Joshua Clements spent most of his life on the Gold Coast. Excited by the prospect of going to uni, Joshua wasn’t quite sure what he wanted to study but he knew that by ‘going local’ he would be able to receive the support he needed to succeed.

After a year exploring his options within the Griffith Health Foundation Year program and attending lectures with students from across a range of health-related programs, Joshua came to realise that his happy place was within the School of Pharmacy and Pharmacology.

“I was an inexperienced school leaver that began my studies with students from different walks of life, with different purposes and reasons of studying. Evolving at Griffith allowed me to grow quickly as a person and a student,” he reflects.

Joshua’s comfort in his decision to study the Bachelor of Pharmacy quickly turned into excitement as his understanding of the pharmaceutical industry grew.

“I started my degree not knowing much about pharmacy. I liked chemistry and felt secure knowing that the School had a high graduate employment rate. This was definitely a drawcard,” he admits.

“What I like with Pharmacy is that we are empowered to help people live healthier lives by ensuring they are getting the best care possible with their medication. We are considered one of Australia’s most trusted profession and it’s for a reason. Pharmacists are in an excellent position to affect health outcomes for patients.”

Currently in his fourth and final year of study, Joshua’s commitment to be part of the profession led him to be elected as the President of the Pharmacy Students’ Association (GUAPS).

Joshua Clements with fellow Bachelor of Pharmacy student Emma Hadwen

When reflecting on his clinical experience to date, Joshua is adamant that placements have been his greatest source of learning.

“My lecturers have always encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone. I took this to heart and went to Mount Isa to complete a compulsory placement. I also went to India to do an elective placement through a partnership between the School and the Manipal Academy of Higher Education,” he says.

“Griffith has a heavy emphasis on teaching students greater communication skills and cultural competencies.

“This trip to India gave me the opportunity to understand how the pharmacy industry functions in different countries and across different socio-economical environments while catering to a more diverse range of people and cultures; a key learning opportunity that would not have been possible had I stayed on the Gold Coast.

“There is a plethora of factors that can arise from a patient’s background which can affect their care outcome – including their health literacy, language and compliance. The placements that I completed challenged my knowledge and prepared me for all facets of the profession,” he concludes.

When looking into in the future, Joshua has yet to settle on a pharmacy career pathway.

“I am excited by the idea of using my clinical skills in a hospital setting. I also look forward to some time spent in an aged care facility at the end of this year,” he says.

“For those looking at studying pharmacy, my advice is to be open to all that Griffith has to offer and in particular, the School of Pharmacy and Pharmacology. With such a high diversity in small classrooms, you will find the necessary support to excel – not just as a number but as an individual.”

A few months after his graduation, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia awarded Joshua the 2020 James Dare Graduate of the Year Award.

Pharmacy and Pharmacology at Griffith offer students an exciting opportunity to learn in a vibrant, world-class environment with supportive staff and active student organisation. Our Pharmacy degrees can provide you with the skills, training and tools necessary to make a real difference in communities. Learn more.