The Academy again has marked another year with wide spread acknowledgement as a leader amongst dental honour societies. 2010 will historically be regarded as a year where the world at large struggled with many issues on a global level. Financial security and the potential for outcomes previously thought impossible, occupied governments, corporates large and small, universities and ultimately, individual practitioners. It would hoped that philanthropic organizations such as the Academy would be immune to some degree from these circumstances. Whilst the Australasian Section has seen a small change in Fellow numbers, it remains committed to the ideals and goals so clearly articulated over generations by the past and present leaders of this institution.
Dentistry in this region remains a sought-after, highly regarded profession with a history of leadership amongst the health sciences and with a track record of excellence in respect of delivering successful oral health outcomes. Whilst 2010 has been a relatively quiet year for the Academy, preparations are well advanced at the time of writing for our next induction of new Fellows which will occur at the March 2011 Australian Dental Congress to be held in Brisbane, Queensland. Since our previous induction in Perth in 2009, the Academy has received many applications from deserving individuals and organizations whom have sought assistance based on the ‘credo’ of the Academy and its well established commitment to both dental students and our supporting academic universities. In assessing these applications, I wish to publicly acknowledge the role of my fellow Trustees in this Section. Drs Sawers, Meaney and Clausen and Prof Paul Abbott have provided outstanding leadership and guidance over the past 12 months. At a logistical level, Dr Patrick Meaney has provided invaluable assistance in enabling the maintenance of our membership database and the collection of our Fellow’s subscriptions. This database now represents an extremely valuable resource for a membership organization such as the PFA. His attention to detail and his capacity to deal with a diverse range of membership enquiries is both acknowledged and appreciated.
Personally can I also voice my public appreciation for the role of our Secretary-General, Judith Kozal. Her drive and enthusiasm for this Academy remain undiminished and she provides that special quality of care that has long been part of what marks this Academy as unique.
To our International President, Dr Steve Hedlund, this Section offers our very best wishes and grateful appreciation for his excellent leadership over the last 12 months. His board of management have a done a great job in driving and supporting the vast number of PFA programmes spread throughout the world. We wish him well in his transition to our new French President, Dr Hubert Ouvrard and the celebrations in connection with the 75th anniversary of the Academy. It has been a an honour to represent the Academy as an International Trustee and I look forward with great anticipation to renewing so many friendships when the Academy convenes again in connection with the American Dental Association meeting in Orlando, Florida.
Dr Mark Sinclair Section Chair and International Trustee, Section 8, Australasia. 22nd August 2010.