The Australasian Council of Dental Schools is the peak body comprising the heads of all education providers in the dentistry and oral health professions across Australia and New Zealand.


Central Queensland University


Ms Karen Smart
Head of Course and Lecturer in Advanced Clinical Practice (Oral Health)
School of Health, Medical and Applied Sciences.

Karen is currently the acting Head of School

Karen Smart, currently the Head of Course (Oral Health) and a Lecturer in Advanced Clinical Practice (Oral Health) at CQUniversity in Rockhampton, bringing over two decades of clinical practice as an Oral Health Therapist and post graduate qualifications in clinical teaching.

Her experience spans diverse rural and remote locations in Queensland’s public and private sectors. Karen’s expertise extends to educating oral health therapists at the tertiary level, where she has dedicated a decade to shaping the next generation of professionals. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Karen in a member of several oral health program advisory groups, Editorial board member of ANZJDOHT Journal and member the Qld Branch of DHAA.

Her unwavering passion lies in advocating for good oral health as a cornerstone of overall health and well-being. She actively champions interprofessional collaboration, development of work-based assessment tools, and the integration of ePortfolios in oral health education.

She strives to foster a sustainable and fulfilling career path for dental professionals.

Charles Sturt University


Professor Andrew Flatau
Head of School, School of Dentistry and Health Sciences

Professor Andrew Flatau is the inaugural Dean of Dentistry and Oral Health in the Centre for Rural Dentistry and Oral Health, which is embedded within the School of Dentistry and Medical Sciences. Prior to the restructure of Schools in 2021, he was Head of the School of Dentistry and Health Sciences at Charles Sturt University, to which he was appointed on 14 April, 2020.

Professor Flatau graduated from the University of Sydney with First Class Honours and the University Medal in both Dentistry (1982) and Arts (1988), and was awarded his PhD in 2001 for a thesis entitled ‘The anatomy of the infratemporal fossa: dissections and historical representations’. Since then he has taught in various faculties at the University Sydney, and in 1988 at the dental school of the University of Iceland.

Since his appointment at Charles Sturt, Professor Flatau has been responsible for academic leadership of the Centre and maintaining strong relationships with external stakeholders of the programs, including professional associations and communities.

Curtin University of Technology


Associate Professor Ron Knevel
Discipline Lead Oral Health

Experienced Senior Academic with a demonstrated history of working in the higher education industry. Senior Fellowship HEA and IEAA. Passionate for internationalisation. Extensive experience in organising and managing international placements for oral health students. Managed to bring together dental hygiene educators and other oral health educators from different countries.

The introduction of the International Week at the Dental Hygiene Program at InHolland University, Amsterdam, has resulted in a cohesive international network of dental hygiene programs. The concept of the International Week has been adopted by several other universities. A pragmatist. A supporter of digital portfolios to monitor student’s progress during their studies. PebblePad enthusiast. Developed a comprehensive preclinical and clinical suite of PebblePad templates, with educational designers, to support Oral Health Science students during their studies and to facilitate reflective practice. Strong preference for public health and prevention of oral diseases.

Skilled in Dental Hygiene, Motivational Interviewing, Lecturing, Curriculum Development, Public Speaking, and Academic Writing. Ron has worked at the Academic Centre of Dentistry in Amsterdam in the Netherlands, he founded the Buddhi Bangara Foundation to promote and develop sustainable oral health promotion activities in Nepal, and is a cofounder of the Dental Hygienists Association Nepal, he established an Oral Health Promotion Training Centre in Dhangadi West Nepal in 2010.

Ron brings this passion and experience to his DHAA portfolios of Oral Health Promotion and Public Health and he also joins Cheryl representing the DHAA on the IFDH House of Delegates. Ron speaks locally at DHAA events, national conferences and international events. Ron is currently a Senior Lecturer at La Trobe University, and is the 3rd year coordinator of the Bachelor of Oral Health Sciences. In 2019 Ron experienced a special graduation where he attended as both a course coordinator and also as a fellow graduate having completed his Doctor in Philosophy – PhD, in Dentistry and Oral Health.

Griffith University


Professor Nigel D Robb
Acting Dean of Dentistry

Born and raised in Edinburgh, Nigel graduated from Edinburgh Dental School in 1982. After a series of NHS posts a Research Assistant at Guy’s Dental School led to a PhD entitled ‘Epidemiological Studies of Toothwear’.

During his lectureship in Newcastle, Specialist Training in Restorative Dentistry followed the completion of the PhD and Specialist Registration was gained in 1997. During this period as a result of serving in the Territorial Army led to a clinical interest in general anaesthesia. Thereafter Nigel took over the lead for sedation. Senior Lecturer appointments at University of Wales College of Medicine and Glasgow Dental School preceded his last post in the UK as Reader / Honorary Consultant in Restorative Dentistry at the University of Bristol.

Nigel has been President of the Association of Dental Anaesthetists (UK), European Federation for the Advancement of Anaesthesia in Dentistry and the Society for the Advancement of Anaesthesia in Dentistry (UK). Nigel has an international reputation as an expert in local anaesthesia and conscious sedation, and is on the General Dental Council Specialist lists in both Restorative Dentistry and Special Care Dentistry. In Bristol Nigel ran the Bristol University Open Learning for Dentists Postgraduate Blended Learning Programme and a Postgraduate Certificate in Conscious Sedation. He was also the Director of Assessment for the School of Dentistry, Lead for the Final Examinations and Lead for five Units and Elements in the Undergraduate course.

Immediately prior to coming to Australia Nigel was leading the Scientific Basis of Dentistry Working Group of the BDS curriculum review.

James Cook University


Professor Peter Thomson
Head of Dentistry and Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Sciences

Peter Thomson is Head of Dentistry and Professor of  Oral & Maxillofacial Sciences in the College of Medicine & Dentistry.

A UK and Australian specialist in Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery and Oral Medicine, he qualified BDS from Manchester University and MBBS from Newcastle upon Tyne, gaining Fellowships in Dental Surgery from the Royal College of Surgeons of England, Ireland and Glasgow and a Fellowship in Surgery from Edinburgh, specializing in Head & Neck Oncology. He completed MSc and PhD degrees in epithelial biology and cancer research at Manchester University, where he was Lecturer, before returning to Newcastle in 1996 as Professor of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery.

In 2009, he was appointed Hunterian Professor at the Royal College of Surgeons of England and in 2011 King James IV Professor at the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh. In 2014, he gained a Manchester Higher Doctorate (DDSc) for oral oncology research, and in 2016 an MD from the University of Bath for his thesis on interventional management of oral potentially malignant disorders. In 2016 he joined the University of Queensland’s School of Dentistry as Professor of Maxillofacial Surgery & Academic Clinical Director, before moving to The University of Hong Kong in October 2017 to become Associate Dean at the Faculty of Dentistry and Director of the Prince Philip Dental Hospital.

Author of more than 300 research papers and 2 oral cancer textbooks, Peter is an internationally recognised authority in oncology, with a particular emphasis on oral carcinogenesis, epithelial cell biology, early diagnosis and interventional management of potentially malignant disease and the prevention of cancer.

La Trobe University


A/Prof Dr. Santosh Tadakamadla
Discipline Lead of Dentistry

A/Prof Santosh Tadakamadla is the Discipline lead of Dentistry and Oral Health at La Trobe. A/Prof Tadakamadla has vast experience in curriculum development and course coordination in the dentistry discipline, he is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He has a solid research background and is a prolific researcher with more than 150 publications.

A/Prof has mentored several researchers and serves on editorial boards of several journals, most notable being BMC Public health, PLoS One and Frontiers in Public Health. His research leadership has been acknowledged by several awards, of note is the International Association for Dental Research (IADR) centennial emerging leader award for the Asia Pacific region.

A/Prof Tadakamadla is a recipient of the prestigious NHMRC Early Career Fellowship. His research interests include health promotion; health-related behaviour, health inequalities; oral epidemiology; oral-systemic link; and quality of life. A/Prof Tadakamadla has strong research collaborations with researchers in Europe, Saudi Arabia, US and India and holds adjunct professorial appointments in several Universities outside Australia.

The University of Adelaide


Professor Richard Logan
Dean and Head of the Adelaide Dental School

Richard Logan graduated from The University of Adelaide in 1993. He completed his post- graduate training in Oral Pathology in 1998 at The University of Adelaide and gained his PhD in 2008. In 2007, he completed the Fellowship examination in Oral Pathology with the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia.

His main research interest is in regard to toxicities of cancer treatment, particularly the pathobiology of alimentary tract mucositis. Internationally, he is a member of the Mucositis Study Group of the Multinational Association for Supportive Care in Cancer and recently he has been involved in the development of updated international guidelines for mucositis management.

He has engaged widely with both the dental and medical professions. He is a past President of the International Society of Oral Oncology and is a previous Chair of the Faculty of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia. Richard is the current Chair of the South Australian Registration and Notification Committee of the Dental Board of Australia and also chairs the Board’s Expert Reference Group (Specialists) as well as Equivalence Assessment Panels for internationally qualified dental specialists.

In addition to overseeing undergraduate and postgraduate training in oral and maxillofacial pathology at the Adelaide Dental School for many years, Richard has also held senior leadership positions in the school including the role of Assistant Dean, Student Affairs and Deputy Head of School before being appointed as Dean and Head of School in 2018. In addition to his academic role, Richard is also a Consultant Oral and Maxillofacial Pathologist at Clinpath Laboratories, Adelaide, South Australia.

The University of Melbourne


Professor Alastair J Sloan

Professor Alastair J Sloan is Head of School at The Melbourne Dental School, The University of Melbourne and Professor of Tissue Engineering and Dental Biology. Prior to this he was Head of School,School of Dentistry at Cardiff University and Director of the Cardiff Institute for Tissue Engineering and Repair (CITER). He is a bioscientist who has been involved in oral/dental research and education in the UK and internationally for over 20 years.

Alastair graduated with a BSc in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Wales and obtained his PhD in Oral Biology and Pathology from the University of Birmingham, UK in 1997. His principal research interests are related to regenerative biology (particularly regeneration of the dentine-pulp complex), understanding functional behaviour of dental pulp stem cells and nanoscale targeted antimicrobial drug delivery.  As an active educator, his teaching is focussed in the areas of craniofacial and tooth development, fundamental biosciences for dental students and oral biology.

Alastair has been appointed to several governing boards in the UK associated with oral/dental research and education and has sat on several UK government and European grant funding panels. He is a Past President of the Pulp Biology and Regeneration Group of the IADR and in 2011 was awarded the IADR Distinguished Scientist, Young Investigator Award. He currently sits on the EU Eureka Eurostars funding panel and Research Foundation Flanders and has recently joined the Board of the Melbourne Teaching Health Clinics.

The University of Newcastle


Professor Dileep Sharma
Head of Discipline Oral Health, School of Health Sciences

Professor Dileep Sharma is Head of Discipline, Oral Health at School of Health Sciences, College of Health, Medicine & Wellbeing at the University of Newcastle. Dileep brings a wealth of teaching experience within sixteen years as health professional and clinical educator across Asia, Africa and Australia.

Dileep commenced his leadership role at the University of Newcastle after previously holding the role of Senior lecturer (2016-2022) and Associate Professor in Periodontics (2022) at the College of Medicine and Dentistry, James Cook University (JCU).

Dileep has been very passionate and successful undergraduate research coordinator in his role at JCU as evidenced by student achievements including multiple conference prizes and publications in peer-reviewed journals under his mentorship. Additionally, he has published over 50 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters and invited conference presentations on dental materials and oral cancer prevalence in Australia. Recently, his research team was awarded the Clarks Family Award for Sustainable Dental Materials research by Australian Dental Research Foundation and the 2022 ANZ Joan Chong Award in Dental Materials by the International Association for Dental Research.

Additionally, Dileep has extensive experience as principal and co-investigator for various externally funded research projects with various funders including Australian Dental Research Foundation and Tropical Australian Academic Health Centre, Australia.

The University of Queensland


Professor Saso Ivanovski
Head of School, School of Dentistry

The University of Sydney


Professor Heiko Spallek
Head of School and Dean, The University of Sydney School of Dentistry

Professor Heiko Spallek serves as Head of School and Dean at The University of Sydney School of Dentistry. Prior to joining the University of Sydney, Professor Spallek served as Associate Dean at the University of Pittsburgh. In 1993, he graduated as DMD from the Humboldt University, Berlin where he continued his career and was appointed in the Department of Periodontology and also received his PhD (dental material sciences). While being appointed at Temple University School of Dentistry in Philadelphia, he earned an MSBA (Computer and Information Science) in 2000. Professor Spallek’s research has as its focus the development of computerized clinical decision support tools—he published more than 60 peer-reviewed papers and a textbook for Dental Informatics. He has served and still serves as chief investigator of NIH-funded research projects that support the adherence to evidence-based dentistry principles.

The University of Western Australia


Associate Professor Robert Anthonappa
Head of School
BDS, MDS (Paediatric Dentistry), PhD, Adv.Dip (Paediatric Dentistry), MRACDS (Paed), MPaed RCS (Edinburgh), FDS RCS (Edinburgh).

Specialist Paediatric Dentist

The University of Otago


Professor Paul Cooper
Dean, Faculty of Dentistry

Professor Cooper has over 200 research peer reviewed publications and has authored and edited 12 book chapters in oral and pulp biology. He has delivered over 40 invited lectures globally. He has supervised over 40 Doctoral students and been awarded over NZ$10-million (equivalent) in research funding.

In 2010, Paul was awarded the IADR Distinguished Scientist Young Investigator Award and he has recently been the President of the Pulp Biology and Regeneration Group of IADR and he is currently the vice-president of the IADR-ANZ Division.

He has visiting chairs at several universities around the world and serves as editor and on editorial boards for several leading dental journals.

Paul also completed a postgraduate certificate in learning and teaching in higher education (PGCILTHE) in 2003 and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Fiji National University

Assistant Professor Osea Gavidi Dukuno
Head of School of Dentistry & Oral Health

Osea graduated from the Fiji School of Medicine in 2001 and completed his post-graduate training in Oral Pathology in 2005 at the University of Otago as well as pursued DClinDent degree in Oral Pathology in 2013.

His main research interest is in oral cancer epidemiology and the study of its risk factors.

He has engaged himself widely with dental professional training for the smaller Pacific Island countries including membership of the Oral Health Pacific Island Alliance. He is currently a member of the Fiji Dental Council as well as the Professional Standards Committee in Fiji.

In addition, he is also the Programme Coordinator for the Bachelor of Dental Surgery and Diploma in Dental Technology programmes at SDOH. In addition to his academic role, Osea is also a Consultant Oral Pathologist at the JBS Dental Teaching clinic in Suva, Fiji Islands.

TAFE Queensland

Dr. John Sousa
Course Coordinator, Bachelor of Dental Prosthetics.

Dr John Souza is the Senior Lecture and course coordinator of Bachelor of Dental Prosthetics program at Tafe Queensland.

Dr John Souza is Senior Dental Prosthetist with a prosthodontics experience. He qualified Dentistry at University of Sao Paulo State, Brazil, in 1998, and continue his studies with the research passion during the master of science and Philosophy Doctorate in Clinical Dentistry, Prosthodontics area, at Campinas University, Sao Paulo, Brazil. After concluded the pos graduation courses in 2004, also continue and concluded the specialisation course in Prosthodontics and dental technology. Number of research papers and book chapters were publish since start the academic career.

Teaching is another passion that started in 2003 with dental under graduation students, and, specialisation, master and doctorate programs. John worked across the academic and private practice number of years.

John started wok at Tafe Queensland in 2015 with the accreditation process to implement the first Bachelor Dental Prosthetics program in Australia, which start the first cohort at the same year. During the follow years has been working to improve the program and deliver a quality dental prosthetic content to students and industry.

Auckland University of Technology

Karen Lansdown

Karen Lansdown is Head of Department Oral Health at Auckland University of Technology. In her role with Health Sciences Karen oversees the undergraduate and postgraduate programs and is responsible for strategic planning in oral health.

As an oral health therapist with adult scope restorative and postgraduate qualifications in education, Karen has had seventeen years of clinical and eleven years teaching experience. Her teaching philosophy ‘is to make the mundane extraordinary and simplify the complex’. She contributes to the development of educational strategies, consistency of practice, alignment of polices, and procedures ensuring high quality outcomes for students. Her success in transformative teaching has been recognized internationally as a fellow and assessor of the Higher Education Academy UK and through faculty and Vice-Chancellor’s teaching awards.

Karen has been involved in various committees, working groups and a School, Faculty and University level including the Faculty Board, Advisory Groups, Collaborative Health Education Sydney Community of Practice (interprofessional learning) and designing university graduate quality rubrics.

Currently Karen is working towards her PhD titled, The Oral Health Priorities for people with Cerebral Palsy and received over $105,000 in competitive grants. She has presented her research at both national and international levels, is a masters supervisors and peer reviewer for three international journals internationally and across Australasia.

Karen has been actively involved in Health Promotion including the Wingara Mura-Bunga Barrabugu Summer Program, Sydney Homeless Connect and partnership between the Carevan Sunsmiles Program at the University of Sydney designed to raise awareness for ‘poverty reduction and sustainable development’. In 2017 this program received an international award for social responsibility on behalf of The Global Child Dental fund.

Prior to commencing her academic role, Karen worked as an Oral Health Therapist (OHT) in South Australia in both the private and public sectors. In the public sector, Karen worked as an OHT in a country town of Adelaide and was involved in the provision of dental services for the South Australian Dental Service (SADS). In her role with the SADS, Karen implemented a program for the provision of dental services to incarcerated youth. In the private sector, Karen worked as an OHT for a general and specialist periodontal practice with a focus on education, prevention, and the treatment of periodontal disease.