PHARMACY will be front and centre in an episode of a new ABC television series called Dream Australia, which aims to showcase migrant success stories in a similar format to the popular Australian Story program. The South Australian government is involved in the first season, with exclusive promotional rights to the show which will be broadcast on the international Australia Network reaching about 50 million viewers across Asia, South Pacific and the Indian subcontinent. Pharmacist couple Irfan and Sobia Hashmi’s participation in the program was showcased last weekend in a major story in the Adelaide Advertiser. The couple moved to Australia from Pakistan in 2003, and have set up successful outlets under their Risdon Pharmacy Group in a number of remote SA locations which previously were without a pharmacy, including Coober Pedy, Quorn and Orroroo. And ironically they decided to settle in SA after seeing the Pakistani flag flying in the main street of Port Pirie. “We drove into Port Pirie just to look around and there in the main street we saw the Pakistani flag with other flags of the world flying,” Irfan said. “We were amazed and the local people told us the mayor had started flying the flag to celebrate some other health professionals, and we decided to stay,” he added. At the time there was a significant shortage of regional pharmacists in SA, with the couple both studying for registration and postgraduate qualifications. Prior to opening their outlets in the small towns locals were forced to rely on the post for medications. They’re PSA members and part of the Pakistan Medical Association of South Australia and (of course) the South Australia Cricket Association. Irfan was the 2009 South Australian Pharmacist of the Year. And they’re also proud Pharmacy Guild members, as evidenced in the photo published in the paper on the weekend (above) where Irfan and Sobia are wearing their Pharmacy Guild tie and scarf.
WITH close to half of Australians expected to experience a mental illness at some stage of their life, research conducted by Griffith University found consumers believe community pharmacists are well placed to provide mental health promotion.