Jane Dawson never expected a part-time pharmacy role in the New Zealand Defence Force would lead to her becoming the force’s director of health policy nearly 30 years later
From humble beginnings as a retail assistant in her local pharmacy during high school, to receiving a Distinguished Practice Award from the International Pharmaceutical Federation, Jane Dawson’s pharmacy career has been far from ordinary.
As a pharmacy student at the University of Otago, she went on to work in Dunedin Hospital before accompanying her husband to the UK, back to Dunedin, and up to Wellington. Facing unemployment after the closure of the Central Institute of Technology School of Pharmacy, where she had taken a teaching position, she took a part-time role with the New Zealand Defence Force while she was “looking for a proper job”. Nearly 30 years on, she’s still there. Janie Cameron spoke to Jane, who is currently the director of health policy for the NZDF, about her extraordinary career