All speakers

Keynote speakers

Dr Andrea Shepperson

Dr Andrea Shepperson is an internationally recognised clinician and educator. She established Shepperson Education, building a dedicated training facility in New Zealand, where she runs courses in digital aesthetics, tooth wear and functional occlusion.

Dr Shepperson is a Digital Smile Design Instructor, an honorary life member of the New Zealand Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and a mentor at the Kois Center in Seattle, USA. She is regarded as a clinician who is focused on comprehensive care, digital diagnostics and delivery using innovation and technology.

Associate Professor Stephen Chen

Associate Professor Stephen Chen is a specialist periodontist in private practice in Balwyn. He graduated BDS (Malaya) in 1983, MDSc (Melbourne) in 1987, FRACDS in 1988 (KG Sutherland Prize) and completed his PhD in 2008. He holds the position of Clinical Associate Professor at the School of Dentistry, University of Melbourne. 

A/Prof Chen’s scientific interests are tissue regeneration and post-extraction implants. He has published over 30 papers, authored two textbooks and contributed chapters to six textbooks. He is past president of the International Team for Implantology (ITI), Australian and New Zealand Academy of Periodontists (ANZAP) and Australasian Osseointegration Society (AOS). A/Prof Chen is an honorary life member of the AOS.

Dr John Cho

Dr John Cho graduated from the University of Sydney, completing both his undergraduate and post-graduate programs. He has been in private specialist practice in Canberra since 2009 and is a Fellow of the International Team for Implantology.

Dr Cho lectures for various institutions with special interests in gold restorations, implant prosthetic design and prosthodontic decision-making.

Guest keynote speakers

Dr Jana Pittman

Dr Jana Pittman has experienced it all - triumph, defeat, failure and success. She will take you on a journey through the peaks and troughs that helped shape her career and build her into who she is today.

Dr Pittman is a two-time world champion and four-time Commonwealth athletics champion. When injuries hampered her athletic career, she swapped the track for the ice rink and became the first woman to represent Australia in both the Summer and Winter Olympic games.

Off the track, Dr Pittman has completed a degree in medicine and surgery at the University of Western Sydney and is a practising doctor specialising in women's health. She is currently an ambassador for the Australian Cervical Cancer Foundation, Save the Box and Targeting Cancer. In 2021 she joined the cast of Channel 7's popular reality program 'SAS Australia', making it to the final five.

Other speakers

Professor Alastair Sloan

Professor Alastair Sloan is Head of the Melbourne School, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences at the University of Melbourne and is Professor of Tissue Engineering and Dental Biology. He obtained a Bachelor of Science in biomedical sciences from the University of Wales in 1993 and his PhD in oral biology and pathology from the University of Birmingham, UK in 1997. Following postdoctoral research, he was appointed lecturer in oral biology at the school of dentistry at the University of Birmingham in 2000. Prof Sloan joined Cardiff University in 2005 and was Head of the School of Dentistry from 2017-2020.

Prof Sloan's research is multi-disciplinary and in the broad field of mineralised connective tissues. He is interested in the reparative potential and behaviour of the dentine-pulp complex and bone, specifically the potential therapeutic manipulation of the dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs).

Prof Sloan currently sits as a grant panel member for the EU and Research Foundation Flanders having previously been a member of several UK government research grant panels. He has been external examiner for BDS programmes across multiple UK dental schools and examined over 30 PhD theses in areas related to his research. Prof Sloan holds committee positions at the IADR and is a member of the British Society for Oral Dental Research and Australian and New Zealand Division of the IADR as well as international societies of tissue engineering.

Dr Angela Pierce

Dr Angela Pierce works as a dentist in private practice and operates her own law practice, Angela Pierce and Associates. She is a past president of ADASA and a former ADA federal councillor. Dr Pierce has sat on various government committees and tribunals, including the Department of Health Professional Services Review.

Dr Pierce was formerly Associate Dean of the University of Adelaide Dental School and deputy chair of the University of Adelaide Academic Board.

Dr Angela Zhang

Dr Angela Zhang discovered yoga and mindfulness when she was 15 years old.

After her first year of dentistry as a graduate, she took a couple of months off and did a 200 hour yoga teacher training course. She aims to incorporate mindfulness techniques daily and finds the greatest joy in sharing her learnings with her friends, colleagues and family.

Dr Zhang currently practises privately in Fawkner, Doreen and Burnside.

Dr Bing Lee

Dr Bing Lee graduated from the University of Queensland in 2013 and since then has taken a keen interest in digital workflows, CADCAM dentistry and the utilisation of the latest materials and techniques to ensure optimal outcomes for patients.

Dr Lee set up his first practice in Launceston, Tasmania in 2015 and since then has leveraged digital technologies to grow this practice to become the biggest group in Tasmania.

Dr Cigdem Kipel

Dr Cigdem Kipel is a general dentist and principal of North Sydney Dental Practice, a seven-surgery facility focusing on orthodontic clear aligner therapy and cosmetic dentistry. Winner of the Platinum Elite status for the last four years, she is a speaker for Invisalign, sharing cases which integrate orthodontic alignment with restorative treatment plans.

Dr Kipel is passionate about streamlining the workflow of clear aligners, developing systems and training staff to optimise every aspect of the clear aligner journey for both the patient and clinical team.

Dr Daniel Thoma

Professor Dr Daniel Thoma is an adjunct professor and serves as the Head Division of Implantology at the Clinic of Reconstructive Dentistry, University of Zurich, Switzerland.

He graduated in 2000 from the University of Basel, Switzerland and was trained in implant dentistry and prosthodontics at the Clinic of Reconstructive Dentistry, University of Zurich. Dr Thoma was the recipient of an ITI scholarship and spent one year at the department of periodontics, University of Texas, Health Science Center, San Antonio, USA.  Between 2008 and 2012, he was a full-time senior teaching and research assistant at the Clinic of Reconstructive Dentistry at the University of Zurich. In 2016, Dr Thoma was a visiting associate professor at the Department of Periodontology, Yonsei University, Seoul, South Korea.

Dr Eric Levi

Dr Eric Levi is an Ear Nose and Throat, Head and Neck Surgeon. He has completed subspecialty fellowships in head and neck surgery, facial plastic and reconstructive surgery and paediatric otolaryngology in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. He has interests in head and neck cancer, salivary gland diseases, airway reconstruction and sleep surgery.

Dr Levi is an honorary fellow at Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and a clinical senior lecturer at the University of Melbourne. He is a member of the Complex Airway Clinic, Tracheostomy Clinic, Salivary Control Clinic, Head and Neck Cancer Clinic and Vascular Anomalies Clinic.

Dr Felicity Crombie

Dr Felicity Crombie is a senior lecturer at the Melbourne Dental School and general practice dentist with over 20 years’ experience in the public and private sectors.

Dr Crombie's research interest in dental tissue mineralisation began with a PhD on molar incisor hypomineralisation, before commencing her current academic role and expanding into cariology.

Dr Geoffrey Hall

Dr Geoffrey Hall is a specialist orthodontist practising in Cheltenham. He is a principal of MP Orthodontics, and founder and director of Smilefast, OrthoEd Institute and Complete Aligner Planning Service.

Dr Hall is a world-renowned lecturer, educator, author, mentor and orthodontic ‘myth-buster’. He has a passion for clinical orthodontics and is a pioneer in modern day orthodontics and education. He was the first dentist and orthodontist to use Invisalign outside the United States, brought micro implants to the Australian shores and was one of the first in Australia to use the Herbst appliance.

Dr Hall is interested in practice management and efficiencies in practice and was instrumental in bringing the leading orthodontic practice management software, Orthotrac, to Australia in 1994.

Dr Igor Lavrin

Dr Igor Lavrin grew up in both Melbourne and Hong Kong. He received his dental education at the University of Adelaide, before returning to work as a general dentist in Melbourne. Furthering his expertise, Dr Lavrin completed a three-year orthodontic specialist programme and master’s degree at Harvard University in the United States. He has been the recipient of numerous awards for scholastic and clinical excellence, and published articles in orthodontic and scientific literature. Dr Lavrin has worked in private orthodontic practice in Massachusetts, US, and lectured internationally in the US, Canada and throughout Asia as well as in Australia and New Zealand.

Dr Lavrin is a clinical consultant and lecturer for Invisalign in the Asia-Pacific region and holds Black Diamond status with Invisalign. He has taught orthodontics to dental students at Harvard University and in the orthodontic department at the University of Melbourne. He is an adjunct senior lecturer in the orthodontic department at the University of Western Australia. Dr Lavrin is also an expert coach on the global orthodontic coaching site Your Ortho Coach.

Dr James Brichko

Dr James Brichko obtained his Bachelor of Dental Science and Doctor of Clinical Dentistry in Endodontics from the University of Melbourne. James has been a clinical tutor at both the University of Melbourne and La Trobe University as well as a member of the Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons, committee member for the Australian Society of Endodontology and the treasurer of the Asia Pacific Endodontic Confederation.

Dr Brichko is currently in private endodontic practice in Dandenong. 

Dr Jim Bokas

Dr Jim Bokas completed his Bachelor of Dental Science in 1996, ranking first on the Deans Honours list. In 2003, he received a Masters in Orthodontics at the University of Melbourne. In 2004 Dr Bokas was awarded the Australian Orthodontic Board prize for the best-treated postgraduate case (2001-2003) and in 2005 gained membership in orthodontics through The Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh.

As well as working in private practice, Dr Bokas has consulted and demonstrated in orthodontics and paedodontics at the University of Melbourne since 2015.

Dr Christopher (Kip) Homewood

Dr Christopher (Kip) Homewood completed his Bachelor of Dental Science degree from the University of Melbourne. He then completed a Doctor of Dental Science in Canada. Following this, he practised general dentistry for 20 years before returning to complete a Masters in Dental Science specialising in orthodontics. He has been a specialist orthodontist since 2000.

Dr Homewood is a widely respected lecturer at local, national and international level, and an honorary fellow at the University of Melbourne, where he teaches the postgraduate orthodontic students. He has examined for the University of Melbourne at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, the Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons and for the Australian Dental Council. Dr Homewood is a Member of the Royal Australian College of Dental Surgeons and the Pierre Fauchard Academy.

Emeritus Professor Laurie Walsh AO

Emeritus Professor Laurie Walsh AO has served for eight years as chair of the ADA Infection Control Committee. He currently serves on three committees of Standards Australia in the areas of sterilisation/instrument reprocessing and personal protective equipment. Emeritus Professor Walsh has been teaching infection control and clinical microbiology at the postgraduate level for more than 25 years and has published extensively on these topics. He has also been involved in range of COVID-related research projects.

Dr Lochana Ramalingam

Dr Lochana Ramalingam graduated from the National University of Singapore in 1997 with a Bachelor of Dental Science and completed her master’s degree in paediatric dentistry in 2001 at the University of Melbourne.

Dr Ramalingam completed her FRACDS (general stream) in 2002 and FRACDS special stream fellowship in paediatric dentistry in 2006. She is currently the director of the department of dentistry at the Royal Children’s Hospital and an honorary fellow at the Melbourne Dental School.

Dr Luke Moloney

Dr Luke Moloney obtained his Bachelor of Dental Surgery from The University of Melbourne in 1983 and his Master of Dental Science in endodontics from the same university in 1990.

Dr Moloney is in private practice in Camberwell and Brighton, and is a consultant endodontist in the dentistry department at the Royal Children’s Hospital. He is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons. Dr Moloney has been practising as an endodontist since 1991.

Dr Marina Kamel

Dr Kamel is a Brisbane-based periodontist at Westside Perio & Implants. She obtained a Bachelor of Dental Surgery with distinction at Otago University in 2012. Dr Kamel completed her Doctor of Clinical Dentistry (periodontics) and specialist implant training at Sydney University in 2019. She has fellowship with the Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons (FRACDS) and membership (MRACDS) in periodontics.

Dr Kamel is President of Australian Society of Periodontology and Vice President of Australasian Osseointegration Society in Queensland.

Prof Michael McCullough (replacing Dr Amrita Gokhale)

Michael McCullough is the Professor in Oral Medicine at the Melbourne Dental School, the University of Melbourne. He is the convener of the post-graduate, graduate and under-graduate courses in oral medicine. Prof McCullough has published over 190 articles in peer reviewed scientific journals. He was an editor on the recently published comprehensive textbook ‘Contemporary Oral Medicine’, authoring several chapters.

Prof McCullough's oral medicine practice encompasses all aspects of oral medicine, notably the diagnosis and treatment of oral mucosal disease, including oral viral and fungal infections, oral ulcerative conditions and potentially malignant mucosal lesions, temporo-mandibular disorders, oral dysaesthesias and oro-facial pain.

Dr Mithran Goonewardene

Dr Mithran Goonewardene completed his Bachelor of Dental Science with Honours from the University of Western Australia, specialist training at Boston’s Forsyth Dental Center, Certificate in Orthodontics from the Harvard School of Dental Medicine/Forsyth Dental Center and a Master of Medical Science degree from the Harvard Medical School.

For 30 years, Dr Goonewardene has combined part-time practice with a significant teaching role at the University of Western Australia. He delivers numerous lectures and courses locally, nationally and internationally and plays an active role in education and delivery of orthodontic and surgical services in Sri Lanka. Dr Goonewardene is an active member of the Australian Society of Orthodontists, the American Association of Orthodontists, the Sri Lankan Orthodontic Society and the Australian Dental Association. He is a full member of the Edward H. Angle Society of Orthodontists. Dr Goonewardene is a Fellow of the International College of Dentists and a Fellow of the Academy of Dentistry International.

Dr Mohammed Meer

Dr Mohammed Meer is registered with AHPRA as a specialist oral surgeon. He received his Bachelor of Dental Science from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa in 1993. Dr Meer completed the coursework for a Master of Science degree in dentistry at Wits University in 1995, with Paedodontics as a major before being awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Oral Surgery from the University of Pretoria in 1996 (with distinction). In 2000, he relocated to Cape Town to specialise in maxillo-facial and oral surgery at the University of Stellenbosch/University of the Western Cape, which he completed in 2004, cum laude.

Dr Meer has been involved in clinical teaching undergraduate and postgraduate students in four of the five dental schools in South Africa. He was in private practice in Cape Town and was a consultant at the department of maxillo-facial and oral surgery of the University of the Western Cape before emigrating to Australia in 2007.

In 2008 and 2009, Dr Meer was the acting discipline lead in oral and maxillofacial surgery at Griffith University. During this time, he completed the Australian Dental Council examination, and was an accredited examiner for the oral surgery component of the clinical examination held by Australian Dental Council, to assess professional qualifications of foreign trained dentists in Australia.

Dr Moya Vandeleur

Dr Moya Vandeleur is a paediatric respiratory and sleep medicine specialist at the Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne. Her clinical work involves children with general respiratory and sleep problems, however she has a special interest in caring for patients with sleep disordered breathing requiring ventilatory support.

Dr Vandaleur has a number of research interests that reflect her clinical practice and was awarded her PhD in 2018 (Monash University) which examined the impact of sleep disturbance on mood and quality of life in children and adolescents with cystic fibrosis.​ This research was funded by an NHMRC postgraduate scholarship and has received previous funding from the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) ResMed Foundation/ Sleep Health Foundation Research Entry Scholarship and The Royal Children's Cystic Fibrosis Research Trust.

Dr Vandeleur is the paediatric representative on the Australasian Sleep Association Clinical Committee. She is the coordinator of Advanced Training for Paediatric Sleep Medicine on the Advanced Training Committee in Respiratory and Sleep, RACP.

Dr Niall Quigley

Originally from Ireland, Dr Niall Quigley completed his Bachelor of Dental Science from the University of Manchester, UK in 2004.

In 2009, he completed a master’s degree in Oral Surgery. In 2010, Dr Quigley completed a three month preceptorship programme in advanced prosthodontics at the University of California and in 2018, he completed an MclinDent in Fixed and Removable Prosthodontics with distinction at King’s College London.

His interests lie with minimally invasive techniques for the worn dentition.

Dr Rana Yawary

Dr Rana Yawary is a specialist paediatric dentist based in Melbourne. She works both as a consultant at the Royal Children’s Hospital of Melbourne and in her private practice Melbourne Paediatric Dentistry, located in Footscray.

Prior to joining the Royal Children’s Hospital, Dr Yawary worked as the State Oral Health Advisor for Dental Health Services Victoria. 

Mr Russell Young

Mr Russell Young is a qualified dental prosthetist, who combines clinical knowledge and artistry with his experience as a master dental ceramist. His main areas of interest and passion are clinical and laboratory coordination and communication with dental professionals, Digital Smiler Design, implant design and aesthetics, All-on-4 Concept (where he developed the All-on-4 Lab Team Australia for clinicians).

Mr Young is a member of the Australian Dental Prosthetist’s Association of Victoria and a registered prosthetist of the Dental Board of Australia and Australian Dental Prosthetists Association. He graduated from RMIT, Victoria as dux of Applied Science of Dental Technology and won the Victorian Chamber of Commerce Study Award and Apprentice of the Year in dental technology. Mr Young was awarded the Overseas Foundation Scholarship by Rotary International to study dental ceramics in New York and Northwestern University Dental School, Chicago. He then returned to Australia and co-founded Omega Ceramics Dental Laboratory, which is today considered one Australia’s leading dental laboratories.

Mr Young also works with the founders of the DSD Scientific International Group as their All-on-4 DSD Master. In 2013, DSD launched a Global Digital Smile Design online service to dental professionals, creating DSD simulations for patients. He has lectured widely on aesthetics and art in dentistry around the world and published articles on dental ceramics in numerous international dental journals.

Dr Sam Verco

Dr Sam Verco is a dually qualified Australian oral and maxillofacial surgeon. He completed his dentistry degree at the University of Adelaide (2001), his Graduate Diploma in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in Melbourne (2004) and his Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery at the University of Melbourne (2007).

After completing his oral and maxillofacial training in 2013, he worked at the Royal Dental Hospital Melbourne, Monash Medical Centre, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Dandenong Hospital and Austin Hospital.

Dr Verco stays abreast of advancements in dentistry by belonging to the Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons, the Australian and New Zealand Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, the Australian Dental Association the International Association Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons and the International Team for Implantology.

Dr Verco’s specialty is the diagnosis and surgical treatment of defects, injuries and diseases of the facial skeleton and its associated structures. He especially enjoys the areas of wisdom tooth removal, orthognathic surgery, dental implants and facial trauma.

Associate Professor Santosh Tadakamadla

A/Prof Santosh Tadakamadla joined La Trobe University in April 2022 as the Discipline lead of Dentistry. A/Prof Tadakamadla has vast experience in curriculum development and course coordination in the dentistry discipline and is a fellow of Higher Education Academy. He has a solid research background and is a prolific researcher with more than 150 publications.

A/Prof Santosh Tadakamadla has mentored researchers and serves on editorial boards of several journals, most notably 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 international universities.

Dr Sarah Lawrence

Dr Sarah Lawrence grew up in New Zealand and graduated from the University of Otago Dental School. She completed her three-year specialist orthodontic training at the University of Melbourne. Since 2004, she has been in private orthodontic practice with her husband, Dr Igor Lavrin. She has also worked at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne as part of the craniofacial unit.

Dr Lawrence is a clinical tutor and lecturer for postgraduate orthodontic students at the University of Melbourne. This role includes supervising a number of ongoing research projects. She has a keen interest in Invisalign treatment and her practice has achieved Black Diamond status (treating more than 4000 cases). She has been a clinical consultant and speaker for Invisalign in the Asia-Pacific region. She has lectured in Australia, New Zealand, China, Macau, Singapore, South Korea, India and the United States. Dr Lawrence is also an expert coach on the global orthodontic coaching site, Your Ortho Coach.

Ms Tabitha Acret

Ms Tabitha Acret is a dedicated and passionate award-winning dental hygienist. She studied a Bachelor of Oral Health at Newcastle University after working as a dental nurse and practice manager for 10 years and graduated in 2008. Since qualifying, Ms Acret has become one of the most sought-after hygienists and educators in Australia and internationally.

Ms Acret was previously the National Vice-President for the Dental Hygienists Association of Australia and has volunteered in many for the association. She has a passion for educating students and works as a clinical educator for implant maintenance and non-surgical periodontal therapy at Sydney University. Ms Acret lectures and writes regularly for both industry and consumer press on motivating patients, implant maintenance, and disease prevention and periodontal therapy. Winner of the 2018 Leadership Award in Dental Hygiene and the 2019 Award for Clinical Excellence, Ms Acret had dedicated her professional life to continued learning and sharing her passion with the dental community.

Outside of her busy work life of lecturing and working clinically in private practice, Ms Acret volunteers locally and internationally to raise awareness to change the way oral health care is delivered to patients.

Dr Toni Surace

Dr Toni Surace graduated from the University of Melbourne in 1995 and is an international presenter, high performance coach, trainer and author. Dr Surace is the managing director of Momentum Management, where she works with dentists across Australia in helping them become more efficient, more organised and improve their communication with their patients and teams. She also teaches leadership and confidence.

Dr Surace has a background in positive psychology and emotional intelligence, combined with neurolinguistic programming. She uses her skills to help dentists become more resilient, handle stress, and achieve a good balance of work and life. Toni is a huge advocate of mental health in the dental profession. After enduring her own personal battles with mental health, she is very open to discussing coping mechanisms, and to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of mental health disease.

Dr Varun Garg

Dr Varun Garg is a specialist prosthodontist in full-time private practice. He completed his Bachelor of Dental Surgery in 2007. 

After working as a general dentist for a few years in Perth, Dr Garg started his postgraduate training at the University of Melbourne in 2015. During the postgraduate program, he was awarded the Dr Steele Award for outstanding clinical skills and received his Doctor in Clinical Dentistry (prosthodontics) in 2017. 

He enjoys all aspects of prosthodontics but has special interest in aesthetic, reconstructive and implant dentistry. Dr Garg likes to stay updated with the latest techniques and development in prosthodontics through continuous education. He is involved in prosthodontic education as a clinical supervisor at the University of Melbourne.  Dr Garg is on the committee for the Australian Prosthodontic Society (Victorian Branch) and is affiliated with the Australasian Osseointegration Society, as well as the Australian Dental Association.

Dr Vicki Vlaskalic

Dr Vicki Vlaskalic attended the University of Melbourne, where she received both her Bachelor of Dental Science and Master of Dental Science degrees.

In 1994, while on ASOFRE research scholarship, Dr Vlaskalic attended UCLA and University of the Pacific, San Francisco where in 1997 she became original investigator in the feasibility of computer programmed aligners, publishing the original article on Invisalign in 2000. Since returning to Melbourne, Dr Vlaskalic works in orthodontic specialty practice, is a clinical instructor at the University of Melbourne, and continues lecturing and consulting world-wide.