Hunter pharmacists are proactively addressing their declining numbers and aiming to make the region more attractive to prospective pharmacy students by funding two scholarships at the University of Newcastle.
The $4,000 per year scholarships will assist pharmacy students in their first and second year of study.
Kempsey student Roharni Salleh and Ashley Durrant from Salamander Bay are currently being supported by the Newcastle and Hunter Valley Pharmacists Association (NHVPA) Scholarships.
Second year student, Roharni, plans to return to practise in a rural area upon graduation from her Masters of Pharmacy degree.
Roharni said the scholarship had helped to relieve the financial pressure of studying.
“This scholarship helped me pay for my textbooks and my placements to rural areas. I am very thankful for the assistance.”
Ashley, who is currently in her first year, said her scholarship had allowed her to stop working as a waitress and concentrate on her studies.
“I’m now able to focus much more on my studies and achieving good marks. The scholarship is also recognition for all the hard work I’ve put in so far.”
Pharmacist and donor, Chris Piggott, said the scholarships were assisting to attract good students to the pharmacy degree as well as helping to alleviate the severe shortage of pharmacists in the local region.
“We are now able to train our pharmacists locally and stop the brain drain to Sydney.”
Since its establishment in 2004, the University of Newcastle’s pharmacy program has grown from 27 students to 90 graduates.
University of Newcastle (UON) Foundation CEO, Louise O’Connell, said the community would ultimately gain from the scholarships.
“Students who receive scholarships are motivated to try their best in their studies. I would like to thank our local pharmacists for supporting the University of Newcastle and the pharmacy degree.”
Anyone wishing to donate to a student scholarship can contact the University of Newcastle Foundation on (02) 4921 7453 or visit www.newcastle.edu.au/foundation for more information.
Media contact: Tanya Carlyle, University of Newcastle Foundation Communication and Marketing Coordinator on (02) 4985 4178 or (m) 0407 276 061.
About the UON Foundation:
The UON Foundation is the platform for philanthropic support for the University of Newcastle. Donations help fund student scholarships and prizes, academic positions and research.