Oral Health SIG

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The Oral Health SIG assists the PHAA to periodically update its Oral Health Policy, and advocate for the Policy's Key Messages:

    advocate for Denticare - a universal and equitable dental system for all Australians within Medicare - phased-in and initially targeted.
    advocate for a population health approach; integration of oral health within primary health care; and the normalization of prevention oriented, person centred clinical dental care.
    identify and advocate for programs that will develop the oral health workforce and resources in child and adult public services, aged care, rural and remote areas and other areas of high patient and population need; and identify and advocate for strategies to create a cost-efficient, flexible and multi-skilled oral health workforce.
    lobby Australian, State and Territory Health Ministers to provide water fluoridation to all communities of 1,000 or more population by 2016.
    advocate for the incorporation of the above policies in the development of the second National Oral Health Plan 2015-2023, and contribute to its implementation.

Members of the Oral Health SIG Committee network with representatives of other NGOs and professional bodies to promote greater public awareness of oral health issues and opportunities for reform. Through the efforts of the SIG the PHAA has linked with a number of other organisations to form a loose coalition of interested parties going under the title of the National Oral Health Alliance which periodically prepares timely media releases advocating, inter alia, for fluoridation and greater equity in oral health care.

The Oral Health SIG holds its Annual General Meeting in September/October each year when members elect its Committee which then commences development of an Annual Work Plan to guide the SIG's work over the forthcoming year.

The SIG aims to promote an Oral Health session at the PHAA Annual Conference along with an occasional special Guest Oration Dinner and a Public Oral Health workshop. Periodically we have organised a PHAA Oral Health SIG & Colgate-Palmolive Population Oral Health Student Essay Competition in the months leading up to the PHAA Annual Conference. The competition has been open to all oral health and public health students. First prize has included full registration, flights & accommodation to attend the Conference and a 12 month PHAA student membership.

Oral Health SIG Subcommittee

Tan Nguyen (VIC)

E: [email protected]

Tan is a registered oral health therapist, and the PHAA OHSIG co-convener. He teaches at the Melbourne Dental School, an Honorary Fellow with Deakin Health Economics, and works clinically in public and private dental practice. He holds a Master of Public Health, and a Master of Science in Clinical Education.


Co-convenor: Sneha Sethi (SA)

E: [email protected]

Sneha is an Oral Pathologist and Oral Cancer specialist from the University of Adelaide. She is currently affiliated to the University as a postdoctoral researcher with the Australian Research Center for Population Oral Health and is leading an NHMRC funded project within the Indigenous Oral Health Unit. Sneha is passionate about oral health inequities, Indigenous oral health, disparities in cancer and decolonising health research.



  • Pathik Mehta – Treasurer
  • Amit Arora – NSW and Social Media Representative
  • Brianna Poirier – SA Representative
  • Silvana Bettiol – TAS Representative
  • Santosh Kumar Tadakamadla – VIC Representative
  • Linda Slack-Smith – WA Representative
  • Vacant: NT, QLD and ACT representatives


Oral Health Policy Position Statement