Dr Rick Olive AM RFD has been elected as the new Federal President of the Australian Dental Association (ADA) following a meeting of the ADA Federal Council. Dr Olive succeeds Dr Karin Alexander, the first female President of the ADA.
Dr Olive has a long history of service to the ADA having first been appointed to Federal Council in 1986 for four years and again since 1992. He has chaired a number of ADA Standing and Special Purpose Committees including the ADA Policy Committee. His commitment to the ADA includes a long history with his local branch in Queensland. Dr Olive was elected to ADAQ Branch Council in 1981 and served as Branch President in 1985.
He has played a pivotal role in the regulation of the dental profession through his appointment to the Dental Board of Queensland in 1994 and as President/Chairman of that Board from 1996 to 2007. He served as a Director of the Australian Dental Council (ADC) from 1996 to 2006 and as President of ADC from 2002 to 2004.
Dr Olive was also a Councillor of the Australian Society of Orthodontists Inc. (ASO) from 1989 to 2000, and President of ASO from 1998 to 2000. He was a member of the Executive Committee of the World Federation of Orthodontists (WFO) from 2005 to 2010. He also served as Chairman of the Sydney International Orthodontic Congress Committee, which organised the 7th International Orthodontic Congress for the WFO, which was held in Sydney in February 2010.
Dr Olive paid tribute to the ADA's previous President for her energy, leadership and significant contribution to critical dental issues at a time when dentistry is at some significant crossroads.
Dr Olive said today, "Under Dr Alexander's leadership, the ADA has been instrumental in informing the design of the Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS) and a number of government workforce initiatives. Oversupply of the dental workforce and the interference of some private health insurers in clinical care delivery continue to be key issues for the profession and I intend to make them the focus for my work as President.
"Along with my fellow members of the ADA Council and Executive, I will continue to encourage the Australian Government of the need for additional funding targeted at improving access to dental care for disadvantaged Australians. Now that the government has established its investment in our children's future, it's time to start targeting care to Australians at the other end of the life spectrum. Expanding the CDBS model to a scheme for pensioners will be a key focus of the ADA's 2015-16 Federal Budget Submission.
"I also want to ensure that the ADA continues to serve its members well. These are challenging times for all membership organisations and the ADA must strive to anticipate and continue to meet the needs of its members."
Dr Olive graduated from the University of Queensland in 1975 and went on to specialise in orthodontics. He continues to practise as an Orthodontist in Brisbane.
Dr Olive is also an active army reservist in the Royal Australian Army Dental Corps with the rank of Colonel. He teaches part-time and holds an appointment with the University of Queensland as an Adjunct Associate Professor.
His wife, Helen is also a dentist and they have four children and two grandchildren.
In an official statement, the ADA also welcomed the newly appointed Federal Executive, Dr Hugo Sachs as Vice President and Drs Terry Pitsikas, Mark Hutton and Neil Hewson.