Guild national president George Tambassis has announced that he is stepping down from the role at the end of this term
In a statement to members Mr Tambassis said that he would not contest the current Branch Committee election in Victoria, and therefore would end his National Presidency of the organisation early next year.
“We still have many tasks to complete before then at the Guild and I look forward to working with you all to achieve a successful outcome to all that lays ahead,” Mr Tambassis said.
“Community pharmacy is a dynamic and highly regarded industry doing great work for all Australians, and it has been so good to lead the Guild during a period in which we have broadened the role of our pharmacists and staff in the interests of patients.”
He noted that community pharmacy small businesses have been under significant pressure “not just in this extraordinary year, but for all of the seven years I have led the organisation”.
Reflecting on his two terms as National President, he described the Seventh Community Pharmacy Agreement process as “the hardest negotiation imaginable—a gruelling 12-month effort which eventually produced an Agreement for the times, with significant benefits for the pharmacy network and our patients”.
“Throughout my years in the role, I have put an emphasis on the importance of allowing pharmacists to practise to their full scope.
“We have seen significant and highly beneficial advances in pharmacist vaccination, and this has been largely due to the advocacy of the Guild across all of our Branches and jurisdictions.”
Mr Tambassis thanked Guild members, his business partners and his family for their support and took the opportunity to wish all candidates in the current Guild elections well.
“The tradition of community pharmacists giving their time and commitment to the objectives of the Pharmacy Guild is in good hands, and will continue to benefit all Australian patients through advocacy and service,” he said.
Former Guild National Presidents, Kos Sclavos and John Bronger, along with current Senior National Vice President and Queensland Branch President, Trent Twomey, thanked George Tambassis for his contributions to the pharmacy sector.
Kos Sclavos AM, who was National President of The Pharmacy Guild of Australia from 2005 to 2013, recognised Mr Tambassis for his leadership and commitment to broadening the role of community pharmacy as primary healthcare providers in the interest of patients.
“George is a true leader and innovator with the ability to visualise the future for our industry, shown through his signing of both the Sixth and Seventh Community Pharmacy Agreements,” Mr Sclavos said.
John Bronger OAM, who was National President between 1994 and 2005 and negotiated three Community Pharmacy Agreements, thanked Mr Tambassis for his strong leadership and resilience during the coronavirus pandemic, in what has been one of the toughest years ever for primary healthcare providers.
Senior National Vice President and Queensland Branch President, Trent Twomey praised Mr Tambassis for his ongoing leadership and commitment to members and all Australian patients.
“George has worked tirelessly to serve and support our members during the coronavirus pandemic, so they can practice to their full scope and better serve the community,” he said.
“He has strived towards achieving the Guild’s vision of embedding community pharmacy as a trusted and key element in Australia’s primary healthcare infrastructure.
“His leadership and work ethic have ensured that strides have been taken towards community pharmacy practicing to their full scope as primary healthcare providers.
“George drove the Seventh Community Pharmacy Agreement negotiations, which was signed in June this year during the height of the coronavirus pandemic.
“It was one of the hardest negotiations imaginable, lasting more than twelve months, but produced an Agreement for the times that significantly benefits both Australian patients and community pharmacy.”
“If we allow community pharmacists to practise at their full scope and take a greater role in the primary healthcare system to treat common ailments, families will have access to basic healthcare that is faster, more affordable and convenient.”