South West Healthcare Warrnambool in partnership with Colac Area Health

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Campuses where pharmacy interns will work: 

Interns will be based at the Warrnambool campus of South West Healthcare, with one intern also having the opportunity for a 6-week rotation during their intern year to Colac Area Health.

South West Healthcare (SWH) is an outer regional health service providing care to more than 110,000 people from a catchment area that extends over most of the South West region of Victoria.

With a population of over 35,000 people, Warrnambool is only about 3 hours’ drive or train ride from the heart of Melbourne, and is the largest city in the region west of Geelong. Nestled at the end of the Great Ocean Road, Warrnambool boasts some of the best beaches in the state for yearlong swimming and surfing, as well as ample nature reserves for hiking and camping. The South West is also a renowned ‘foodie’ destination with local wineries, Timboon Distillery and a multitude of fine restaurants all within an hour of Warrnambool. The recently upgraded Port Fairy to Warrnambool Rail Trail (37 km) and Crater to Coast Rail Trail (40km from Camperdown to Timboon) offer keen cyclists the perfect route to see the sights and finish the ride with a relaxing brunch on a weekend.

Colac Area Health (CAH) is a smaller rural health service approximately 45 minutes west of Geelong on the Princes Highway. Colac Area Health hosts an 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 and support to operate with a higher level of independence at an early stage of training. They also benefit from further exposure to other areas such as grand rounds with medical students, insight into veterinary pharmacy and HARP medication reviews

Intern program information

Three intern positions are available in 2024 (1 government-funded, 2 hospital-funded)

South West Healthcare’s Pharmacy Department is a growing team made up of 17.5 FTE pharmacists, 3 Interns, 9.15 FTE Pharmacy technicians and an Administrative staff member.

SWH pharmacy interns experience all facets of hospital pharmacy with close mentoring by a team of enthusiastic clinical pharmacists. 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.

From the middle of their intern year, SWH interns are competent in all aspects of medication management and are given the responsibility for managing their own cohort of inpatients, working closely with a mentoring pharmacist. This embeds key skills of communication, prioritisation and time management skills. SWH interns are fully supported if they wish to experience pharmacy in a different setting, such as a local community pharmacy.

Interns have a weekly roster, and rotate every few weeks through different clinical areas including General Medical and Palliative Care, Surgical, Rehabilitation & Geriatric Evaluation, Hospital in the Home, Dispensary, Sterile Manufacturing & Oncology. Medication Safety and Antimicrobial Stewardship rotations are also included.

Education throughout the year is our focus, and to optimise their internship our interns participate in Barwon Health’s weekly tutorials remotely. These tutorials are in addition to weekly face-to-face meetings with the preceptor to discuss any issues with the program or other matters as they arise. Multiple practice exams are conducted during the year to ensure good preparation for exams. We also offer intern pharmacists the opportunity to complete a Graduate Certificate in Pharmacy Practice during their intern year at SWH, via the Intern Foundation Program offered by Monash University’s Faculty of Pharmacy.

If you are interested in a workplace that supports your learning and provides all you need for a stimulating and rewarding internship, then South West Healthcare would love to be the place you choose in 2024.


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

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

Intern positions in 2024

  • 3 total (1 DHHS funded, 2 hospital funded)

Other resources

Careers & Volunteers - South West Healthcare

Pharmacy - South West Healthcare

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Warrnambool | Where to stay, what to do and what's on in Warrnambool Home - Warrnambool (

Intern Timetable

Intern Orientation