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Collaboration and mentorship prove winning formula for manufacturing

Collaboration between business and education is critical for a strong Australian medicine manufacturing industry, said 2017 Manufacturing Hall of Fame Honouree and GSK technical lead, Philip Leslie.

Philip Leslie has pioneered a new approach to collaboration within the pharmaceutical industry and been instrumental in setting up partnerships with biotech and academic institutions helping establish Victoria as a thriving biotech hub.  His efforts have helped to improve processes at the GSK plant in Boronia and introduce new product concepts while providing training opportunities for university students.

Mr Leslie’s contribution to the industry was honoured at an award ceremony last night (May 9) hosted by Victorian Minister for Industry and Employment, Wade Noonan where he was announced 2017 Manufacturing Hall of Fame Honouree.  The award from Business Victoria recognises an individual who has made a significant and sustained contribution to Victoria’s manufacturing industry.

Philip Leslie said, “I am thrilled to receive this honour. Awards like this one encourage people to have careers in manufacturing. This is important as manufacturing promotes innovation, rewarding jobs, and a thriving economy. I would not have received this award without the support given to me by the people I have worked with at GSK and those in Monash University’s Pharmaceutical Science faculty, who have been so willing to openly collaborate creating some fantastic opportunities.”

Mr Leslie was instrumental in the formation of the partnership between the Monash Institute for Pharmaceutical Science and GSK, the Monash-GSK Australian Centre for Innovation and Industrialisation and helped demonstrate the benefits of collaboration for companies across the sector. Last year, this partnership expanded into the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre (MMIC) led by Monash University with funding from the Victorian Government and GSK.

Philip Leslie leads a team of innovators in charge of technical problem-solving at the GSK manufacturing site in Boronia, Victoria. He is a key mentor to the many students and graduates who participate in learning opportunities at the GSK site.

Dr David Morton, Associate Professor in the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences said, “[Philip] has inspired and guided significant numbers of careers. It is his drive for effective graduate pathways through student engagement in real projects, through his engagement with academic advisory boards, and his mentoring with individuals that has enabled a number of highly talented students to gain work experience and thrive. He has a unique passion for growing our Victorian pharmaceutical and allied manufacturing base, and I have witnessed Philip be the catalyst, architect and leader of a sequence of partnership initiatives with significant economic and innovation impact since the GSK-Monash success began.”

GSK’s manufacturing plant in Boronia is its largest manufacturing site in the southern hemisphere specialising in Blow-Fill-Seal (BFS) advanced aseptic filling and packing technology. The site has benefited from over $100 million in investment by GSK to expand its manufacturing since 2009. It currently exports to 58 global markets.

Dave Morley, Site Director at Boronia, said, “Philip has always proudly shared what we do at Boronia with the wider community through our partnership with Monash University and through the many students he’s mentored over the years. His infectious energy, pride and passion are seen by the whole site. This recognition by the Victorian Manufacturing Hall of Fame is a fantastic legacy after 29 years of contribution to GSK and the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry here in Victoria. ”


Bernadette Murdoch Sarah Roberts
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