Tributes have been paid to Valerie Constable FPS, the first female President of PSA’s Victorian branch, who passed away recently.
For more than three decades, Valerie (Val) helped to pave the way to optimising standards of pharmacy education and practice, becoming a trusted mentor to many.
A humble and highly regarded professional, Val was a leader for women in pharmacy. She was a preceptor, mentor, and role model who always made herself available to provide support and advice to any member of the profession who sought her wisdom or assistance. Val’s principles are epitomised by Pharmacists’ Support Services (PSS), the anonymous volunteer support service she helped to establish, and led for many years.
In 1991, Val was the first female in 135 years to be elected President of the PSA’s Victorian Branch. She rose above the glass ceiling through outstanding commitment, integrity, and professionalism. For over 35 years, Val and her husband Bob provided patient-centred care to their local communities through their pharmacies in Footscray and Pascoe Vale in Melbourne. She was a mentor to numerous trainees, many of whom have gone on to be prominent members of the profession.
Val recognised the need for greater structure in pharmacy training and worked with other pharmacists to establish the Chapter of Pharmacy Practice Tutors, and co-authored manuals on medical conditions treated through pharmacies.
She was also a Board member of the National Asthma Campaign (precursor to the National Asthma Council) – involved with educating pharmacists in asthma recognition and management, and the development of the Asthma Management Plan.
Honouring a compassionate leader
Val was a trailblazer for Victorian pharmacists, forging the path for women in the profession to follow, said PSA Victoria President Dr Amy Page FPS.
‘Many Victorians will remember Val for her wisdom and tenacity, whether in one of her pharmacies in Footscray or Pascoe Vale, or as a leader of the profession,’ she said.
Her legacy will continue to inspire pharmacists for many years to come.
PSA National President Dr Fei Sim FPS also highlighted Ms Constable’s lasting legacy.
‘In 1995, with a group of similarly minded pharmacists, Val Constable set up the PSS to help peers experiencing stress,’ she said.
‘The profession is forever indebted to Val for her commitment to improving our profession, driving PSS in its early years. Val led by compassion and touched many hearts through her genuine support for colleagues and community.’