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Annual Report for Hawaii Board Meeting

Posted November 16, 2009

The last 12 months for the Academy’s Australasian Section have provided the opportunity to progress its profile and involvement throughout the Pacific region. In keeping with its Charter, the Academy again directed its resources to both identify and acknowledge dental students of excellence in dental schools throughout the Commonwealth and surrounding countries. Student Awards of Merit and Academy Foundation Student Scholarships continue to be distributed to grateful beneficiaries and appreciative academic staff.

In March 2009, the Australian dental profession gathered for its biannual congress in Perth, Western Australia On a glorious morning, the Australasian Section of the PFA met on Friday March 13th for their traditional Induction Breakfast. At a spectacular glass-lined venue over-looking the beautiful Swan River, Fellows from throughout Australia came together immediately prior to the opening of the Congress scientific program.

Special guests of the Academy included Dr Neil Hewson, Federal President of ADA Inc, Dr John Owen, (PFA Inductee) Congress Chairman and President of the Dental Board of Western Australia, Dr Shane Fryer, Vice-President ADA Inc, Dr Anthony Poli, (PFA Inductee), President, ADA Western Australia Branch, Prof Paul Abbott, Dean and Head of School, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Western Australia and Mr Robert Boyd-Boland, CEO ADA Inc. Section Trustees, Dr Patrick Meaney (NSW) and Dr Rick Sawers, (SA) were also in attendance.

We were also honoured to host Dr Leynesh Gebrehouit Woldu, an Eritrean dentist who almost single handedly carried on the education of new dentists over 40 years in the war torn state of Eritrea. She provided an inspiration for all who attended the breakfast.

Section Head and Australasian Section Trustee, Dr Mark Sinclair gave the opening address before 140 guests. He conveyed the best wishes of PFA President Dr Charles Eller and President-Elect Dr Steve Hedlund. Dr Sinclair’s address focused on the role of bodies such as the PFA in the wider discipline of dentistry and the special position that this unique profession occupies in the wider community. He called on all PFA Fellows and especially those about to be inducted, to acknowledge the role that their universities played in the progression of their individual careers.

The PFA Australasian Section remains active and supportive of all dental schools throughout the Commonwealth, New Zealand and Fiji. The profile and acknowledgement of the Academy continues to rise. The calibre of our current Inductees and the increase in Western Australian PFA Fellows in particular, ensures the position of the Academy within the dental profession in Australasia.

Dr Sinclair also oversaw the Induction of forty new Fellows, (11 in absentia) and presented the inductees with the PFA pins and certificates. Master of Ceremonies, PFA Trustee Dr Patrick Meaney concluded the breakfast at approximately 8.30AM. Our next induction will take place in conjunction with next Australian Dental Congress, to be held in Brisbane, Queensland in March 2011.

On a far sadder note, the conclusion of our induction meeting coincided with the arrival of the news of the passing of Dr Richard Kozal, long-time Secretary General and international figurehead of the PFA. All Australasian Fellows were saddened by this tragic event and join in passing, with the international dental community, our sincere condolences to the Kozal family. He will be truly missed.

With the conclusion of the Trustee term of Dr Dexter Bambery, we were delighted to announce that Prof Paul Abbott from the University of Western Australia has kindly accepted the position of Trustee for this Section. Prof Abbott has a truly international reputation in endodontics and is well known within the profession in Australia. We welcome and acknowledge him warmly.

Finally, I would like to take this public opportunity to acknowledge the role of this Sections’ other Trustees who include Dr Patrick Meaney (NSW), Dr Rick Sawers (Sth Australia), and Dr Gerry Clausen (Vic). Patrick has been pivotal for his role in maintaining our membership database and subscriptions, Rick for his support, advice and organization of the Sth Australian dinner, and Gerry, for his great work in assessment of student awards of excellence. To these very supportive colleagues I say a very special thank you. The Academy’s profile within this region continues to grow and evolve. The role of the office of the Secretary General is pivotal in this development. I would like to personally thank Judith Kozal for her great assistance in the smooth running of our Academy. Her input, advice and assistance in preparation of awards and certificates have proved invaluable.

The Academy looks forward to 2010 and its continued position as a pre-eminent dental honour society committed to the profession and its students in this region.

Dr Mark Sinclair BDS LLB

International Trustee Section 8 (Australasian Section)

August 23, 2009