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Our History

ADA NSW Milestones

  • 1929 - ADA NSW Branch formation

    The Australian Dental Association (NSW Branch) has a long and proud history. It was formed as a company limited by guarantee on 28th May 1929 with the primary object to promote dental and allied sciences and maintain and honour the dental profession by:

    • Encouraging and promoting the study of the dental and allied sciences
    • Serving as an education policy development instrument
    • Promoting the continuing education of members and providing high quality services in post-initial dental education and training
    • Promoting public awareness of dental health by educating through programmes in educational institutions and in the media.

    The first home of the branch was on Hunter Street, Sydney with Dr Frank Marshall at the helm as inaugural ADA NSW president.

  • 1956 - Fluoride introduction for NSW

    Yass became the first town in NSW to introduce fluoride into general water supplies. Given its proven significant impact on oral health, ADA NSW advocated its widespread introduction for many years, and continues to do so today. 

    A dedicated Fluoride Committee chaired by Dr Derek Freeman was launched in 1958 to facilitate this campaign, and worked tirelessly over the next 15 years, addressing and educating scores of meetings, officials and the public on the benefits of this landmark public health initiative.

  • 1979 - Patient Liaison Service launched (Now Community Relations Officer program)

    Another important development for the Branch was the launch of the Patient Liaison Service in 1979. It allowed members of the public to contact a dental professional to ask questions about dental treatment and fees. Dr John Spencer became the first PLO (Patient Liaison Officer), and operated the telephone-based service two days per week. Skills and attributes required for the role included strong general knowledge of dentistry, tact, diplomacy and good communication skills. The Patient Liaison Service still operates today and has evolved into today’s Community Relations Officer program.

  • 1983 - Title of "Dr" granted

    After over 25 years of effort by the ADA NSW Branch to earn permission for dentists in the state to use the tile of “Doctor”, the right was gained in 1983.

  • 1999 - Dental Defence Advisory Service created (Now Advisory Services)

    One of ADA NSW’s most integral member services was launched in 1999: the Dental Defence Advisory Service was created to provide support and assistance in relation to legal matters affecting the dental profession. It was developed at a time of increasing litigious activity and regulatory requirements, providing members with non-judgmental support and information. Today, it is part of the wider Advisory Service which provides support to members, not only in times of stress, but also in times of growth and development.

  • 2003 - ADA NSW Centre for Professional Dental Development Limited (CPD) formed

    In 2003, the Branch formed a subsidiary company specifically devoted to continuing professional development. The company, ADA NSW Centre for Professional Dental Development Limited (CPD), houses a world-class training facility and has developed a variety of multimedia educational resources. To date, in excess of 8000 dental practitioners and support staff have attended training courses through this facility. 

    In June 2015, ADA NSW CPD was acquired by ADA NSW Branch to form a single governance entity. More details about ADA NSW CPD and the courses and services it offers can be found on the www.adacpd.com.au website.

  • 2015 - Equal representation of female and male dentists on ADA NSW Board

    With the new governance structure introduced in 2015, ADA NSW Council elected an equal number of female and male board members, including two recent graduate members.

    With increasing numbers of new graduates, of whom at least fifty percent are female, the new representative structure of ADA NSW has moved with the times.

    The following milestones are notable in seeing the organisation move to the current governance representation:

    Annie Praed
    In 1906, Annie Praed was a very talented Dentist and Dental Educator who was one of only two women to graduate and, incidentally top her year academically, in the first class of the newly formed School of Dentistry within the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Sydney in 1906. She was later awarded a Doctorate of Dental Science by the University of Sydney and she was the first woman to have achieved this degree at Sydney.

    In recognition of her contribution, the Annie Praed Oration was established and has been a significant event on The ADA NSW calendar since October 1951 when the first Oration was delivered in the Great Hall of the University of Sydney by Professor AJ Arnott then Dean of the Faculty of Dentistry at the University

    Dr Angonita Wallis
    On 25 November 1975, Dr Angonita Wallis was was elected as the first female Council member of the Australian Dental Association NSW Branch. Dr. Wallis, whose mother was a dentist, practised for many years at Berala, Sydney. 

    Dr Leonie Hutchison
    In 1994, Dr Hutchison was elected the first female federal Councillor of ADA Inc, representing ADA NSW. 

    Dr Deborah Cockrell
    Dr Deb Cockrell was appointed as the first female President of ADA NSW in 2013. As of 2014 Dr Cockrell is in private practice at Ourimbah and holds a conjoint appointment with Newcastle University.

    Dr Sabrina Manickam
    Dr Sabrina Manickam was subsequently elected as ADA NSW President in September 2015 under the new ADA NSW governance structure. Sabrina is a Senior Lecturer and Head of Discipline – Dentistry at Charles Sturt University Orange campus and former 1st Vice President of ADA NSW.