ADAVB Chief Executive Officer's Comments
June 2017 Hide Comments
As some members will know, when I was asked at interview how long I would spend in the role of ADAVB CEO, I was caught unprepared, and gave a hesitant response along the lines of ‘about five to seven years’. I ventured to suggest that less than five would not offer the ADAVB a reasonable return on investment, while more than seven might see me turn ‘stale’.
This month marks my last in the role of ADAVB CEO after 26 years of service, so I clearly underestimated the complexity and richness of the work offered in supporting the profession.
I have considered it a great privilege to work with so many dedicated and altruistic people during my time with the ADAVB, both among the members, the staff, and more broadly in the health sector. Each field can see itself as the most important in society, and when I left education
after spending the first half of my career in schools and education policy roles, I recall the incredulity of some of my then colleagues as they wondered why I would leave the vital educational field to go to work for dentists.
Thankfully, I was not afflicted with their myopia, and recognised that the dental profession offered meaningful engagement with equally worthy issues, and opportunity to play a role in delivering important benefits to the community. I have been grateful for the opportunity to make contributions to complex and significant policy debates, health promotion, and the promotion of ethical and reflective practice.
Professional values apply across fields, and every day I have spent working for the ADAVB has demonstrated that. I’d like to acknowledge my many dental mentors and guides, who helped me to understand the issues, the drivers of these problems, and the range of stakeholder views we needed to recognise in our responses. I must also acknowledge the numerous partners who have willingly joined forces with us during my tenure to achieve great things for members and the community we all serve.
Over such a long span of time, it is impossible to note each and every significant project or program, but if pressed to identify the top three, the following might qualify:
  • Establishment of the eviDent Foundation, which embodies the commitment of the profession to engage in reflective practice and to forge a partnership between practitioners and academics to improve the quality of care provided to the community. Special thanks to the Melbourne Dental School and the Oral Health CRC for their shared commitment to this vision.
  • Creation of the Practice Plus service, which is delivering high-quality resources and consulting support on practice administration matters to members and their staff.
  • The Dentists for Cleaner Water Project, which involved a partnership between the ADAVB, the Victorian EPA and Water Boards, and the dental industry to address our responsibility to manage amalgam wastes in the interests of public health and a sustainable environment. Special thanks to our friends in the ADIA for their unflagging support in this enterprise, which saw $1m paid to member practices in rebates on the purchase of ISO 11 143 compliant separation equipment.
Thank you to the 28 Presidents and 14 Councils I have worked with for your amazing commitment to your profession and to member service.
Thanks also to the many staff who have shared the work of delivering member services and helping the profession to engage positively with the community. The professionalism and dedication of staff is humbling, and it has been a pleasure to work with so many who share the vision of high-quality and professional dentistry, and who care greatly about member service.
I wish Clinical Associate Professor Matthew Hopcraft every success in working with Council, staff and the entire ADA family, to address the next crop of challenges facing the profession. Given Matt’s close involvement with the ADA over so many years, and his amazing skill set, I was delighted to hear of his appointment. Likewise, I offer best wishes to all members for meaningful and positive engagement with their patients, their colleagues and the community.
I hope my time at the ADAVB might be remembered as one where genuine commitment to professionalism and to ethical practice was a core part of the culture, and that this remains a key driver of ADA activity in the years to come.
Garry Pearson

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Mr Garry Pearson
Chief Executive Officer
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