‘Earn your stripes and tell your story’: Matthew Rawlins receives 2019 SHPA Australian Clinical Pharmacy Award

Western Australia’s Matthew Rawlins has been honoured for his contribution and leadership in infectious diseases and hospital antimicrobial stewardship, receiving the prestigious Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) Australian Clinical Pharmacy Award for 2019 on the Gold Coast today.

Announcing the award on the closing day of Medicines Management 2019 (MM2019), the 45th SHPA National Conference, SHPA President Peter Fowler paid tribute to the impact of Mr Rawlins’ work in infectious diseases and antimicrobial stewardship as a clinician, researcher and educator on pharmacy practice and patient care.

‘Matthew brings great enthusiasm to both data-driven practice as well as the education and training of early-career pharmacists and technicians.

‘With 30 years’ experience in pharmacy practice, Matthew is at the forefront of clinical pharmacy practice in his field and has made an outstanding contribution to improving antibiotic prescribing and reducing the risk of the emergence of antimicrobial resistance.’

In his supporting testimonial, Dr John Dyer, Head of the Infectious Diseases Service at Perth’s Fiona Stanley Hospital, said ‘I believe Mr Rawlins outstanding professional leadership in infectious diseases pharmacy and antimicrobial stewardship – as illustrated by his broad participation on numerous expert panels and committees concerned with best practice antimicrobial prescribing – to be unparalleled in Australia.’”

Mr Rawlins, who is Infectious Diseases Pharmacist at Fiona Stanley Hospital and Sessional Lecturer at Monash University’s School of Pharmacy in Melbourne, thanked his family and many colleagues and collaborators, before noting several turning points that have shaped his career.

‘In establishing an early AMS program, we encountered opposition from some consultants as well as difficulty in securing engagement from some Infectious Diseases staff, as well as success stories in reducing broad-spectrum antimicrobial use.

‘I believe it is a fault in our publishing system that success stories are sought more than what didn’t succeed. Don’t omit the negatives, because humility is appreciated.

‘Be honest, say what worked and, just as importantly, what didn’t.’

Mr Fowler also acknowledged the exceptional field of candidates nominated for the award including Luke Grzeskowiak, Sven Marxen, Sally Marotti, Michelle Nalder, Jo Sturtevant, Natalie Tasker and Penny Tuffin.

Download the media release.