Though a serious occasion, the presenters, which included Ben Oldfield, principal pharmacist at New Zealand Clinical Research, took a lighthearted approach, dropping one-liners which produced some laughs.
The humour was balanced with an emphasis on the responsibility of the job they’re working towards.
“You should not think of this as a jacket of dispensing ... it’s a jacket of knowledge,” said Shane Scahill, head of the Auckland school.
“You’re the medicines experts in the room. You know your stuff and if you don’t know, you know where to find it.”
The ceremony was followed by the traditional photo on the foyer steps, nibbles and a mix and mingle with sector leaders.
Adding to faculty staff were Andrew Gaudin, chief executive of the Pharmacy Guild of New Zealand, Michael Hammond, vice-president of the Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand, Alison Van Wyk, group chief operating officer at Green Cross Health and Andi Shirtcliffe, chief advisor of pharmacy at the Ministry of Health.
Ms Shirtcliffe spoke enthusiastically of the future of pharmacy when students graduate in a few years’ time.
“There are loads of opportunities for pharmacists coming up. Te Whatu Ora are giving positive indications that the scope of pharmacy will be widening.”