Sam Tops The Nation!

Samantha Montgomery was awarded the title of Australia’s Pharmacy Student of the Year at the national finals in Sydney in August. Photo: QUT

Samantha Montgomery was awarded the title of Australia’s Pharmacy Student of the Year at the national finals in Sydney in August. Photo: QUT

High-achieving local lass Samantha Montgomery has added to her long list of accomplishments, recently being named Australia’s Pharmacy Student of the Year by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia.

A fourth-year QUT Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) student, Sam was awarded the title at the national final in Sydney. The annual awards showcase the skills of outstanding pharmacy students, who are assessed in a live clinical situation on their clinical knowledge and communication skills to identify the most appropriate course of treatment and advice.

Samantha grew up in Rainbow Beach, and is a familiar face to many as she worked in the family business Ocean Breeze Seafoods during school holidays.

Ocean Breeze owner, and deservedly proud grandmother Sandy Brosnan told us: 

“We are very proud of her achievement and hope this could inspire other young students to realise that they can have a great future.”

Attending James Nash State High School in Gympie, Sam served as Student Representative Council President in her final year. Graduating in 2016, she was awarded a cultural and citizenship distinction. 

Also a gifted musician, Sam was the Gympie Eisteddfod Grand Champion Instrumentalist and bursary recipient in 2016 – even though she only picked up an instrument for the first time in high school! Talented Sam plays cello, trombone, French horn, bass guitar, and other minor instruments. 

She took part in Eisteddfods throughout her school years, starting in Mrs Mason’s choir in Year 4 at Rainbow Beach State School.

Although clearly talented enough, Samantha chose not to pursue a career as a professional musician and became the first person in her immediate family to attend university, or work in a health-related field. She switched university degrees to pharmacy, after initially enrolling in clinical exercise physiology, also at QUT.

“I was after something a little bit different for a career in helping people out – so here I am in pharmacy,’’ Samantha said.

“I have the goal to be as diverse as I can be in the profession and give everything a go. I’d like to locum and travel Australia, become a consultant pharmacist and work in many settings to keep changing it up. That is the beauty about pharmacy – there is an endless list of things you can do with yourself.’’

Samantha said pharmacists filled a vital place within integrative healthcare, especially when it was often difficult for patients to access GP appointments.

“Patients are finding it more and more difficult to access healthcare, and they trust their community pharmacist,’’ she said.

“We can be the bridge of communication between hospitals and GPs, the hotline for patient concerns, the barrier to an adverse medicine event through intervention and problem solvers – especially in rural areas.”

What an astounding accomplishment Samantha! Your family, hometown, and region are so very proud.

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