From Strength to Strength – Australasian College of Pharmacy (ACP) Leadership Changes

3 December 2020




The Australasian College of Pharmacy (ACP) has reached new heights in 2020, with increased membership, greater member engagement levels and world class learning opportunities for pharmacists in Australia and New Zealand. 

For many 2020 has been a year of great change and difficulty, but ACP members have embraced the opportunity to change and modernise the College to secure its future. The College is proud of its independence while members remain at the centre of its educational mission.

Under the careful and diligent leadership of the ACP President, Chris Owen, the College has been stabilised and is growing. The College has produced an industry-leading CPD guarantee, gained state-based funding contracts and admitted more Fellows to its ranks.

Chris Owen recently informed the Board of his intention to resign from the position of President after his recent nuptials, to spend more time on his other pharmacy industry duties and the Owen Pharmacy Group.

“Chris has been a vital driving force behind the College’s recovery and growth. We sincerely thank him for his service and his absolute dedication to the College’s mission of educational excellence,” said Rick Xynias, ACP Deputy President.

“The Board has recently undertaken a process to find a suitable and qualified replacement and I am delighted to announce Michelle Bou-Samra as the new President of the College,” said Mr Owen, former ACP President.

“Ms. Bou-Samra has been involved at all levels in the pharmacy industry for almost 30 years and is a well-known Fellow of the College. I have every confidence that the College will continue its ‘excellence in education’ mission and will continue its renaissance under Michelle’s leadership,” said Mr Owen. 

A practising community pharmacist and business consultant, Ms. Bou-Samra is the Strategic Advisor to the Fullife Pharmacies group and partner stores. Ms. Bou-Samra is also a Director for the Fullife Foundation, a charity that funds and supports projects to improve the health of women and children in Ethiopia.

“Michelle is a highly impressive candidate known for her collaborative leadership style. We’re sure she’ll bring a wealth of experience to the College and further enhance the value of membership for years to come,” said Mr Owen.

“I am honoured and excited to have been selected to lead the Australasian College of Pharmacy through its next era of excellence in pharmacist and pharmacy industry education,” said Ms. Bou-Samra.

“I am determined to continue the College’s momentum as an independent educational provider, which is resonating strongly in the market. My mission is to lead the College to even greater things for our members.”

The ACP Board also notes its sincere sadness at the resignation of Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Kathy Knack. Kathy is leaving to pursue a business opportunity with her family in Central Queensland.

“Kathy has been instrumental in the College’s turnaround and modernisation journey. We could not have done it without her,” said Mr Owen, former ACP President.

“Kathy’s business and pharmacy education skills have meant that she’s been at the forefront of pharmacy education for nearly two decades. Her contribution can be measured by the thousands of people who now enjoy employment across the pharmacy industry.”

Pleasingly, the College Board has invited Kathy to serve as a Director of the College, and she’s accepted.

“It was important to ensure that Kathy’s experience and pharmacy industry knowledge was not lost to the College and her business skills make her move to the Boardroom a coup for the College,” said Michelle Bou-Samra, ACP President.

“The ACP Board will now commence a comprehensive recruitment process for a new independent CEO with significant Registered Training Organisation (RTO) and member’s organisation experience.”

“We look forward to continuing to shape the future of pharmacy by providing members with cutting edge education and a CPD guarantee that four new topics are released each month.”

“In August we saw more than 1,000 pharmacists across Australia and New Zealand register to hear Professor Sarah Gilbert from the University of Oxford provide a clinical update on their COVID-19 vaccine development. We look forward to bringing members many more cutting-edge events,” said Ms Bou-Samra.

The Board unanimously recorded their thanks to Mr. Owen and Ms. Knack for their leadership and significant contributions to the Australasian College of Pharmacy, having overseen a period of considerable education and membership growth.

Media Enquiries: Kristy Ellery, Marketing and Communications Manager. P: 0447 722 225

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