Honorary awards

Honorary Associate Professor Peter Deane Barnard

The title of Honorary Fellow of the University was conferred upon Honorary Associate Professor Peter Deane Barnard by the Chancellor the Hon Justice Kim Santow at the 11.30am graduation ceremony held on 20 December 2002.


Chancellor, I have the honour to present Honorary Associate Professor Peter Deane Barnard for the conferring of the title of Honorary Fellow of the University in recognition of his unique contribution to the international standing of Australia and of this University. He has had a positive influence on the knowledge and understanding of Community Oral Health and Epidemiology among many nations. These nations range in an arc through Iran, Iraq, Nepal, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Burma, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, China, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Noumea, New Caledonia, Tonga, Cook Islands, Samoa, American Samoa, Niue, Tahiti and Zealand.

At the strategic level, he has pursued a vision of creating an international and interactive network of these erstwhile postgraduate students in public health dentistry from these many countries. This network has been promoted and cemented by some 83 attendances at overseas meetings and conferences, 122 major papers presented, visits to 134 dental schools in 40 countries, plus five to countries with no formal dental school. Many of his erstwhile students now occupy responsible positions in public health administration in these countries. With the University of Sydney as its informal home base, his network has an independent life of its own with a major influence in the South East Asian and Western Pacific regions. This has been achieved by many years of purposeful activity; and almost single handedly.

At the research level, he co-ordinated the first major Australian water fluoridation study at Tamworth in 1963-88, which established the value of fluoride in the Australian context. His long-term academic interest was evident in a Masters degree in Public Health from Michigan, and a Masters degree in Preventive Dentistry from Sydney. It culminated in a Doctorate in Dental Science from this University and the Alan Docking Science Award from the International Association for Dental Research.

At the publication level, he has presented some 93 major reports to dental associations and government. He has authored 198 journal articles, abstracts, books and monographs for various bodies. These include comprehensive, annual statistical reports on the status quo of Australian dental services over a span of eighteen years.

Consultant positions have included six projects for WHO, five for the South Pacific Commission, and eleven years as consultant to the Federation Dentaire Internationale.

At the teaching level, he has lectured in preventive and public health dentistry for the forty years of his association with the University, first as senior lecturer, then since 1970 as Associate Professor. He was Director of the Westmead Dental Clinical School’s Department of Preventive Dentistry from 1984 to 1997, and from 1990 to 2000 he was Head of his University Department. He has supervised theses for 209 postgraduate students. In the Journal of Dental Research, his name appears in fifty abstracts as author or co-author with students. In 1994 he was named the Supervisor of the Year by the SUPRA, the Sydney University Postgraduate Research Association.

The library resources of the University of Sydney have been enriched by his donation of the Peter Barnard Collection of some 4000 items occupying eighty metres of shelving. It is a valuable resource for research into oral epidemiology and oral health services.

Other awards and recognition of his many contributions include Honorary Life Memberships of the Australian Dental Association, Fellowships of the Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons, the American Association of Public Health, and the International College of Dentists. The Australian Dental Association has recently honoured him with Honorary Life Membership.

At the tactical level for his network, he has promoted friendship and understanding between these leaders of their communities by meticulous attention to detail in their theses, and emphasis on their English expression. Further, by promoting their social interaction while in Sydney and at conferences, and by fostering inter¬personal communications. The overall result is a web of strong friendships and mutual respect. He continues to pursue these activities by travel, in person and constantly by e-mail.

Chancellor, I present Peter Deane Barnard for the conferring of the title of Honorary Fellow of the University.