Gongs for pharmacists delivering outstanding service to their communities

Community pharmacist and volunteer fire fighter Richard French OAM MPS

Five pharmacists have been recognised for outstanding service to their communities and to the pharmacy profession in this year’s Australia Day honours.

Phillip Greenwood, Richard French MPS, the late Nazminali Hudda MPS, Graham Edward Reed MPS, and Donald Charles Lawie were among the 506 people to receive a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) this year.

Each was honoured for outstanding service to their communities and to the pharmacy profession among 736 recipients of awards in the General Division of the Order of Australia. 

PSA National President, Fei Sim, acknowledged the honourees for their commitment to the community and the profession.

“The pharmacists recognised today have dedicated their lives to the health of their communities,” she said.

Who was honoured

A previous General Manager of PSA (1996–2007), Philip Greenwood, was awarded the OAM for ‘service to the not-for-profit sector, and to the community’.

With an impressive history of service, Mr Greenwood has previously been the chief executive officer for the John James Foundation, the business manager for the Australian Academy of Science (and remains a current volunteer guide), an education and administration officer for the Royal Australian Air Force, and a secondary school teacher. 

In service to his community, Mr Greenwood, the current Vice-President for the Cancer Council (ACT), has also served as the assistant secretary for the Wanniassa Probus Club, volunteered at Tuggeranong Police Station with the Australian Federal Police, and is a member and former president of the Rotary Club of Tuggeranong.

During his career in the Defence Force he was awarded the Australian Service Medal with Clasp SE Asia, the Defence Force Service Medal with 1st Clasp and the Australian Defence Medal. 

A pillar of his community, Richard French MPS was awarded the OAM ‘for service to the community of Muswellbrook’.

Currently a locum pharmacist in the Muswellbrook and Upper Hunter shires, Mr French advocates passionately about pharmacists moving to regions outside cities. ‘I would love to think [that this award] might encourage other people to consider … working as a pharmacist in the country.’ 

‘I really want the award to encourage young pharmacists to consider a career in rural practice and to get involved in their community,’ he said.

Previously a partner and pharmacist at Berry and French Pharmacy (1984–2019), Mr French served as a registration supervisor for a local pharmacy graduate from 2010–12. He was also very proud to mentor and tutor a local Indigenous pharmacy undergraduate.

Mr French, an active member of his local Baptist Church who has performed many leadership roles since 1985, also served as a member of the McCully’s Gap Brigade Rural Fire Service, where he was awarded the National Emergency Medal for the 2019–2020 bushfires. He was also a member of the Muswellbrook Chamber of Commerce and local coordinator for the Guardian Pharmacy ‘Guardian Angel Knitting Program’ from 2000–16.

The late Nazminali Hudda MPS was posthumously awarded the OAM ‘For service to the Nizari lsmaili Muslim community of Queensland’. After nearly 2 decades as a pharmacist in the United Kingdom, he became a Pharmacist and Manager on his arrival in Australia from 2001–04 at the Lakes Riveria Amcal Pharmacy, Lakes Entrance. He moved to Queensland where he was Pharmacist and Manager at Michaels Pharmacy, The Jetty, Redcliffe briefly from 2004–05 before moving long-term to the Woorim Surfside Pharmacy, Bribie Island, from 2005–2019 where he was Pharmacist and Principal. 

Mr Hudda was also a teacher involved in the establishment of Religious Education Programs at the Jamat Khana Prayer Hall of the Nizari Ismaili Muslim Community, a well as a member of the Mediation and Arbitration Committees, facilitator of various religious services and ceremonies, and a hall duty volunteer.

For 2 years, he was the head of the parent liaison team for the Religious Education Program on the Ismaili Council of Australia and New Zealand. 

A lifelong member of the PSA, Graham Reed MPS was awarded the OAM ‘for service to cricket’ – ‘a pleasant surprise’, he told Australian Pharmacist.

Outside his career in pharmacy, Mr Reed has dedicated his life to cricket, impressively umpiring 161 matches, including 80 first grade matches and two Test Matches from the 1960s to 1992 for the Sydney Cricket Association. 

Graham Reed OAM MPS

He has also been part of the NSW Cricket Umpires’ and Scorers’ Association serving as a volunteer member on the coaching panel, a member of the executive committee, a member of the Training and Examination Committee, and has been inducted into the Hall of Fame.

‘I don’t do it for money. I do it for the love of the game and the umpires that I know and respect. It’s a passion of love,’ Mr Reed said. 

All pharmacists, he suggested, should have an outside interest for balance. ‘You can be very tied up in your own practice in pharmacy and it is quite difficult time-wise to get out and about … I would suggest some sort of association, and sporting associations are good for that.

Former compounding pharmacist Donald Lawie was awarded the OAM ‘For service to the community of the Cairns region’.

In service to his Cairns community, Mr Lawie is currently the Founder and Lead of the Babinda Parkinson’s Support Group, and has been a guest contributor to articles for Grass Roots and Sabretacheand Wartime journal of the Australian War Memorial. 

Among other achievements he has served in the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services as a committee manager for the East Russell Rural Fire Brigade and has been a member of the Babinda Group, Far Northern Region, Queensland State Emergency Service. 

Mr Lawie has also served in the Australian Defence Force as a member of the Citizen Military Forces/Army Reserve from 1959–1962 and of the Papua New Guinea Volunteer Rifles from 1964–1970.