The University of Queensland’s school of dentistry has just become the first dentistry school in Australia and New Zealand to appoint a female head of dentistry.
The 81-year-old school of will come under the wing of Professor Pauline Ford from the end of May this year.
Professor Bruce Abernethy, executive dean of the Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences said, in a statement, that Prof Ford’s new role arrived “at a time of great change and opportunity”, for the school of dentistry.
“Professor Ford is a passionate educator, having led the development of the new Bachelor of Dental Science (Hons) curriculum, served as the School’s Chair of Teaching and Learning, and contributed strongly to initiatives in simulation training and inter-professional education at both the School and Faculty level,” said Prof Abernethy.
The move to instate Prof Ford will make official a role she has already been acting in. Prof Ford has, since February, been the school’s acting head and was the school’s deputy head from January 2015.
Prof Ford has long been a star at UQ’s school of dentistry, graduating in 1989 with a Bachelor of Dental Science (Hons) for which she won a University Medal.
With more women entering the dental workforce—the proportion of female dentists rose from about 35 per cent to 37 per cent between 2011 and 2012—Prof Ford’s appointment as the first female head of a school of dentistry could be the beginning of a new trend.