Takeover confirmed

Decision by members to restructure the Australian College of Pharmacy as a proprietary company led by a Guild branch is declared final, as agitation continues

College President Chris Owen has confirmed that the decision of members made at a special meeting on 20 January 2020 is final.

“The overwhelming result of the meeting of members held on 20 January 2020, where a Special Resolution to change the company type was passed by a super majority of over 79% of votes, clearly demonstrates that Members want the College to get on with the job of providing excellent Pharmacy education,” Mr Owen said.

Immediately after the conclusion of the meeting, a member handed to the College CEO a small number of identical pre-prepared letters, demanding that the Special Resolution, just passed at the Meeting, be put to a postal vote of members.

“Surprisingly, the demand was made by some members who had previously strongly objected to the College holding a postal vote on the resolution,” Mr Owen said.

“It saddens me greatly that a very small group of members and certain external organisations would so willingly and blatantly seek to undermine the College. The Board has been resolute in ensuring the College has a bright future, with solid financials and the opportunity to provide excellent pharmacy education”.

The vote had been opposed by some former College office bearers and long-term members. 

A spokesperson for the PSA said after the vote that: “In the lead up to the Australian College of Pharmacy Members General Meeting… serious concerns had been raised with PSA by College members regarding a Special Resolution regarding what effectively amounts to a takeover of the College by the Queensland Branch of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia.”

“What was reported as a resounding endorsement by members, was hardly that. Less than a handful of votes were the deciding factor in the future of the College”.

Mr Owen said the College board had sought legal advice on the matter.

“The Board has received comprehensive legal advice from an independent barrister concluding that the College is entitled to reject the demand for a postal poll as it would be inconsistent with requirements prescribed in the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) which require passage of a resolution at a meeting on certain matters,” he said.

Mr Owen said the positive outcome of the members meeting will allow the College to continue as a standalone entity while providing an expanded range of high-quality services to members.

“The College has a long and proud history of providing its members with education and excellence in the knowledge and practice of pharmacy.  Now that this matter is settled, we look forward to continuing our legacy, while working to improve the member offer and range of services.

“With the support of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, the College Board will now look for new opportunities to expand and improve its overall offering,” he said.

“I would like to thank members for their support in this vote and look forward to working together to enrich the Australian College of Pharmacy.”

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