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Department of Premier and Cabinet

Communities, Sport and Recreation

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Mary Catherine Polack OAM

Tasmanian Honour Roll of Women logo
Mary Polack

Awarded for service to Health

Born: 1941

Entered on roll: 2006


Mary Polack was born in Hobart in 1941. She qualified as a pharmacist in Tasmania in 1963.

Mary was employed as the Branch Director of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (Tasmanian Branch) for 20 years from 1978-99. As Branch Director, she was one of the driving forces in Tasmania in raising the standards of pharmaceutical practice for the health and well-being of the general public at a state and national level.

Mary’s outstanding contribution to the pharmacy profession in Tasmania is well known. Her dedication to her profession saw her voluntarily working many additional hours to ensure that pharmacy in Tasmania and Australia was at the best practice standard to meet community needs.

Mary became a major player in the Australia-wide development of Pharmacy Self Care, a comprehensive integrated health information program for the community, pharmacists and their staff.

Mary also developed alliances with stakeholders to ensure pharmacy worked hand in hand with government and other organisations to adopt health care practices that would benefit the well-being and safety of the general public.

She developed and delivered life-long education programs to move Tasmanian pharmaceutical practice to its best practice standard and to continue professional development of pharmacists. She was also the instigator of many national pharmacy health care programs designed to make health care readily accessible to the general public.

Mary continues to work for the benefit of the Tasmanian community and is currently involved in supporting Sudanese refugees in successfully integrating with the Tasmanian community.

In recognition of her outstanding contribution, Mary was awarded a Fellowship by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia in 1990. In 2002, she became the first Tasmanian to be elevated to Life Fellow, the highest honour that can be bestowed on a society member.

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