Building for the future

end the negativity about pharmacy: Taren Gill

New PSA appointment is helping to building the next generation of pharmacy leadership, says Joe Demarte

I would like to warmly welcome Taren Gill to the PSA Board. Her appointment as the Early Career Pharmacist Board member is an important commitment by PSA to encouraging and supporting the many new pharmacists entering the profession.

Taren is an excellent choice. In her time as a pharmacist she has already accumulated a wide range of experience.

She currently works in several areas of practice including as Deputy Director of Pharmacy at Orange Hospital, a community pharmacist at Blooms the Chemist Orange and is a pharmacy lecturer at Charles Sturt University supporting students at Orange and Wagga Wagga.

Taren is also widely respected as a leader among ECPs in Australia through her tireless work with pharmacy students and she was also awarded PSA’s Young Pharmacist of the Year in 2014.

In March The PSA Board made a strategic decision for the future needs of the profession, including having a stronger focus on Early Career Pharmacists. In short, it was time for some succession planning, and that is basically what PSA is doing.

Having an ECP on the National Board is an historic commitment for the Society.

The reason is simple – just look at the March 2016 Pharmacy Board of Australia registrant data report. It shows that of the 29,634 registered pharmacists in Australia, 14,562 of them are under the age of 35. That is just shy of 50% of all registered pharmacists. And, 29.8% of registered pharmacists are under the age of 30.

Pharmacy has youth on its side. PSA has an obligation to nurture this and understand the needs of this sector of our membership.

The response to the call for nominations was enormous with more than 50 people putting themselves forward for consideration. Shortlisting the final six applicants was an extremely difficult task. The pool of talent was enormous but unfortunately there can only be one person appointed.

Leadership development with early career pharmacists is not new for PSA. Our Ignite Leadership Program has been running with huge success and enthusiasm for the past four years. It trains early career pharmacists to be the profession’s leaders of the future.

Whether their Ignite experience inspires them to go into pharmacy ownership, become involved with the Pharmaceutical Society on a Branch Committee, or become a leader in their chosen field of practice, their training will hold them in good stead.

Appointing Taren as ECP Director is taking this one historic step further. The insights she will bring will be hugely important for the development of the Pharmaceutical Society.

This appointment will help ensure that what PSA delivers to members includes the needs of ECPs and that we understand exactly what’s needed for them to thrive in their careers and deliver excellence in pharmacist care.

Joe Demarte is national president of the PSA

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