2020 award recipients

At the conclusion of last year, we once again celebrated members of our ADA community who are making a difference - to the profession, or even to the world. We reach out for nominations every year to recognise the contributions of those oral health professionals who act as mentors, role models and leaders in their field. In the past, our winners have included volunteers, key research contributors and those dedicated to further innovation and education.

In presenting the 2020 ADA Awards and choosing from a field of impressive nominees, the ADA was proud to congratulate the following individuals.

Honorary Life Member

The granting of this honour, being the most senior award granted by the Association, recognises the many years of dedication and tireless service provided by these distinguished members to their profession and to the ADA.

Dr Carmelo Bonanno

Dr Carmelo Bonanno, has rendered continuous and outstanding service to dentistry and the Association for close to 30 years. Dr Bonanno has served on numerous Committees at both a State and Federal level. He served as Branch President from June 1999-2000 and was awarded an Honorary Life membership with the New South Wales Branch in 2011. Dr Bonanno was appointed Federal Councillor from 1997-2014; he was re-appointed in 2016 and continues to serve as a current Federal Councillor. His commitment as a Federal Executive Councillor has been exemplary, leading the membership as Federal President from 2018-2020. Dr Bonanno is a worthy recipient of the highest award the Association can bestow.

Dr Terrence K. Pitsikas AM

Dr Terrence Pitsikas has dedicated his services to the profession and the Association since 1990.  His contribution to both the Branch and at a National level has been exemplary. Dr Pitsikas has served and made a significant contribution to numerous Branch Committees, serving as Branch President from 1997-1998 and 2006-2007; and was awarded an Honorary Life membership in 2003 by the Western Australian Branch. Dr Pitsikas served as a dedicated member of the ADA Federal Schedule and Third-Party Committee from 1995-2016; his commitment as a member of the ADA Federal Executive team from 2012 to 2019 was commendable. Dr Pitsikas is a worthy recipient of the highest award the Association can bestow.

Distinguished Service Award

Any dentist who has rendered long and distinguished service to the ADA or to dentistry at a national level.

Prof Paul V Abbott AO

Winthrop Professor Paul Abbott AO service to the Association has been exemplary. Having completed his undergraduate dental training in 1979, he obtained his MDS degree in Endodontics in 1985. He developed the curriculum for undergraduate endodontic courses at several overseas universities. He has also maintained an active involvement in dental research throughout his career; being invited to present over 800 lectures throughout all State and Territories in Australia as well as 44 other countries. He is a dedicated practitioner, scientist and humanitarian who works, teaches, and acts ethically with high core-values in Endodontics and in dentistry. His contributions to dentistry have been recognised through invitations to fellowship in five international dental academies and colleges, receiving a significant number of awards.

Dr Andrew Barnes

Based in Melbourne Victoria, Dr Andrew Barnes has contributed and participated in activities of the Association at both a State and Federal level. He has served on a variety of Committees since 1986.  He was Branch President from 2001 -2002 and served as a Federal Councillor from 1996 – 2020. During his time Dr Barnes helped formulate outcomes for the benefit and effective operation of the Association. His contributions have been exemplary.

Award of Merit

David Owen

Mr David Owen was invited to join the Advisory Board of the Australian Dental Health Foundation in 2012. Since this time, he held the position of Chair from July 2014 to April 2020. His significant involvement with the Foundation included the merging of the National Dental Foundation (NDF) and the ADAF to form the Australian Dental Health Foundation (ADHF). He was instrumental in securing partnerships to support the ADHF’s Rebuilding Smiles programme. An important programme that supports dental volunteers to provide much needed dental care to victims of domestic violence. His contribution and leadership have been highly valued.

Valuable Service Award

Any person who has rendered a valuable service to the ADA or to dentistry at a national level.

Dr Dominic Aouad

Since graduating in 2009, Dr Aouad has been a wonderful contributor to the profession. He was the face of the ADA during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, facilitating ADA Webinars which helped guide and navigate the profession through arguable one of the most difficult challenges it has faced. His work as a councillor at the NSW Branch, Chair of the Recent Graduate Committee, development and founder of Dental Compliance Australia and professional officer for the Dental Council of NSW are all contributions worthy of note. Dr Aouad is an asset to the profession.

Dr Graham Hall

Dr Graham Hall relocated to Tasmania in 1980. For many years’ Dr Hall was the only fulltime oral and maxillofacial surgeon in Tasmania. He spent decades travelling supporting the dental profession in both Hobart and Launceston. Dr Hall was instrumental in establishing the interstate Maxillofacial Residency Program.  He is a past President, Secretary and Council member of the ADA Tasmania Branch. His contribution was recognised by being awarded with an Honorary Membership. In addition, Dr Hall served his country as a Lieutenant in the Royal Australian Naval Reserve (Consultant Oral and Maxillofacial Surgical duties) ensuring that our armed force personnel received the best oral and maxillofacial and dental care possible. Dr Hall is an asset to the profession and a highly regarded colleague.

Dr Nicky Kilpatrick

Dr Kilpatrick has made a significant lifetime contribution in all areas of dentistry, in particular the field of Paediatric dentistry. She has inspired generations of young dentists, post-graduate students, specialists in training and colleagues from many disciplines to achieve their goals via her extensive network both within Australia and overseas, Dr Kilpatrick continues her supportive role through mentorship programs. Dr Kilpatrick is an inspiring leader in her chosen field of Paediatric dentistry, working tirelessly for the improvement of children’s health, specifically those born with a cleft deformity. She is devoted to the improvement of children’s oral health.

Peter Lazar AM FICD

Mr Lazar AM has had a long career in health promotion and public relations. For more than 50 years he has been working on oral health projects. Mr Lazar’s involvement in dentistry began with his role as inaugural Director of the Dental Health Foundation at Sydney University. He assisted the dental profession to win the campaign to introduce Fluoridation into Sydney’s water supply in the 1960’s. ADANSW Branch awarded Mr Lazar an Honorary membership – a significant achievement for a non-dentist.  An Honorary Fellow of the International College of Dentists was bestowed upon Mr Lazar for his services to dentistry. Mr Lazar’s contribution to oral health promotion and research has been quite an achievement.

 Dr Som-Ling Leung

Dr Som-Ling Leung has been very active in oral health promotion and education in the Solomon Islands, implementing preventive dental measures to help educate about caries, periodontal disease, and oral cancer. Dr Leung not only assesses the dental needs and treatment of children but is also involved in teaching basic hand washing and sanitation. Dr Leung was  instrumental in setting up a dental clinic at Namuga Hospital. The Namuga Hospital services 22,000 people who live in the eastern half of the Solomon Islands. Previously, the local population had to travel four to nine hours to see a dentist on the western side of the Solomon Islands. Dr Leung sources donated dental equipment as well as organising the shipment of this equipment from Australia. Dr Leung has also volunteered as a dentist in Tanzania and Tibet. She was a co-ordinator of Pilot Dental Program from Methadone clients in the Northern Rivers in NSW from 2000-2001.

Dr Simon Wooley

Dr Wooley grew up in Adelaide, South Australia. Graduating  in 1980 Dr Wooley commenced working professionally as a public health dentist in country South Australia. Since 1989 Dr Wooley dedicated his career to the delivery of an accessible, appropriate, and effective oral health program in remote Aboriginal Lands (APY) of South Australia. His attention to evidence-based research and its appropriate application  has been effective in the management and prevention of childhood caries in Aboriginal communities. He provided access to emergency and general dental care via mobile dental clinics. His modest hard-working ethics is a true testament to Dr Wooley’s caring and careful approach resulting in him being one of the most respected health providers on the APY lands.


Outstanding Young Dentist

The name of a  young member (under 35 years old) who has made a significant contribution to the Australian Dental Association and/or dentistry and the community at a national level by excelling in their career, reflecting positively on the dental profession and has acted as an ambassador for the profession.

Dr Kate Amos

Since graduating from the University of Queensland with first class honours and working in Townsville, Dr Amos returned to Coffs Harbour and is working as a private practitioner. Dr Amos has made a significant contribution to the Association in various roles at both a State and Federal level. Dr Amos was the 2015 Australian Young Professional of the Year from Professions Australia; has developed dental education programs for NSW primary schools and has a special interest in orofacial pain and orthodontics. Dr Amos is a great ambassador for the profession, leading by example.