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Creating regional opportunities for pharmacists

29 November 2019
Pharmacy alumna helps students and graduates find work in rural communities

The University of Sydney School of Pharmacy alumna, Sue Muller, has built a successful career supporting regional communities. She has also given generously to the university, facilitating rural placements for pharmacy students.

Sue Muller headshot

Sue Muller

After graduating from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Pharmacy, Sue Muller began working at the Macquarie Street Pharmacy in the Sydney CBD. Located in the heart of Sydney and in a bustling sector of specialist doctors, she found joy in her work making up scripts that were outside of the standard. The years that followed would see her working in pharmacies around London before returning to Sydney.

In 1987, while working as a community pharmacist, Sue started LocumCo, a recruitment agency which specialises in connecting pharmacists to community-based pharmacies and hospitals around the country. Her dedication to the field through LocumCo has seen her recognised in the 2005 Telstra Business Awards, winning the Australian Government Micro Business Award. She was also a finalist in the 2006 Telstra Business Women’s Awards and the 2016 Optus My Business Awards.

Now a successful agency running for over 30 years, LocumCo has filled roughly 8,000 jobs and just under 1,000 emergency rural locum positions through their Emergency Locum Service (ELS). Since 2002 the company has managed the ELS after winning the national tender to provide emergency locums to rural and remote Australia.

Through her work Sue says she has seen the “struggles that so many rural pharmacies experience” on a daily basis. As an advocate for supporting regional and remote areas, she actively encourages pharmacy students to undergo their placements in rural pharmacies.

Students will see first-hand the closer relationships with customers that develop in these settings, beyond the walls of the pharmacy.
Sue Muller

"It also offers the opportunity to gain broader experience across all aspects of community pharmacy and develop close relationships with other health professionals.”

To support students in having access to rural placements, Sue made a generous five-figure donation to the Sydney Pharmacy School in 2019 to fund the Sue Muller Student Placement Scholarship. Available to high achieving final year bachelor or masters program pharmacy students, it provides financial assistance to facilitate their placement period in regional communities.

“I see the scholarship as a way that students can grab the opportunities out there to experience rural pharmacy with the hope that they will see the benefits and the rewards and decide to take a permanent role in a rural area in the future.”

The contribution will continue to offer students rural opportunities in years to come, allowing them to pursue diverse careers in regional locations.