David Heffernan has toppled incumbent Rick Samimi from the presidency of the Pharmacy Guild’s NSW Branch
The Culburra pharmacist, from the Members Action group, told the AJP that he’s glad the protracted election is over, but he’s excited about working with the new team.
“We’ve got a really good new committee,” he says. “They have varying experiences, but they’re very agile, very progressive, very committed and I’m looking forward to it.”
The roles of Vice President have gone to Caroline Diamantis, Paul Jones and Feras Karem.
Paul Jones and Catherine Bronger have been elected as national councillors, while the alternate national councillors are Karen Carter, Sally Sheehan and Caroline Diamantis.
“I’m excited about the election of Paul Jones and Catherine Bronger as national councillors, and about what they’re going to bring to the table, and by the election of the other national councillors, there’s new faces all around the continent.
“It’s a younger, dynamic group and it’s very exciting.
“The next three years will be big,” Mr Heffernan says. “We’ve got the upcoming agreement, lots happening and we’ll hit the ground running.
“The last four or five years have been very tough, when you’re looking at the average price of a script being slashed by a third – pharmacy took the hit on that.
“While this has happened, bank loans have changed, the cost of running a business has changed – now, I want to get focused on Guild member advocacy. Political advocacy is my focus.”
Mr Heffernan thanked outgoing president Rick Samimi, who will remain on the Guild’s NSW committee.
“I hold Rick in high regard,” he says. “He’s a fighter for community pharmacy, and will remain so – he’s been working very hard, especially on the codeine issues, and advocating with NSW Health, the federal politicians and also other stakeholders including PSA.
“Community pharmacy owes a lot to Rick.”