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Curtin honours pioneer in WA pharmacy education

Media release

Curtin University today paid tribute to one of Western Australia’s pioneers of pharmacy education by naming a laboratory in his honour.

Jeff Hughes and Mr Geoff Tucker at the naming of the laboratory
VC Jeanette Hacket, Prof Jeff Hughes and Mr Geoff Tucker at the naming of the laboratory

Mr Geoffrey Tucker, 80, from Forrestfield, was recognised for his lifetime commitment and service to the pharmacy profession and WA community.

Mr Tucker’s work and achievements were celebrated at a naming ceremony officiated by Curtin University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Jeanette Hacket.

Professor Hacket said the University was delighted to recognise Mr Tucker for his outstanding contribution to pharmacy education. “He played a key role in the development of the first three-year, full-time academic course in pharmacy in Western Australia, which commenced in 1964.

“As Acting Head of the Western Australian Institute of Technology (now Curtin University) School of Pharmacy, Mr Tucker focussed on providing pharmacy students with practical, hands-on experience during their degree.

“He proposed establishing a ‘model dispensary’ where students could practise their prescription dispensing skills. This idea, considered pioneering at the time, is still the model used today to teach pharmacy students across Australia,” Professor Hacket said.

“The ‘Model Pharmacy’ teaching space in Curtin’s multi-million dollar, purpose-built pharmacy facility ensures our students gain an authentic experience in a simulated consulting and dispensing environment, which includes a state-of-the-art robotic dispensing system.”

Mr Tucker was dedicated to the concept of lifelong learning and helped to introduce a number of postgraduate pharmacy diplomas at Curtin, which were eventually extended to master and PhD offerings.

In 1953, Mr Tucker received the Webster Memorial Gold Medal for excellence in pharmacy studies and in 1968 became an Honorary Member of the Pharmaceutical Society of Western Australia in recognition of his exceptional input to pharmacy education.

The newly named Geoffrey Tucker Laboratory, in Building 300 at Curtin’s Bentley Campus can accommodate 90 people, and is used by students across the University.