Our Brisbane Team, One Year On
It has been an incredible journey for me both personally and professionally since opening the doors of amsBrisbane back in April 2013. Back then, it was not just a new job I was starting but the establishment of a brand new analytical entity in the Queensland market. Coming from a Quality Management position, it had been quite a few years since I donned the lab coat and if all of this was not challenging enough, my wife was also due to give birth later in the year to our second child.
The hardest challenge I believe for all managers at any level is the hiring and establishment of a good team. The appointment of my 2IC (Kim Van) in May 2013 has been one of the key aspects in the successful development of our new lab. Her meticulous nature and boundless energy has been a potent combination in helping me put together our currently small but very motivated and cross-functional team.
One of the other challenges we faced last year and one faced by everybody in our industry was the TGA. When usually it is the TGA requesting audits of facilities, this time round the shoe was on the other foot. We were desperately requesting the TGA to come out and audit our facility so we could start receiving samples. We got there in the end and in January 2014, our licence was issued. We could finally notify our clients (who I must thank for their patience) to start sending samples to us. A big pat on the back for Fergus our QA Manager for his time and effort spent during the lead up to the audit.
A key goal of ours and something I believe we have achieved in such a short time was to establish a presence here in Brisbane/Queensland. For its size, the pharmaceutical scene is quite diverse in our region including Biopharmaceuticals, Medical Devices and Consumer/Complementary Health Care products. Our Brisbane lab is able to cater to the needs of this diverse group of customers. We currently offer consulting and testing services in Environmental Monitoring, Water, TGO77 and Probiotic analysis. We also act as a local contact for other tests that are being done over at our Sydney site. By having a local lab to cater for time sensitive samples and the reassurance of a local contact to run any issues by, it has very much reinforced ams’ mission of Quality of service to clients.
We have experienced some fantastic growth over the last 6 months and a large part of that was due to our specialty in analysing probiotics. Our reach in this area has grown well outside of Queensland, to interstate and also to a few overseas countries. Being able to offer consulting in this area on top of the analytical services has been of great assistance to our clients and a great distinguishing feature of our laboratory.
What does the future hold for ams Brisbane? Time will tell I suppose. We have taken our first few steps in what is hopefully a long successful journey. We are actively engaged with both local major Universities and the Queensland Life Science Community to stay abreast of new research and opportunities. I am also an active community member of the Cosmetics And Pharmaceutical Special Interest Group (CAPSIG) in Queensland. CAPSIG is a special interest group of the Australian Society for Microbiology (ASM), which currently has two state branches, New South Wales and Queensland.
I cannot finish without making mention of the late great Dr Paul Priscott and impart some words of wisdom he gave to me during the set-up of this new venture for his beloved ams:
- Plans change, that’s why they are called plans.
- It’s all about quality, clients and samples will come when this is done right.
- Focus on what we do well, and that is Microbiology.
Before Paul passed away he alluded to me a vision for ams to establish a centre of excellence for Probiotic analysis. We have the facility, we have the staff and thanks to Paul we have a vision to strive for.
Thank you to all our clients and our colleagues down in Sydney who helped us in getting off the ground.
Brisbane Laboratory Manager
Brisbane office: 2/120 Bluestone Circuit, Seventeen Mile Rocks QLD 4073 Australia
Tel: +61 7 3295 0550 | Mobile: +61 421 756 235| Fax: +61 7 3295 0555