Passion for pharmacy

La Trobe alumna, Emily Griffin, named Victorian Early Career Pharmacist of the Year 2023

It was a placement in Year 12 that helped Emily Griffin (above right) decide on her life’s course.

Up until then, she just had a sense of wanting to give something back to the community, and to be based in regional Victoria where she grew up – but was unsure which career path to follow.

Once she began her work experience in a local pharmacy, it all became clear.

Emily found herself drawn to the challenge of helping people and was inspired to apply to La Trobe in Bendigo.

“The Pharmacy course at La Trobe was renowned for being a fantastic, hands-on course that produced highly employable graduates,” she said. “I was fortunate enough to receive a place.”

Supported by the La Trobe Institute of Molecular Science Regional Scholarship and the La Trobe Academic Excellence Scholarship, Emily has never looked back.

Graduating in 2015, she has worn many pharmacy hats, working in regional and rural community and hospital pharmacies, as well as in metropolitan areas. She has also had roles as a consultant, lecturer, teaching associate, and is a business owner and advocate for health and pharmacists on social media in her spare time.

Most notably, Emily helped develop the Australian-first Voluntary Assisted Dying Statewide Pharmacy Service. Co-authoring guidelines and information for the Victorian Department of Health, she was pivotal in setting up the processes for this new area of pharmacy in Australia.

Her overall contribution to the pharmacy profession led to the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia awarding her Victorian Early Career Pharmacist of the Year 2023.

“Every patient I see I treat as though they are my family member, and it is an honour to be able to serve patients,” Emily said in her acceptance speech.

Her memories of studying at La Trobe remain strong, and Emily says she is grateful for the opportunity to join a smaller cohort that allowed a tight-knit group to thrive.

Through her work as a rural pharmacy liaison officer for Victoria, she wants to use her passion for her role to support the next generation of pharmacists – and to inspire others to follow in her footsteps.

“I loved studying at La Trobe Bendigo,” Emily said.

“It has a warm, welcoming, and fun culture and the Pharmacy course was intense and challenging but produced pharmacists of a very high calibre.”

Many of her peers at La Trobe remain in touch, along with the academics who mentored her – and she says this "speaks for itself” on how much she valued her time on campus.

It is clear there are no regrets on the journey that started at a local Bendigo pharmacy more than a decade ago.

“I have achieved more than I thought I could or dream of in these seven years as a pharmacist,” she said.