … and to have assisted community pharmacies to become safe spaces to deliver mental health first aid.
“She has also been an absolute stalwart in her custodianship of the biggest pharmacy conference in Australia, APP, making it the standout event in the national pharmacy calendar.
“Robyn is a strategic and thoughtful leader who has provided tireless support for community pharmacy. She cares about her members, her staff and the patients of her pharmacy members. This led her to ensure the Queensland Branch is a vibrant, vital member organisation, delivering quality outcomes.
“So well done, thank you and best wishes, Robyn Ede.
“Among her achievements, Robyn has modernised the Branch and its systems – and nothing could demonstrate that modern preparedness than this fantastic newly refurbished building.
“So now, I’d like to invite Jennifer Howard MP to do the honours and open Guild House, Build One.”