Pharmacists Secure $60,000 Sydney University MBA Scholarships

Health sector executives are the latest recipients of two prized Sydney University MBA scholarships worth $60,000.

Pharmacist Kate Woods has been awarded the Anstice MBA Scholarship for Community Leadership while Michael Quach has been awarded the Alek Safarian MBA Scholarship.

Ms Woods will use the scholarship to advance her career in the NSW public health system and lead sustainable healthcare initiatives within the not-for-profit sector.

She began her career in the NSW public health system after graduating from the University of Sydney’s Master of Pharmacy in 2015 – now she has been awarded an opportunity to refine her leadership skills and take her career to the next level.

From working in Rwanda on a cardiac surgery program to her current role as Dispensary Lead Pharmacist at Calvery Mater Hospital in Newcastle NSW, Kate’s career in the healthcare industry has presented many great opportunities.

“Since graduating from the University of Sydney Master of Pharmacy program, I have enjoyed a rewarding career working for NSW Health,” she said.

After completing her postgraduate studies, Kate landed a highly sought-after hospital internship at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. She continued to forge her career in the NSW public health system, securing roles at hospitals within the Newcastle area.

More recently, Kate became a part of a not-for-profit organisation committed to developing a sustainable cardiac surgery program. Kate has travelled to Rwanda twice to provide her expertise, as well as supporting the local pharmacy and nursing department from afar.

Kate said she hopes to continue sharing her knowledge and experience with third-world governments and organisations to initiate change in the public health industry.

“This opportunity has given me great insight into global healthcare and inspired me to take my career to new heights and one day share my knowledge and experience with third-world governments and organisations,” Kate said.

Beyond her role as a hospital pharmacist, Kate is a proud mother of two children – Both roles she loves in equal measure. Kate has experienced firsthand the setbacks many working parents continue to face including the gender pay gap, unconscious bias in recruitment decisions and resistance to workplace flexibility.

“Motherhood has been a barrier to my career progression. Frustrated by this, I sought to raise awareness in my workplace, and with the support of the director of pharmacy, calculated our department’s gender pay gap,” Kate said.

This work was presented as an oral presentation at the National Hospital Pharmacists conference last year and was published as a feature article to celebrate International Women’s Day in the organisation’s flagship journal GRIT.”

The Anstice MBA Scholarship for Community Leadership supports emerging leaders in community organisations and is valued at more than $60,000 for up to three years for a student enrolled part-time.

Alek Safarian MBA Scholarship

Michael Quach, Chief Pharmacist for the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District of NSW Health, has been given the opportunity to develop his senior leadership skills and take his career to the next level being awarded the Alek Safarian MBA Scholarship, valued at more than $60,000.

The scholarship was established from the generous donation of alumnus Alex Safarain to support emerging leaders in the pharmaceutical industry. The scholarship is valued at more than $60,000 for up to three years for a student enrolled part-time.

Graduating from the University of Sydney’s Bachelor of Pharmacy in 2015, Michael’s career in the public health system shows his unwavering dedication to the pharmaceutical industry.

Beyond securing sought-after leadership roles in NSW public hospital sector, Michael has collaborated with his colleagues across projects spanning from clinical trial start-ups and research conduct to governance management.

“Working at the forefront of medical research with the potential for discovery and innovation to develop new therapies for patients, continues to be an area of exploration and expansion I am deeply passionate about,” said Michael.

“My zest to continuously and creatively solve problems stems from my desire to support people at their most vulnerable moments in life, with the resources and technologies I have available.”

From undergraduate to postgraduate studies, Michael continues to embrace academia as a conduit to accelerate his career as an emerging leader in the pharmaceutical industry.

When exploring further study options, the University of Sydney part-time MBA appealed to Michael’s needs. Michael said he is excited to begin a transformative journey towards professional development and expand his network.

“In undertaking the rigorous MBA program, I expect to be challenged in thought, technical ability, and entrepreneurship. These skills will enable me to apply theory into real-world practical solutions that will challenge the status-quo,” Michael said.

“I am looking forward to the gateway of vast and diverse network of individuals who share a passion for business and innovation. The exposure to engaging professors, colleagues and industry leaders will expose me to a wealth of perspectives, ideas and experiences, enriching my worldview and providing opportunities for friendships and collaborations,” Michael said.

Ben Ready
Ben Ready founded MBA News in 2014 and is the Managing Editor. He is a former business and finance journalist with Australian Associated Press (AAP) and Dow Jones Newswires in London. Ben completed his MBA in 2012 and was awarded the QUT GMAA Entrepreneurship Prize. He is also the founder and Managing Director of RGC Media & Mktng (