Frankston Hospital’s first pharmacist – Noel McKinnon

Over a history of 52 years, Noel McKinnon has a special connection to Peninsula Health. In January 1971, with just a team of himself, he started the pharmacy in Frankston Hospital. By the time he retired in June 1993, he had built the team up to include 12 staff. Now, we have around 60 employees working in pharmacy across Peninsula Health sites.   

Noel met with the current Peninsula Health Director of Pharmacy, Nicholas Jones, and received a tour of the pharmacy at Frankston Hospital. Interestingly, Nicholas was born in the same month and year that Noel began his pharmaceutical career at Frankston Hospital. While on his tour, Noel was happy to meet Senior Pharmacist – Oncology / Drug Trials, Teresa Hennig, who he had hired and trained in his last years at Peninsula Health.  

Nicholas says it was great to meet Noel. “He was clearly a pioneer. He described how Frankston was one of the early hospitals in Australia to have pharmacists venture out from the basement dispensary and onto the wards,” explains Nick.  

“It was a change that has made an immeasurable impact on healthcare and the safe use of medication.” 

Current hobbies of Noel include learning the ukulele and studying history and literature through U3A. He is also an active member of Frankston Heights Probus. He says he continues to give to Peninsula Health due to living a privileged life and wanting to give back. Noel has been a regular giver to Peninsula Health for the past ten years and makes a donation to each appeal.