Professor Rhonda Clifford’s life-long dedication to the practice of pharmacy in Western Australia was celebrated this week when she received the Eric Kirk Memorial Award. The award recognises excellence in education and outstanding contribution to pharmacy and is the highest accolade that an individual pharmacist can be given in the state.
“It was a huge honour to be recognised in front of my peers. This award really is a culmination of a lot of hard work, but I’m lucky to do what I love,” says Professor Clifford.
Currently UWA’s Director of Pharmacy the award acknowledges Professor Clifford’s unwavering commitment to education and mentoring and the immense amount of time and dedication it demands. Each year on top of her workload, she supervises an average of 12 Master of Pharmacy Research students and is currently also the principal or co-ordinating supervisor of nine PhD students.
“My teaching ethos is to enable Master of Pharmacy students to become life-long evidenced based learners, efficient problem solvers, and outstanding pharmacy practitioners.
“Helping develop the future leaders in the pharmacy profession is a huge motivation for me, and achieved through intensive mentoring and role modelling. It’s rewarding to work so closely with UWA Pharmacy students and help them achieve their professional goals,” Professor Clifford says.
While teaching and mentoring is a passion, Professor Clifford is also highly involved with curriculum development and prior to becoming Director, she co-ordinated and developed the Pharmacy Practice curriculum that makes up a large proportion of the content in the Master of Pharmacy program. The program has recently been re-accredited under her leadership by the Australian Pharmacy Council and received eight commendations for excellence in curriculum and teaching.
Professor Clifford makes sure to point out that these achievements were a team effort.
“Without the support and dedication of my colleagues in the UWA Pharmacy program and my amazing colleagues and mentors in the wider pharmacy community I wouldn’t have achieved what I have. I’m grateful to be part of such a supportive learning community.”