All the action from Queensland’s Annual Therapeutic Update

2022 Queensland Pharmacist of the Year Lakis ‘Lucky’ Zeniou MPS celebrating the win with his family and PSA President Dr Fei Sim

From honouring pharmacy excellence, providing emerging practice advice and celebrating innovation – last weekend’s Queensland Annual Therapeutic Update (ATU) didn’t disappoint.

At the 2022 PSA Queensland Branch awards on Saturday night (15 October), new PSA Queensland Vice-President Karla Wright MPS thanked the recipients for their ongoing dedication to the profession.  

‘These pharmacists have gone above and beyond to demonstrate their leadership and commitment to the health and wellbeing of their communities,’ she said.

‘The 2022 QLD ATU has demonstrated the commitment and dedication of our profession, bringing together pharmacists from around Queensland to collaborate and celebrate our many successes.’

Here, Australian Pharmacist details the award winners’ career milestones and achievements.

Pharmacist of the Year – Lucky Zeniou

Lakis ‘Lucky’ Zeniou MPS has been working with the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (ACCHO) sector for more than 12 years, and has served as a role model and advocate for the integration of pharmacists into local ACCHO primary healthcare teams.

‘It has been a challenging year for all pharmacists and in that light, I feel very humbled to receive this award,’ he told AP.

Recalling his career highlights, Mr Zeniou said working for the quality use of medicines (QUM) program QUMAX, established by the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, was one of his most rewarding roles.

‘I really enjoyed my time travelling around Queensland visiting ACCHOs and surrounding community pharmacies,’ he said. ‘Forging partnerships from these visits was really rewarding.’ 

In his current role as Senior Pharmacist at the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH), Mr Zeniou and his team have provided oversight for the delivery of QUM initiatives within 19 South East Queensland ACCHO clinics for the last 7 years. 

I would have never guessed starting out as a pharmacist that I would be working within ACCHO clinics as part of a multidisciplinary team,’ he said.

Early Career Pharmacist of the Year – Elisha Noone

Elisha Noone MPS, who is passionate about palliative care, said winning ECP of the Year was ‘completely unexpected’.

‘I am very honoured to have won this award but also extremely grateful for the recognition of pharmacists’ involvement in palliative care,’ she told AP.

Ms Noone has held several palliative care-related roles at Queensland Health. Recently, she was the pharmacist and project officer for the palliPHARM project, co-designed by PSA, at the Brisbane South Palliative Care Collaborative.

As a valuable member of the palliPHARM team, Ms Noone provided education to pharmacists and other healthcare professionals about anticipatory medicines and timely access to these medicines. 

She also implemented a core list of palliative care medicines that should be routinely stocked by community pharmacies and held within residential aged care facilities.

‘If it wasn’t for the support of PSA and my team at Brisbane South Palliative Care Collaborative, I wouldn’t have been able to achieve any of this,’ she added.

Professor James Dare Queensland Pharmacy Graduate of the Year – Renee Buckland

Renee Buckland is a young pharmacy star to watch. After winning the 2022 NAPSA Wildcard Pharmacy Student of the Year competition, Ms Buckland threw her hat in the ring for a second time this year and clinched the graduate of the year title in Queensland.

As a junior pharmacy assistant, Ms Buckland knew she wanted to improve health care in remote and underserved communities.

‘Pharmacists in this town were well respected and valued members of the community as part of a multidisciplinary team and I very quickly knew that I wanted pharmacy to be my lifelong career,’ she said.

‘My goals for the future include continuing to build on my skills in order to be at the forefront of services delivered by pharmacists in Australia.’

Lifetime Achievement Award – Carmel Delahunty

Carmel Delahunty has been a pharmacist for 46 years, and has owned and operated several pharmacies, health food stores, perfumeries and photo developing stores throughout her career. 

She completed an Advanced Diploma of Nutritional Pharmacy in 1996, is certified as a Counsellor for Preventative Medicine Movement, and was a member of the Advisory Committee at the Endeavour College of Natural Medicine.

Ms Delahunty told AP she has ‘thoroughly enjoyed’ her time as a pharmacist, and looks forward to the profession’s exciting future.

‘I’m a community Central Business District (CBD) pharmacist, so I’ve specialised my skills in the needs of that community,’ she said.

Using her background in nutrition, Ms Delahunty was an advocate of magnesium for CBD workers who had stress-related neck tension and headaches.

‘They were hard working but they needed to be able to function well all the time, so they were very appreciative if I could provide health solutions and get them well quickly.’

One of the most fulfilling aspects of a life-time career in pharmacy is receiving feedback from patients, she said.

‘It was very rewarding to have people constantly let you know that what you had recommended to them actually worked.’

ATU celebrates the state of innovation

Delegates were treated to therapeutic updates across the weekend on areas of emergency practice, including Queensland pharmacist prescribing; monkeypox and pharmacist administered vaccinations; voluntary assisted dying; administering depot buprenorphine; the role of tele-otoscopes and pharmacists’ scope in rural health; cultural safety and the path to becoming a deadly pharmacist; and disability care. 

Closing the conference, PSA National President Dr Fei Sim celebrated Queensland’s prowess as a leading pharmacy practice innovator.

‘Vaccination by pharmacists would not have been possible 8 years ago. UTI prescribing 3 years ago, not possible at all,’ she said. 

‘I want to remind the rest of the country that those two major advancements in pharmacy practice came from Queensland.’