Professional Pharmacists Australia thanks Dr Geoff March for outstanding contribution to pharmacy

Friday 11 March 2022

Professional Pharmacists Australia thanks Dr Geoff March for outstanding contribution to pharmacy Professional Pharmacists Australia (PPA) is farewelling its longstanding president of fifteen years, Dr Geoff March who has announced his retirement and welcoming Mr Leon Yap, who has recently been elected as the new president.

PPA’s CEO Jill McCabe congratulated Dr March on an outstanding career in pharmacy and thanked him for his extensive involvement in PPA.

“I cannot thank Geoff enough for his incredible contribution to the pharmacy industry, as a pharmacist, academic and union leader.

“Throughout his long and successful career, Geoff has displayed a deeply held commitment to improving employment outcomes for pharmacists. He has been instrumental in promoting the modernisation of pharmacy practice and having it recognised as a health care setting rather than a retail setting.

“Like many of our members, Geoff started his career in community pharmacy and was instrumental in negotiating the very first National Pharmacies’ enterprise bargaining agreement, which set a new benchmark for wages and conditions in the pharmacy sector.

“He also played a major role in modernising practice while he was employed by National Pharmacies and advocated for the adoption of similar improvements across the pharmacy sector.

“Following 20 years in community pharmacy, Geoff moved into academia, sharing his in-depth knowledge and passion for pharmacy. He completed his Doctorate (PhD) on Pharmacy Practice in 2006 and has continued to contribute to pharmacy education and research.

“Throughout his career, Geoff has been an active union member. He was a committee member with the Salaried Pharmacy Association from 1983, which then joined Professionals Australia in 1997.

“In 2005, Geoff was elected to Professional Australia’s National Assembly and to the position of president of PPA that same year. He was conferred a Distinguished Life Member of Professionals Australia in October 2016.

“Geoff’s sense of community, commitment to pharmacy and innovative and collaborative approach has underscored the work of PPA over many years.

“Past, current and future generations of pharmacists are all better off thanks to the incredible passion and work of Geoff.”

Reflecting on the current state of pharmacy in Australia, Dr March said the sector was at a crossroad with high levels of dissatisfaction amongst pharmacists.

“While improvements in practice are required, better wages and conditions for employee pharmacists are imperative to attract and retain a quality pharmacy workforce now and into the future”.

Welcome to incoming Professional Pharmacists Australia President, Mr Leon Yap

Professional Pharmacists Australia also extends a warm welcome to its incoming president Leon Yap, who has been the treasurer for the past three years.

CEO Jill McCabe congratulated Mr Yap on his election and said that his skills and experience would be enormously valuable in steering PPA’s future directions.

“Leon is perfectly placed to take on the role of president having over 20 years’ experience working in both domestic and international community and hospital pharmacy.

“Leon already has a strong track record in PPA, having been on the committee for more than nine years.

“As president, Leon has committed to using this platform to further drive improvements in remuneration and conditions for our members, starting with the Graduate Pay Campaign, where we will soon be arguing for a 30% pay increase for Pharmacist Graduates at the Fair Work Commission.

Mr Yap said "I am acutely aware of the challenges facing employee pharmacists and pharmacy technicians across the country, whether it be poor pay and conditions, heavy workloads, or lack of career progression opportunities. In order to bring about urgent change in these areas, I encourage employee pharmacists to join PPA – an organisation that protects workplace rights for pharmacists and advocates for better employment outcomes.

Media Contact: Darren Rodrigo 0414 783 405