Gerry Dickinson was a great contributor to the profession of Dentistry, to the specialty of Orthodontics and to the University of Melbourne.
Everything Gerry did, he did with enthusiasm and passion. Gerry excelled in all aspects of life. He as was a great sportsman, a great traveler, a great family man and a great friend and mentor to many. Gerry is one of the true legends in our profession and in this Memorial Lecture, dedicated in his name and in perpetuity, we honor his service.
In 1959 Gerry Dickinson commenced Dentistry at Melbourne University and was resident and later student President at Newman College. Gerry graduated in 1963 and almost immediately commenced his Masters degree in Orthodontics, which he completed in 1968. He had an exceptional reputation as a clinician, he was a dedicated orthodontist and despite his protracted illness, Gerry, was still seeing his patients until he retired at the end of May 2010.
Gerry was an active member of the Australian Dental Association. From 1967 to 1978, Gerry served on the Fluoridation Committee of the ADAVB. He played an instrumental part in achieving the fluoridation of Melbourne’s water supplies. This is arguably the greatest Public Health measure ever undertaken in Melbourne.
He served on the ADA’s Professional Provident Fund’s policy advisory committee for over two decades and in 2000 received the Branch’s Distinguished Service Award for this and his work on the 1993 ADA Congress. Gerry was a Fellow of the International College of Dentists and was to be the incoming President in 2009, having served for six years on the Board of Regents of the Australasian division.
Gerry gave more than 30 years of continuous service to the Australian Society of Orthodontists. Commencing on the Victorian Branch executive in 1975 through to 2007 when he retired from the Chair of the ASO Foundation for Research and Education. Between those years Gerry was Chairman of Congress in 1984 and ASO Federal President from 1993 to 1996. In 2006 he was awarded Honorary Life Membership of the ASO.
Gerry was involved with the University of Melbourne almost continuously from student days in 1959, then as a teacher in Anatomy and Orthodontics and later on Faculty. Most recently he was involved as a board member of the Co-operative Research Centre for Oral Health Science where he had worked closely with Professor Eric Reynolds.
The inaugural Gerry Dickinson Memorial Lecture was delivered by Professor Eric Reynolds at Foundation meeting 2011.
Acknowledgement with thanks from past ASOFRE Chairman, Dr John R. Owen AM