South West Healthcare Warrnambool in partnership with Colac Area Health

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Campuses where pharmacy interns will work: Warrnambool campus of South West Healthcare, with a 6-week rotation during the intern year to Colac Area Health.

South West Healthcare (SWH) provides a wide range of medical, surgical, allied health and mental health services. With a total of 216 acute beds over two campuses, South West Healthcare services a population in excess of 110,000. The Warrnambool Campus provides acute, rehabilitation and mental health care, together with extensive outpatient and community services.

SWH Pharmacy consists of over 19 FTE staff including pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and support staff. The Pharmacy team strives to provide best care’ for every patient at every encounter. This is delivered via a multi-disciplinary approach to patient-focused care, with clinical pharmacists an integral part of the team on the ward.

In addition to the clinical ward service, the pharmacy team also provides antimicrobial stewardship (utilising the Guidance approval software), aseptic manufacturing, outpatient dispensing and drug information. We also manufacture chemotherapy on site for our Day Oncology patients and participate in international clinical trials.

The pharmacy department values education for all staff. In addition to facilitating ongoing education for registered pharmacists, pharmacy students and our intern pharmacist, the department is also involved in the education of medical students at the Deakin Medical School.

Colac Area Health (CAH) is a smaller rural health service approximately 45 minutes west of Geelong on the Princes Highway. Colac Area Health host the intern for a total of 6 weeks split over two rotations. These placements give the intern a true understanding of a smaller health service, and they have the opportunity to operate with a higher level of independence at an early stage of training, with further exposure to other areas such as grand rounds with medical students, insight into veterinary pharmacy and HARP medication reviews.

Intern program information

  • One intern position is available in 2023 (government-funded)

The SWH pharmacy intern will experience all facets of hospital pharmacy while being nurtured in a small department of clinical pharmacists and support staff. Initial rotations will consolidate the intern’s knowledge of dispensing medications and counselling patients on medications and providing relevant information such as CMI and medication summaries. Gradually other skills will be introduced, such as aseptic manufacturing, antimicrobial stewardship and clinical ward pharmacy. Towards the end of their intern year, the candidate will be competent in all aspects of medication management and will be responsible for their own cohort of inpatients, under the supervision of a pharmacist. The intern will also have the option to have a rotation to Barwon Health to get the ‘big hospital experience’ in a specialty of their choice. (e.g. Cardiology).

Education throughout the year is our focus, and to optimise their internship our intern participates in Barwon Health’s weekly tutorials. Multiple practice exams are conducted during the year to ensure good preparation for exams. Both written and oral exams are practiced. The intern will also be offered the opportunity to participate in Monash University’s Intern Foundation Program, which enables the intern to obtain a Graduate Certificate in Pharmacy Practice from Monash University by recognising workplace learning.

The intern will work closely with our trained mentor, and the mentor will regularly meet with the intern to ensure they are meeting all required milestones. Dedicated study time will be provided for weekly tutorials, with extra time and a reduced workload prior to exams to ensure the intern is thoroughly prepared. At the end of their year with us, our intern will be a fully qualified and confident pharmacist ready to enter the hospital workforce.


Lisa Spence, Director of Pharmacy
(03) 5563 1630 –

Gavin Flett, Deputy Director of Pharmacy & SWH intern mentor
(03) 5563 1535 –

Intern positions in 2023

  • 1 total (DHHS funded)

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