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Monash University > Publications > Monash Magazine > Around Monash

Leaders of tomorrow

Issue 18 | November 2006

Report: John Watts
Photography: Melissa Di Ciero

A new Victorian College of Pharmacy ambassador program is helping students develop leadership and engagement skills.

The leaders of the future are getting a head start as ambassadors for the Victorian College of Pharmacy.

Student ambassadors: Pharmacy students, from left, Mr Andrew Lee, Mr John Nguyen, Mr Paul Bui and Mr Matthew Loft.

A hands-on and dynamic initiative, the Student Ambassador Program utilises workshops, industry mentoring, representative roles and even team sailing to enhance the ambassadors' skills in team work, leadership and communication.

In its first year at the college, the program currently has 14 student ambassadors. Degrees represented include Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Science, and students range from first to fourth year.

Victorian College of Pharmacy Dean Professor Colin Chapman says the program was designed to develop leadership and an increased awareness among its participants of the college's role in education, research and community service.

"We all look forward to seeing our ambassadors develop as community and professional leaders over the coming years," he says.

The first ambassadors were selected in March 2006.

Student activities officer Ms Jessica Dobbie says the program takes those students who demonstrate the potential for leadership and gives them the chance to build on those existing skills.

"We hope that by sharing each ambassador's enthusiasm and knowledge of what life is really like at the college, the program will help to build strong relationships with the college's alumni, future students of the college and industry colleagues," she says.

Third-year pharmacy student Mr Paul Bui speaks with obvious enthusiasm about the benefits of being a student ambassador.

"It gives us a good opportunity to develop leadership skills as well as give something back to the college. It also gives us the chance to present ourselves as leaders," he says.

Mr Matthew Loft, a second-year pharmacy student, agrees: "I think it is really awesome to be able to develop skills, especially in terms of leadership. It is also great to be able to help others and to be a good ambassador to the college."

Mr Andrew Lee perhaps best sums up the general feelings of the ambassadors when he says that being part of the program is a "win--win situation for everyone".

"We get to be involved in industry and college events as well as being rewarded with a lot of educational programs and employment opportunities," he says. "I would recommend the program to any student at the college."

Other Victorian College of Pharmacy student ambassadors for 2006 are Ms Carol Gee, Mr Edmund Leung, Ms Chantal De Silva, Ms Julia Gilmartin, Ms Mary Poon, Ms Ming Chu Sze, Ms Rachelle Downie, Ms Ranelle Anderson, Ms Sarah Kouw, Mr John Nguyen and Ms Tracey Williams.

For more information about the Victorian College of Pharmacy Student Ambassador Program, contact jessica.dobbie@vcp.monash.edu.au.