Order of Australia Medals for Pharmacy Alumni

14 February 2013

John Sidgreaves OAM
John Sidgreaves OAM

Two University of Sydney Pharmacy alumni received Order of Australia medals last month; the late John Vincent Sidgreaves for his service to pharmacy and the community, and Dr John Charles Schwarz for his service to international relations via his key involvement in the African AIDS Foundation.

Dr Schwarz graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Pharmacy in 1968. He continued on to earn a degree in medicine, which helped form the platform for his vast humanitarian efforts for which he was awarded the Order of Australia.

Dr Schwarz co-founded the African AIDS Foundation in 2001, a program dedicated to supporting actions and organisations to limit the spread of HIV infection in badly-affected Africa.Following stintsas a Medical Superintendant at a South African hospital, and a generalpractionioner in Elderslie, Dr Schwartz now lectures at the University of Western Sydney's Department of Paediatrics.

The late John Vincent Sidgreaves, former University of Sydney Pharmacy Materia Medica graduate and founder of Blooms Chemist Group, passed away on 16 December 2011, aged 75, remembered as one of the most respected and influential pharmacists in the country.

The formal honour came in recognition of Mr Sidgreaves' lifelong achievements and his immense philanthropic efforts toward the pharmacy community.

The Faculty of Pharmacy owed much to Mr Sidgreaves, who was a champion of pharmacy education. He supported several significant initiatives for the Faculty, including its largest fundraising campaign ever undertaken (securing more than $1 million in donations for the Faculty's building establishment fund in 2008). He was also instrumental in establishing a business skills education program for students; and the eponymous Blooms the Chemist - John Sidgreaves Scholarship. Sidgreaves also served on the Council of the Faculty of Pharmacy Foundation and the Dean's Community Pharmacy Reference Group.

"The Faculty of Pharmacy would not be where it is today without the incredible work and generosity of Mr Sidgreaves," said Dean of Faculty of Pharmacy, Professor Iqbal Ramzan.

"He was a brilliant man and exceptional leader in the pharmacy industry. His legacy here will benefit thousands of future pharmacists and he is most deserving of this prestigious honour," Professor Ramzan said.

Mr Sidgreaves was also an active force outside the Faculty and his successful Blooms business. He was a life member of the NSW Pharmacy Guild, serving as President between 1980 and 1984; a former National Councillor of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia; and a key patron of the Pacific Mission Group.

"John had a brilliant mathematical mind and a passion for passing knowledge on to young people," said son, Timothy Sidgreaves, himself a Faculty of Pharmacy alumnus.

"He loved being a mentor and always encouraged young people to buy their own pharmacies as he believed pharmacy was a great profession," he said.

Contact: Chris Beaumont

Phone: 02 9351 2311