Leadership changes at NSW Pharmacy Guild


Incoming NSW Branch President Rick Samimi pictured with Health Minister Sussan Ley

Branch announces new president and national councillors who will be starting in the New Year

Branch President Paul Sinclair, Acting-Branch President Mark Douglass and Vice-President and National Councillor Denis Leahy are all retiring from their elected positions.

The new Branch President (and National Councillor) in NSW will be Rick Samimi, moving from his role as vice-president effective from 1 January 2017.

He will be joined by new National Councillors Mario Barone and David Heffernan.

Phil Dibben will become Senior Vice-President and Vice-President Finance, and Feras Karem and John Black will become Vice-Presidents.

National President George Tambassis extended his thanks to the three Guild officials retiring from office.

“Paul, Mark and Denis are dedicated community pharmacists who have sacrificed their time and resources over many years to make a real contribution to the Guild NSW Branch, and to the Guild’s national advocacy efforts,” he said.

“I believe that Rick Samimi, Mario Barone and David Heffernan are well and truly qualified to represent the best interests of NSW Members both locally and in the national forum on National Council.  I look forward to working with them in the interests of community pharmacy,” Tambassis said.

“It has been a privilege to serve the profession for the past 12 years in various capacities in the Pharmacy Guild,” said NSW Branch President, Paul Sinclair.

“In particular in my national roles, including as chair of the Health Economics Committee and later the Pharmacy Viability Committee, and in the negotiation and implementation of the Fifth and Sixth community Pharmacy Agreements. I will continue as President of the community pharmacy section of the international body FIP.

“The Guild is in very good hands, and I believe the next generation of pharmacy leaders in NSW will continue to fight for the preservation of the best community pharmacy model in the world.

“My sincere thanks also to my family for their support in a very demanding environment,” he added.

Acting NSW Branch President Mark Douglass, spoke fondly of this time as a branch leader.

“I have loved my time with the Guild and the fabulous people I have worked with. After nearly nine years on the Guild, I’m ready for new challenges. This also allows the NSW branch committee to refresh and regenerate, and hopefully introduce greater diversity on to our committee.

“I’ll be treating myself to a short sabbatical then we’ll see what’s next. Thanks to everyone who has helped me during this time and a big thank you to all the friends I have made along the way.”

Retiring National Councillor Denis Leahy said: “I have enjoyed representing Guild pharmacy owners over the past 24 years. Each one of those years has been a challenge of one sort or another. At this point in my career I believe it is a good opportunity for more diversity in the Branch leadership and I encourage this transition to occur.”

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