The Pharmacy Forum Recap Day Two

Day Two

As promised, below is our recap of Day Two at the Pharmacy Forum.



Inspiring Others, Working for Others, Advocating for Others Wellbeing

Presenter: Deng Adut

This powerful presentation by Deng Adut certainly puts your perspective back into place and how lucky we are to live and call Australia home.

Deng is known as a child soldier turned successful lawyer. In 2017, he was name NSW Australian of they year. So how did his life change quite significantly? Deng was born in Sudan. His father had 6 wives and 43 children. Although he was raised in a bigger than normal sized family, Deng clearly loved his mother and had a happy childhood.

At the age of 6, he was taken from his beloved mother by the Sudan Liberation Army. He was forced to walk to Ethiopia with other children with minimal food. At such a young age, he was already watching other children die.

As a child soldier where he was trusted with an AK-47 assault rifle and other weapons. The Sudan People’s Liberation Army brainwashed these kids and subjected them to a horrific life that no child should know of, their innocence ripped away from them. An unfortunate infected foot plagued him with infection and excruciating pain. At this point he was propositioned to choose death however, he decided to be resilient and chose to keep on living.

When he was 11, his older half-brother smuggled him out from the army through a sack of corns. He was blessed that day as usually all sacks were stabbed brutally checked to ensure now one is being smuggled. He then spent some time in a refugee camp in Kenya before when he was 14, him and his brother was granted refugee status and a visa to Australia.

After reaching the shores of Australia, Deng did not know how to speak English and had little education. At 15, the Wiggles became his savour where he taught himself English while watching the show with his nephew. He then went on to TAFE to further educate himself. He also started an Accounting diploma before changing his degree to law and went to a university to complete his law degree on a scholarship. From here, he also went to complete a master’s in criminal prosecution.

Deng founded the John Mac Foundation which is used to help provide better education to students from refugee backgrounds. So far 9 people have been recipients of this scholarship. Deng has also written a book, Songs of a War Boy, in which all funds and proceeds on the sale of the book are going into his foundation.

Deng’s life changing story shows that resilience is key and how you shouldn’t wait for tomorrow. To end on a good note, Deng returned to Sudan in 2012 where he was re-united with his mother who was still living in the very home from where he was ripped away from.


IR and Smart Rostering

Presenter: Kate Post from Pharmacy Guild of Australia

Kate did a great presentation outlining on how to manage and review their staff and ensure the HR management foundations are properly laid out.

Your staff are an important part of your business and how they run. Some important items taken from this session that you should be aware of are as follows:

·         Ensure your letter of offer is presented to your staff member and that it clearly states the job description and duties they are expected to undertake.

·         You need to ensure your rostering is based on operational needs and not the needs of the staff. When rostering and wondering how much staff to roster, look at the store’s busy times and what skill sets are required.

·         Rostering should be made easy so find technology that will help you with roster and give you an idea of how much wages you will be spending on each day.

·         For record keeping, ensure you retain employee records for 7 years.

Some common issues with payroll and HR include the following:

·         Casual employees – Are your employees casual? Or should they be on full/part time? Casual shifts should not guarantee an employee a shift. You should be rostering your full and part timers and use casuals for any remaining gaps to complete your efficient rostering.

·         Contractor Vs Employee – There is no single requirement to determine this and you must review a multiple of factors to help determine what they are. Some factors to review include degree of control how work is performed, work hours, expectation of work done, risk/liability if something goes wrong, superannuation and leave entitlements, tools and equipment, tax liability and method of payment.

·         Leave management – Make sure you have policies in place that employees can refer to. Remember you can always say no to leave requests as you need to roster based on your business needs.


How to communicate without saying one word

Presenter: Jan Collins

This delightful presentation delivered by Jan Collins was all about customer experience. She tackled the topic of how you must be prepared for customers to judge you based on tiny details, and how to impress your customers when they first enter your pharmacy.

Jan discussed how customer will judge your pharmacy through visual cues, body language and your staff before anyone says a word. The small details have a great impact and its important to understand what your pharmacy is famous for. Is it the customer service? The great product? Or is simply the convenience? Once you understand what value your business provides to the community, you can leverage those elements to create more opportunities.

Another clever take away from Jan’s presentation is doing ongoing audits for your pharmacy.

The audit included:

  • Go outside and look at what the customer sees when they enter the store.

  • Walk around your store and look for anything that needs to be replaced, fixed or cleaned.

  • Ask your customers and team members for feedback about the pharmacy.

  • Look at your merchandising and whether there are any opportunities to improve.

Overall, it was a great presentation with Jan providing examples from her own experiences. She had some great slides so if you’re interested contact the Guild for a copy.

Build your identity and connect with your community

Presenter: Meg Coffey

Meg Coffey is one of Western Australia’s leading social media educators and public speakers. She also runs her own social media agency Coffey & Tea specialising in tourism and hospitality. Her presentation shared tips for your growing your social media presence.

She started off the presentation by sharing one interesting stat. That 93% of buying is influenced by social media (Source: @equalman). This proves that any business should be seriously considering a social media strategy to encourage customers to buy from them (and not their competitor). Meg then went on to share more stats from the HootSuite Global Report and The Yellow Report (Australia). One other interesting local statistic was that Australian’s spend on average 1 hour, 31 minute per day on social media (not on their phone but on social media). Therefore, pharmacies should be seriously considering a social media platform to communicate to their patients.

Meg goes on to share some key elements of social media. These included messaging, understanding both your brand and customers, content pillars and social media best practises. Below we share our favourite tips.


1.       Your message

Meg discussed how social media should be an extension of your brand. So, it’s vital to ensure that you truly understand what your brand values are and how you will communicate this to customers online. Your social media strategy must complement your traditional methods of advertising and marketing.

2.      Understanding both your brand and customers

The next tip also ties in with your messaging. Take some time to properly understand what your brand is all about and how to expand this into social media. For example, if your brand is all about women’s health, then this needs to be showcased on your social media channels.  

Secondly, understanding your customers is vital when building a solid social media strategy. Social media is all about engagement and a two-face communication. So, if your customers are not interested in your posts and activity online, then you will not see results. Your must understand what makes your customers tick and how to enhance customer engagement with your brand.

3.       Content

Meg then went on to discuss some ideas of content for your social media.

These included:

  • Behind the scenes

  • User-generated content

  • Product demonstrations

  • Educational/knowledge sharing

  • Team stories

Meg at this point reminded the audience that your content must be in line with your brand’s personality and message.

4.       Best Practices

Some of the best practices that Meg discussed were:

  • Stay on brand

  • Quality over quantity with posts

  • Select the right social media platform for your pharmacy

  • Create a consistent theme

  • Make your profiles have the same style, filter and editing for posts

Meg’s presentation was informative, engaging and very timely for attendees. Why was it timely? Because the traditional practices of marketing for small business has evolved rapidly in the last five years. Its no longer an option to sit in the grandstand and watch everyone else on social media. To build a community of people who engaged and love your brand, you must have a strong social media strategy. So, we hope that you take these handy tips and investigate what you can do to improve (or kickstart) your social media strategy.

Day Two of the Forum was great with some amazing speakers. Its nearly been two weeks since the Forum so, what actions have you made within your pharmacy? Conferences are great educational tools however, its what you do post the event that has the most impact. Ensure you are on track with implementing what you learnt from the Forum and remember to always keep learning.

We hoped you enjoyed our annual Pharmacy Forum recaps and stay tuned for some more blogs coming soon!