Pharmacy: 10 Women of Influence

Our poll enters its last week… vote now to help identify the women who are leading the profession into the future

Well over half of all Australian pharmacists are women, a number set to increase given the predominance of women in pharmacy undergraduate courses.


We want your vote

AJP has decided that the role of these leaders of the profession deserve to be identified and recognised.

We will be running a series of articles looking at different aspects of the problems, issues and impacts that women in pharmacy experience and confront.

The centrepiece of our campaign will be a poll to determine who people in pharmacy believe are the 10 women who have the greatest influence over the profession and its direction.

We want you to think about the female leaders of the profession you perceive as having an influence over the current and future direction of pharmacy practice.

From these votes we will collate a final list of the 10 women who are regarded as having the biggest current and future influence.

To vote, submit below. You can also email

Voting will be closed at 5pm on Friday 7 October, with the final list of 10 to be revealed in the November print edition of AJP, and in an early November AJP Daily newsletter. 

You can vote for as many candidates as you see fit.

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NOTICE: It can sometimes take awhile for comment submissions to go through, please be patient.


  1. Brett MacFarlane

    Limiting your case study to the Guild and PSA has somewhat biased your sample Chris. There is a thriving pharmacy life outside of the 2 organisations mentioned and women occupy leadership roles therein.

    I can think of the following list of influential leaders in pharmacy who are women off the top of my head:

    Jenny Bergin – General Manager of the Australian College of Pharmacy (also 50% of the College board elected by members are women).
    Kristen Michaels – CEO of the Society of Hospital Pharmacists
    Bronwyn Clark – CEO of the Australian Pharmacy Council
    Marie Ritchie – CEO of Pharmaceutical Defence Ltd
    Dr Lynn Weekes OA – CEO NPS Medicinewise.

    When you say that as yet neither Guild nor PSA have been headed by women I assume you mean as President, as previous CEOs of PSA include Leisl Wett and Kerry Deans and of the Guild Wendy Phillips.

    There are quiet achievers in pharmacy, who are immensely influential but do not have the backing of well resourced marketing and PR departments and therefore we may not know about them as well as we do some other people.

    I think a definition of what leadership is will help inform your poll. I look forward to seeing the results.

    • Karalyn Huxhagen

      Yes there are those of us that battle away in a variety of positions. Every time I pick up a pharmacy magazine I see stories about amazing female pharmacy owners and managers who are providing role modelling that we all try to achieve;
      Hannah Mann -Kimberly
      Amanda Gilbraith
      Sam Kourtis
      Sue Holzberger
      Lyn Short is now retired (I think) but she led a very efficient and amazing pharmacy service on Thursday Island and the surrounding islands.
      there are so man worthy of being named a ‘person of influence’ in our profession

  2. Max

    How sexist to do a ‘women-only’ list. Imagine the uproar if you did a ‘men-only’ list. Typically hypocritical left-wing stuff. I suppose the men don’t count any more.

    • Max

      No, it’s not that the men don’t count. It’s really like this: people still cling to the outdated 1970’s view that women generally are victims of discrimination, and need their own special little list that excludes men deliberately. Either that, or the women are acknowledging that they are not good enough to be on a merit list that includes everyone, men and women. Which is it, ladies? Or option ‘c’, that your women-only list is pointless? Hopefully this scores minus ten million on the PC scale. But see if you can answer the questions, rather than trying to de-legitimise them so you don’t have to.

      • Andrew

        I call “BINGO!!” on the previous two comments;

        – “Hypocritcal left-wing”
        – “Women generally are(n’t) victims of discrimination”
        – “Merit”
        – “Which is it, ladies?”
        – Reference to political correctness


        • Roger

          Plenty of replies from the men. Got nothing to say, ladies? Hoping that by saying nothing, no-one will notice the bubble bursting? Thought so.

        • Ronky

          Plenty of irrelevant obfuscation, but zero answers to Max’s questions.

          • Gloria

            Actually Ronky, if that is your real name, it’s a perfect AND relevant explainer on exactly what is driving this comment section.

          • Ronky

            Actually Gloria, if that is your real name, Laura claimed that it answered Max’s questions, not that it explained “what is driving this comment section”. I suggest that you talk about the facts as Max did instead of trying to remotely psycho-analyse strangers who have the temerity to post facts which you find uncomfortable to read.

          • Laura

            Ronky, I don’t believe many facts have been posted on here by Max or others, simply opinions that have been expressed fairly aggressively. It’s unsurprising that few people have taken the time to disagree with such uninviting discourse. Which is precisely why I posted a reference (rather than an answer) for Max, so he could extrapolate his own answer and I wouldn’t have to deal with resulting vitriol (guess that didn’t really work out). Shout out to Gloria who read through the comic and understood.

            Also, this is brilliant AJP. There are plenty of female pharmacists who have inspired me and I’m excited for them to be recognised.

          • Ronky

            Of the 19 comments posted here, the only one which is expressed “aggressively” is Gloria’s. My personal name and ethnic background are irrelevant to this discussion.
            You actually did exactly what Max asked you not to do. Instead of answering his questions, you attempted to de-legitimise them.
            I agree that there are plenty of women (not “female”, they are not zoological specimens) pharmacists who have inspired me, and I am excited for them to be recognised – because they are inspirational pharmacists, not because they are women.

    • Rod

      And this is why so many people in America are voting for Donald Trump – he says things which make sense, are common sense, but the PC leftie-media try to shout down. Especially people like the uptight, tut-tut, holier-than-thou, contemptuous, and totally out-of-touch Hilary Clinton.

      • Eddie

        You forgot to include ‘fake’ when describing Hilary. And of course, a great speaker for human rights – as long as you are the right kind of human.

  3. Mouhamad Zoghbi

    You have the women in pharmacy that we never hear of, the mums who work all day and run to pick their children up from day care, then cook dinner for the family and collapse on the couch from exhaustion after making sure everyone has been taken care of. You have my vote even if I don’t know your names.
    As for those cry baby comments, I’m happy to buy you a dummy from
    My local pharmacy ?

  4. Hilary Kahn

    There are so many women who have done fantastic things in the industry and in their businesses, academic or otherwise. But in terms of shaping the retail (stock and services) elements that will see the industry prosper – 3 giants come to mind – Rhonda White, Lyn Bronger and Catherine Bronger.

  5. Jenny Gowan

    It should not be just women – it is people and as many of the posts state there are many who do a really good job in their chosen place of work . It is a team effort but we do need leaders male and female to progress our profession. It should not be about male and female. It is who can do the job that is needed and educate our decision makers the work that pharmacists do and can do – our under- utlilised profession. The Committees and Boards that I sit on gender does not enter into it .To get a view point progressed reputation and evidence are needed, plus insight, vision, respect for all parties and patient -focus.

  6. Ronky

    Older pharmacists will remember that in the late 1970s the Women Pharmacists’ Association voted for its own dissolution, on the grounds that it had been many years since the pharmacy profession had had any unfair discrimination on the basis of sex, and that the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 had made such discrimination illegal for all Australia, that the continued existence of the WPA would itself be unfair discrimination against men.
    Sadly this was a rare case of clarity and honesty. More commonly, certain people (both men and women) have carved a career out of feminism and still assigning women victim status as an entire sex. (Yet ironically showing little if any concern for women in those countries and even in certain ethno-religious communities in Australia where women really do still face terrible discrimination and oppression.)

    • Big John

      Yes, it’s a bit embarrassing that this sort of feministic debate enters the Australian pharmacy profession at all. Men and women should be treated deservingly equal. End of story.

  7. Mel

    Considering that 78% of pharmacy students graduating from university are female I think this list is very relevant

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