MEDIA RELEASE: National Student Business Plan Competition – Quarter Finalists Announced

18 June 2018

MEDIA RELEASE: National Student Business Plan Competition – Quarter Finalists Announced

Entrants in the Pharmacy Guild of Australia’s annual National Student Business Plan Competition, an Australia-wide challenge aiming to encourage innovation amongst pharmacy students, have been advised that nine teams will progress through to the quarter-final round.

The nine teams awarded places in the quarter finals are from five different universities in Australia and New Zealand – University of Technology Sydney, University of Tasmania, University of Sydney, University of Auckland and University of Otago.

Teams were required to develop two innovative services to implement in their pharmacies. One service had to be ‘new to the market’ or ‘highly differentiated’ from something already on offer, and the other one offering a social or community benefit.

Some of the innovative ideas developed aimed to tackle challenges such a mental health and sleep issues in rural locations, allergy testing, sexual health in youth, and medication management. All plans developed holistic and community focused programs, utilising new and exciting technologies.

The quarter-final round commenced on the 18 June and concludes on the 1 July 2018. The successful teams will progress through to the semi-final round, and compete for a chance to be selected as finalists: receiving complimentary registration, travel and accommodation to attend Pharmacy Connect in Sydney in September.

The National Student Business Plan Competition is designed to promote creative entrepreneurship among pharmacy students and encourage the development of viable, innovative, pharmacist-owned community pharmacies.

It gives Australia’s and New Zealand’s best and brightest pharmacy students an opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of pharmacy practice through innovative and financially secure business models.

The competition is an initiative of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia and is sponsored by Sanofi Consumer Healthcare (Principal Sponsor), EBOS (Major Sponsor) Gold Cross Products and Services and Pharmaceutical Defence Limited (PDL).

Media inquiries: Greg Turnbull 0412 910261

NAPSA celebrate 70th Birthday at APP2018

NAPSA celebrated their 70th birthday at the APP2018 Networking event

Can anyone imagine today’s world without social media?  We know so much without having to put in any effort. Most of what we know is by way of passively seeing announcements on our feeds or by trawling someone’s social media accounts rather than actively approaching the person directly.

Both the National Australian Pharmacy Students’ Association (NAPSA) and The Guild realise the importance of face to face interaction, in particular at big events such as APP. As such NAPSA and The Guild held a Networking Event for students, alumni and pharmacists at APP2018.  The event offered an opportunity for students and professionals from all over Australia to catch up and learn from each other, in a relaxed and casual environment.

This year NAPSA also celebrated their 70th birthday at the APP2018 Networking event, which we were lucky to celebrate with them.

If you’ve missed out on APP, or the Student Networking event, come to Pharmacy Connect, or watch this space for future opportunities.

Happy Networking.

Who is Tim Stewart, the 2017 MIMS/Guild Intern of the Year?

Tim Stewart, 2017 MIMS/Guild Intern of the Year

My career in pharmacy began in 2012 when I started working as a pharmacy assistant in the Life Pharmacy Group in Canberra. Whilst in this role I was studying a Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Science at the University of Canberra. With inspiring pharmacist colleagues as mentors, I was hooked on pharmacy and felt that the natural progression for me was to continue on to study a Master of Pharmacy. I was then lucky enough to begin my internship placement at Lanyon Pharmacy, within the same pharmacy group that I had got to know as a student. After speaking with past interns and discussing with my preceptor, I chose to enrol myself into The Pharmacy Guild of Australia Intern Training Program.

At APP2018 I was honoured to be announced as the MIMS/Guild Intern of the Year. This award has given me incredible opportunities to further my education and become a positive advocate for the profession. I have been able to plan attendance to a number of conferences to aid in my professional development, and network with others in the field. The APP conference is arguably the biggest networking event on the pharmacy calendar, and this year was particularly special for me. Being able to exchange ideas and inspiration with like-minded professionals was a definite highlight. Being named as the MIMS/Guild Intern of the Year has also given me a voice that means that I can hopefully inspire other young pharmacists, interns and students, to embrace the profession and the future that it holds for them.

I believe that this award recognises my passion for community pharmacy and enthusiasm for shaping the somewhat unknown future that lies ahead. The expanding role of pharmacists is an exciting prospect for me. I am passionate about providing services that are able to add to what patients may already be receiving from other healthcare professionals. Our scope has now broadened so that we are able to have pharmacist CDE’s, pharmacist vaccinators, pharmacists in GP clinics and more. In the near future, I expect to see our role in patient care evolving further in the same direction. Pharmacists are highly skilled, highly accessible healthcare professionals, and I think there is a great desire within our profession for further education and specialisation in particular areas of health. I believe that this will result in different pharmacies becoming health destinations for their particular specialist area. This in turn may open these pharmacies up for referrals from specialists, GPs, or other healthcare professionals. Areas of specialisation may include men’s and women’s specific health, diabetes care, asthma education, weight loss, mental health – the list is endless! I would encourage all current and future pharmacists to find their passion and seek out opportunities to involve themselves further within their patients’ health journeys.

My number one piece of advice for pharmacy students is to immerse yourself in pharmacy as early as possible. Working in a dispensary can prove to be highly advantageous to your studies. Be sure to ask plenty of questions from your pharmacist colleagues as they’re the best people to give you real-life knowledge and experiences. Becoming an active member of your local pharmacy association and NAPSA will provide you with a network of great like-minded people who may even become colleagues in the future. Do plenty of research when choosing an intern training program and place of practice, as this may be crucial in shaping your pharmacy career. The Guild ITP and Lanyon Pharmacy was a perfect fit for me. The support I received whilst balancing study, work, a social life and a newborn son made my year much more achievable.

Currently I am working at Cooleman Court Pharmacy, A.C.T within an amazing team of supportive and innovative pharmacists. We pride ourselves in providing a high level of professional services covering many areas of health. I have found a passion in men’s health so one of my goals is to engage in education opportunities within this area and equip myself to provide a higher level of service to these patients. I also aim to be at the forefront of change within community pharmacy to ensure that the future is sustainable but also contributes to patient care in a greater capacity than ever.

Tim Stewart, Pharmacist

FOMO much? Don’t despair!

If you’re experiencing FOMO because you missed out on APP2018, don’t despair – ewe have good news! The Guild’s next conference, Pharmacy Connect is coming up in Sydney from 7-8 September! If you’re looking for a reason to get to Sydney, this is IT!

Pharmacy Connect brings together clinical, business, and industry aspects of community pharmacy. Not will you only have the chance to network with your peers but also industry leaders and pharmaceutical brands.

An exciting feature of the Pharmacy Connect program is the National Student Business Plan Competition (NSBPC) finals. Hear from your peers what their ideal business plan for a pharmacy is, and celebrate with the winners of the competition at the Gala Dinner on Saturday night.

To top it all off students and Guild Interns receive FREE registration to Pharmacy Connect PLUS there’s an exclusive networking event held at the Zeta Bar, Hilton Hotel to mingle with other students, interns and potential employers.

View the full Pharmacy Connect program to see what piques your interest.

To attend the conference, register now.

Benefits of conferences?

Whether it be reading blogs, listing to podcasts, watching how-to videos, or attending webinars, there are many great ways to learn and advance your skills.

However, there is one learning platform that can provide so much more than these one-way tools – conferences.

What are the additional benefits of attending a conference, beyond  learning something new? The Pharmacy Guild of Australia, QLD Branch Events Manager, Emma Fernance shares her secrets:

  • Meet experts and influencers face-to-face – you get the chance to not only hear from, but also meet, key players in your industry Networking opportunities – social media may be a great way of keeping you connected to your peers, but there is no substitute for meeting people and interacting face-to-face.
  • You may also meet some prospective employers!
  • Learn in a new space – attending conferences allows you to expand your learning experience beyond the lecture theatres and tutorial rooms.
  • Meet and learn from like-minded individuals – meeting like-minded peers from around the country will inspire you and will assist in developing your professional network.
  • Invest in yourself – attending a conference is an investment in your future career.

NAPSA Charity Cup 2018 – Fullife Foundation

A photo of Stephanie Samios with Fullife founder Ian Shanks
Stephanie Samios with Fullife founder Ian Shanks

Charity Cup is fast approaching and NAPSA are very excited to see where this campaign will take us this year! In 2018, NAPSA pharmacy school branches are proudly supporting Fullife Foundation and raising much needed funds from 2 April until 1 June.


This worthy charity was established to improve the health of women and children in Africa, particularly in Ethiopia.

The founder and director of Fullife Foundation, Ian Shanks, is also an Australian pharmacist who works in Victoria. He travels to Ethiopia each year donating the raised funds to the poorest regions.

They require our support to build a health post in the Shurmo region of Ethiopia, with an estimated total cost of $48,800. This building will be the health hub for a community of 8,000+ people, conducting first contact assessments with patients, monitoring, immunising and supervising maternal and child health issues, with referring more serious cases.

As well as raising funds for the building, birthing kits will also be packed by pharmacy students nationally, and will be sent to aid the women in Ethiopia for a more sanitary birthing environment.

NAPSA spoke with Ian Shanks about their decision to support his worthy charity.

He said, “we really appreciate the opportunity to work with NAPSA, and we will do all we can to ensure this year’s NAPSA Charity Cup is the best ever!”


NAPSA Pharmacy Awareness Chair, Stephanie Samios, has worked in conjunction with each pharmacy school to ensure adequate organisation and preparation for the most successful Charity Cup to date.

“I have been hearing such positive things from our pharmacy school Presidents and their pharmacy awareness representatives about Fullife Foundation and their ideas for fundraising this year, ” said Ms Saminos.

“Passion, dedication and enthusiasm are all being displayed in full force in preparation for Charity Cup.

“I am so excited to support a group of pharmacy branches who are immersing themselves in this campaign and the selfless act of improving or even saving the lives of those in need.”

A NAPSA Everyday Hero Page has been launched, and NAPSA Pharmacy School branches will be joining the Charity Cup team in the coming weeks. Chocolate drives, Cocktail nights, Barbeques and Bake sales are just some of the events branches are in the midst of organising in time for Charity Cup commencement.

Ms. Samios has set the goal at $48,800+ to surpass last years’ donation total and increase the total end donation to Fullife Foundation for building the health post.

I hope that we can raise even more than last years’ target for Charity Cup, but also to witness a phenomenal student involvement in the campaign to support and promote the work of Fullife Foundation.

“Every dollar counts, as this health post will assist thousands of women and children in this rural community in Ethiopia.

“This is a charity that everyone in Australia should support.”


National President, Sandra Minas, is equally excited to be fundraising for Fullife Foundation.

“We are proud to be supporting such an amazing cause, aiming to create an impact in the lives of women and children,” she said.

“It is also inspiring that the founder and director of Fullife, Ian Shanks, is an Australian Pharmacist, showing our members that we truly have no limits in our pharmacy profession.

“I am so excited to see how each branch across Australia will come together once again to truly make a difference.”


NAPSA hopes that everyone in Australia can get involved and get excited about this amazing Charity and the work that they do to save the lives of people in Ethiopia.

NAPSA encourages pharmacy students, pharmacists and anyone who would like to support Fullife Foundation, to donate to the Everyday Hero donation page.

“Charity Cup is not just about which pharmacy branch can raise the most money, but also a time where each pharmacy school comes together to represent NAPSA and partake in a Charity Campaign that has the potential to save lives and promote a worthy charity.

“We are not only future pharmacists, but also play a strong role in the future of health.”

Stephanie Samios

NAPSA Pharmacy Awareness Chair 2017/2018

See and hear this guy for FREE

Image of Addiction Medicine Specialist Dr David Jacka
Addiction Medicine Specialist Dr David Jacka to present at APP2018

What type of student are you?

Active? In the know of everything that’s going on at uni and with relevant associations. Participate in, or organise uni events?

Passive?  You mind your own business, you attend the necessary classes, but don’t engage much more than you absolutely have to?

Or you don’t fit either one of those types, and you dabble a bit in what catches your eye?

That’s cool, but you all have the one thing in common – you all want a job at the end of the day once you graduate, right?

I hope so, otherwise, why go through all the stress and put yourselves in debt??

You’re in luck.

There’s no better time to be a student than now, especially a pharmacy student, and particularly if you’re a student member of The Pharmacy Guild of Australia or reading this right now.

Being a pharmacy student, you may have heard of the APP Conference, or the Australian Pharmacy Professional Conference & Trade Exhibition, and if you haven’t, you’re in for a treat.

Feel free to research this yourselves, however I’m willing to bet that there’s no other conference that offers students free access to Australia’s largest pharmacy trade exhibition, and discounted tickets to the best conference (and party) in the community pharmacy calendar.

Students receive:

  1. Free access to trade exhibition (Friday 4 May – Sunday 6 May)
  2. Free access to the Welcome Reception (Thursday 3 May)
  3. * Free entry to Harm Minimisation Workshop (Sunday 6 May)
  4. Discounted Street Party tickets (Saturday 5 May)
  5. Discounted day and full registration fees (includes access to all sessions)

That guy in the photo, his name is Dr David Jacka by the way. He’ll be one of the facilitators for the *Harm Minimisation Workshop on Sunday, 6 May, which we have made available for students to attend for free.

Register now. You can register for the free sessions only if you wish, just don’t miss out.

You may wonder how you’ll get a job out of attending a conference. Read the benefits of Networking and how to use Networking to find a job, as well as the article on how to stand out as a pharmacy student.

Support NAPSA’s 2018 Charity Cup and join Jessica in becoming an everyday hero

Hi, my name is Jessica Hawula I am a third-year pharmacy student at the University of Queensland.

This year I am the Pharmacy Awareness representative for the Queensland Pharmacy Students’ Association (QPSA). Each year the 17 pharmacy schools across Australia participate in the annual National Australia Pharmacy Students’ Association’s (NAPSA) Charity Cup.

This fundraising event runs until June 1 and sees each pharmacy student branch across Australia raise money and awareness for that year’s given charity. Since 2008, the NAPSA Charity Cup continues to raise thousands of dollars each year.

This year, the student associations have made the collective decision to support the Fullife Foundation. The Fullife Foundation aims to reduce the number of preventable deaths of expectant mothers and their newborns during childbirth. With your support the charity can provide health professionals and health supplies to communities in need in Ethiopia. The Fullife Foundation’ partners include World Vision, International Needs and Birthing Kit Foundation Australia, who work together in the rural communities of Ethiopia.

QPSA’s 2018 goal is to contribute to the rebuild of the Shurmo Witbira Health Post and to donate 600 birthing kits ($3 each). Fullife supplies these kits to women in remote areas who cannot easily access the health clinics.

We need your help to achieve our goal to save expectant mothers and their infants from preventable health-related deaths.

Please help us help Fullife by giving whatever you can via QPSA’s Everyday Hero page. Ensure you visit our page regularly as we will provide frequent updates on our progress.

Your small gift will make a difference in the lives of these women and children in Ethiopia.

For more information or to get involved in one of our events please contact me on

National Student Business Plan competition launched

The 12th National Student Business Plan Competition is now underway; a competition which tests the flair and entrepreneurship of students preparing for a career in community pharmacy.

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia’s 2018 competition was launched during the Annual NAPSA Congress in Sydney. Team member of the 2017 winning entry, Monique Scott from the University of Tasmania, launched the competition by detailing her experience to her fellow students.

“The competition was extremely rewarding and taught me so much about community pharmacy ownership, I encourage all of you to give it a go,” she said.

The competition, which commenced in 2006, looks for innovation among pharmacy students who will be the future owners of Australian and New Zealand community pharmacies. It aims to encourage student teams to use their talents and energy to create innovative business ideas in community pharmacy through the development of competitive business plans.

The timeline for the competition is:

Stage Component Due Date

Stage Component Due Date
One Submit your Business Plan 13 May 2018
Two Quarter Finals 18 June – 1 July 2018
Three Semi Finals (including preliminary pitch) 23 July – 10 August 2018
Four Finals: Live ‘Pitch’ 8 September 2018
Five Finals: Post ‘Pitch’ Investor Meeting 8 September 2018

In 2018 the competition’s focus on innovation will continue to ensure that tomorrow’s owners look for highly differentiated services that they can provide to the Australian and New Zealand markets.

The National Student Business Plan Competition is open to all students studying pharmacy in Australia and New Zealand and will provide a total of $15,000 in cash prizes to the finalists (top three teams) in addition to registration, flights and accommodation to attend the Guild’s 2018 Pharmacy Connect conference.

The competition is an initiative of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia and is sponsored by Sanofi Consumer Healthcare (principal sponsor), EBOS (major sponsor) with continued sponsorship from foundation sponsors Gold Cross Products and Services and Pharmaceutical Defence Limited (PDL). The Pharmacy Guild of New Zealand is proud to support the competition, now in its fourth Trans-Tasman year.

Plastic bag ban – will it affect you?

The Queensland Government will enforce a state-wide ban on single-use plastic bags on from 1 July 2018.

This ban will affect all retailers – that currently use light-weight plastic bags (under 35 microns thick), including HDPE plastic, biodegradable, compostable, and degradable bags. Click here ( to find out which plastic bags will be banned.

The National Retail Association has developed a website (hyperlink to: to support businesses understand and prepare for the plastic bag ban.  There are factsheets (link to: resources (link to: and templates (link to: available to prepare your pharmacy, and educate your customers about the ban.

Contact us
For more information or enquiries
(Mon-Fri 8:30am–4:30pm)
Phone: 1300 110 161 Fax: 1300 110 819 Email:

Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Queensland Branch

132 Leichhardt Street, Spring Hill, QLD, 4000