Our purpose is to advocate on key matters of concern on behalf of Specialist Paediatric Dentists and continually improve the standard of care in children’s oral health.
A brief history
A need for Specialist representation
By the late 1980s, the need for a separate organisation of Specialist Paediatric Dentists became increasingly evident. The need for an organisation that could meet in its own right and speak authoritatively with stakeholders within the government was deemed crucial. It was equally important to establish clear channels of communication with the Dental Board of Australia (DBA) and the Australian Dental Association (ADA) on critical matters of concern to Paediatric Dentists; issues such as ‘Standards of Care’ and the Medicare Cleft Lip and Palate scheme.
An Academy of Paediatric Dentistry, similar to those that existed in Europe, North America and Canada, was envisaged. Following a consensus the name ‘Australasian Academy of Paediatric Dentistry’, was adopted. Membership of the Academy was to be open to all dentists registered as Specialists in Paediatric Dentistry with their State or National Dental Boards.
Accordingly, during the biennial conference of the ANZSPD, held in Melbourne on November 4th and 5th, 1990, the Australasian Academy of Paediatric Dentistry (AAPD) was formed. There were only twelve Specialist Paediatric Dentists at the inaugural meeting on the 5th November at 8:00 am.
A second (organisational meeting) was held in Adelaide on 16th March 1991 in conjunction with the 26th Australian Dental Congress. The Third meeting (again a business meeting), was held on 10th March 1992 in Auckland (in conjunction with the First Asian Pacific Meeting). At this meeting the AAPD Logo was adopted. A Fourth business meeting and the First Clinical Meeting were held on 6th May 1993 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel Perth, when the original Constitution and By-Laws were approved.
On December 6th, 1993 all other International Academies were notified of the formation of the Australasian Academy. Members of the AAPD were expected to also be members of the ANZSPD. The ANZSPD would continue to focus on the oral health of children in providing professional development for all Australian and New Zealander dental practitioners and postgraduate trainees. The ANZSPD would utilise its membership; consisting of interested general practitioners, Specialist Paediatric Dentists, other dental specialists, such as Orthodontists, and interested ancillary staff to assist in public relations. The concept was that AAPD would be the specialist ‘political’ arm of Paediatric Dentistry in Australia and New Zealand.
During 1994 the AAPD Executive explored the requirements for Specialist Registration and Post graduate training. The fifth meeting and second Clinical Meeting were held on 24th August 1995 in Queenstown New Zealand.
Working Alongside Other Advocacy Groups
Future meetings were planned to coincide with the biennial conferences of ANZSPD to avoid difficulties in the attendance of AAPD Members at multiple meetings. The one-day clinical and business meetings of AAPD came to be held on the day preceding the opening of the much larger ANZSPD Conference.
It was recognised, however, that eventually it would be desirable for AAPD to hold separate meetings. The first of these was held on Saturday February 2, 2002, at the Cope-Williams Winery, Romsey, Victoria. It was at this meeting that the original AAPD website was proposed. Since that time the AAPD has met annually, independently of ANZSPD where appropriate, and in conjunction with ANZSPD when convenient. Members of AAPD continue to be active participants in and supporters of the ANZSPD while fulfilling their mission to advocate for Specialist Paediatric Dentistry.