Dr John Skinner has been appointed as senior research fellow at the Faculty of Dentistry, University of Sydney, bringing with him over 10 years of experience in oral health, including expertise gained in his recent position as director of Oral Health Strategy NSW.
“Dr Skinner will devote his efforts to strengthening the close relationship between the faculty and the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health,” acting dean Professor Heiko Spallek said.
“This will permit increased research activities for the faculty in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health arena and expand student placements in Aboriginal communities.”
As director of Oral Health Strategy NSW, Dr Skinner initiated and led the development of the NSW Aboriginal Oral Health Plan 2014-2020, the first of its kind in NSW—helping shape service delivery funding and workforce initiatives, as well as prevention and early intervention strategies.
This is after completing a Master of Public Health and a PhD at the University of Sydney, identifying deficits in oral health promotion and status data for Aboriginal teenagers in Australia.
Dr Skinner also developed partnerships between Oral Health Strategy NSW and the Poche Centre, including the Aboriginal Dental Assistant Scholarship program and the Dalang Oral Health Therapist Graduate and Obesity Prevention Project.
“This partnership has been exciting as it’s involved translating ideas, evidence and policy into practice in the real world,” Dr Skinner said, adding that he welcomes the shift to academia as an opportunity to pursue his research interests in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander oral health, service delivery and workforce programs.
“The research to be undertaken by the new position as a senior research fellow in Population Oral Health, Faculty of Dentistry complements my research to date as well as my work in Aboriginal oral health,” he said.