Pharmacy valedictorian recognised by national organisation as Graduate of the Year

20 Dec 2021

UQ Bachelor of Pharmacy graduate and valedictorian Samantha King has received the Professor James Dare Pharmacy 2021 Queensland Graduate of the Year Award, from the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA).

Ms King said she was honoured to not only be recognised for her academic efforts by the university, but also by industry representatives as she embarks on the next stage of her career journey.

“I’ve always known I wanted to pursue a career in healthcare, but it became clear that pharmacy was my career of choice when I grew to understand the impact that modern medicine has had on the world around me,” Ms King said.

“In recent years, the development and expansion of pharmacists’ scope of practice has only further cemented my passion for this ever-growing industry.”

During her time at UQ, Ms King has participated in numerous volunteer student-pharmacist leadership positions.

This includes acting as the Publications Chair and Secretary for the Queensland Pharmacy Students’ Association (QPSA), Professional Development Executive Director and Secretary for the National Australian Pharmacy Students’ Association (NAPSA) and a UQ student mentor for the School of Pharmacy.

Other highlights include rural placement with Allens Pharmacy in Goondiwindi Queensland, attending the NAPSA congress in Newcastle and attending the Australian Pharmacy Professional Conference on the Gold Coast.

“None of my achievements would have been possible without the unwavering support of my family, peers and mentors from within the pharmacy community,” Ms King said.

“I’d like to provide special acknowledgements to my friends and colleagues from within NAPSA, QPSA and PSA and of course the staff and academics from the UQ’s School of Pharmacy.”

For those thinking about studying Pharmacy, Ms King’s top three tips include; getting involved in every way possible, pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and using experiences to forge new friendships and connections.

“My experiences have not only strengthened my professionalism and confidence working in teams but have helped me discover newfound friendships and passion for my profession,” Ms King said.

“In my final year of study, I pushed myself to travel out west to a rural community and it was undeniably the best placement experience I’ve had.

“It was fantastic to get involved as pharmacy paved the way for vaccination accessibility to vulnerable populations across the border in Northern New South Wales- such as the Toomelah Indigenous Mission.

“Through my involvement in the PSA’s Early Career Pharmacist Working Group and now the Communities of Special Interest Group Forum, I’ve discovered support networks within my profession who’ve helped guide and empower me through my final year of pharmacy study.”