UNE Alumna wins NSW Intern of the Year

Published 19 March 2015

A University of New England graduate’s exceptional commitment to her chosen profession was recognised when she won a prestigious state-wide award.

Gunnedah born and bred, Laura Norman won the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s (PSA) MIMS NSW Intern of the Year award for 2014.

The award recognises the achievements of interns in developing skills for their professional career, including competency in practical application of theoretical knowledge and dedication to lifelong learning.

Laura said her interest in pharmacy stems from her school days and when she worked at Karen Carter chemists in Gunnedah in northwest NSW between school and university.

“After completing my Bachelor of Pharmacy with honours, I secured an intern position at Karen Carter chemists. The pharmacy is very involved with managing sleep apnoea and it became one of my focus areas.

“I find managing sleep apnoea very interesting particularly because of how the treatment helps people’s lives, giving them more energy and reducing the chances of developing chronic conditions such as heart disease,” Laura said.

It is through Laura’s dedicated efforts during a Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) screening campaign that 50 patients were recruited in a four week period with 10 recruitments resulting in doctor referrals.

Working with her tutor, Laura also explored a variety of avenues to give her the best possible education in different aspects of pharmacy.

“I have been involved in the recruitment of customers in studies such as ‘Patients attitudes and Preferences towards Insomnia Treatments’ run by the University of Sydney, as well as services such as Health Literacy Australia Campaign during which 60 individuals were recruited.

“I also received a Certificate of Recognition for my assistance with the Agriculture Field Day ‘Agquip’ Health Check tent and gave a talk to local students at St Mary’s College, Gunnedah about becoming a pharmacist and how medications enter the body.”

Laura plans to continue working in the rural community and pursue her travelling dreams.

Laura Norman

NSW Intern of the Year Laura Norman (middle) with Dinah Graham, Business Development Manager – Primary Care MIMS and Dr Stephen Carter, NSW PSA Branch Committee President