Dental professionals caring for children's oral health
A Brief History of ANZSPD
The Australian and New Zealand Society of Paediatric Dentistry was formed in 1988, by the amalgamation of the two bodies: the Australian Society of Dentistry for Children, and the New Zealand Society of Dentistry for Children. The Foundation President of the new body was Dr Bruce Tidswell and the Secretary-Manager was Dr John Keys.
The New Zealand Society of Dentistry for Children had been formed in September 1953. A meeting had been convened and chaired in Wellington by Dr [later Professor] George Davies, who was at the University of Otago in Dunedin at that time. In calling the meeting, Dr Davies was responding to encouragement from Dr Sam Harris of the American Society of Dentistry for Children. Dr G.H. Leslie was elected as the Foundation President and Dr Davies was elected as Secretary-Treasurer. At the same time, Dr Harris had contacted Dr Robert Harris, who was head of the Department of Preventive Dentistry at the United Dental Hospital in Sydney, with the same idea of encouraging the formation of an Australian Society of Dentistry for Children. It was to be another twenty years before the Australian Society was founded.
In 1967, the first national meeting of a group of Australian dentists interested and active in the care of children and those engaged in the treatment of handicapped patients was held at the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne. In 1972, a Victorian Society of Dentistry for Children, a Queensland Society of Dentistry for Children and a South Australian Society of Dentistry for Children had all formed separately, and it was at the combined Australian Dental Association and F.D.I. Congress in July 1973 in Sydney N.S.W. that a meeting of interested persons was convened and the Australian Society of Dentistry for Children was established. The Foundation President was Dr Roger Hall and Dr John Keys was elected Secretary. Coincidentally, the Chairman of the meeting in Sydney was Professor George Davies, who, by that stage, had moved from New Zealand to Brisbane.
Branches followed in Western Australia in 1974, New South Wales in 1976 and Tasmania in 1981.
The New Zealand Society of Dentistry for Children began to consider association with the Australian Society right from the time the Australian Society was formed, and this finally eventuated in 1988.
Every two to three years the ANZSPD Branches unite for the ANZSPD Biennial Federal Convention hosted in turn by each of the Branches on behalf of the Federal ANZSPD, and in alternate years, ANZSPD runs the RK Hall visiting lecture series.
ANZSPD runs an annual essay competition for undergraduate and postgraduate dentists named in honour of Professor Louise Brearley Messer, and after the untimely death of the long serving Federal Secretary/Manager, Dr Alistair Devlin in 2013, created the The ANZSPD Alistair Devlin Memorial Grant. Details of these can be found on our Competitions and Awards page.
The first ANZSPD website was launched in 2005, and the current website was launched in 2014.
1988 Dr B.A. Tidswell, South Australia.
1988 - 1990 Dr J.O. Lucas, Victoria.
1990 - 1993 Dr P.J. Gregory, Western Australia.
1993 - 1995 Dr P.J.W. Verco, South Australia.
1995 - 1997 Dr B.K. Drummond, New Zealand.
1997 - 2000 Dr R.P. Widmer, New South Wales.
2000 - 2002 Dr K.B. Hallett, Queensland.
2002 - 2004 Dr C.B. Olsen, Victoria.
2004 - 2007 Dr J.C. Winters, Western Australia.
2007 - 2010 Dr Nina Vasan, New Zealand
2010 - 2012 Dr Kareen Mekertichian, New South Wales
2012 - 2015 Dr John Sheahan, Victoria
2015 - Present: Dr Tim Johnston, Western Australia