"Dr Skinner will devote his efforts to strengthening the close relationship between the faculty and the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health," says Acting Dean, Professor Heiko Spallek. "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."
"The Poche Centre for Indigenous Health is delighted to welcome the long-term collaborator, Dr John Skinner, to the research team," adds Dr Kylie Gwynne, Research Lead, Poche Centre for Indigenous Health.
"Dr Skinner has provided exceptional leadership in public oral health policy in his role at the NSW Centre for Oral Health Strategy and has demonstrated a long-standing commitment to improving Aboriginal health."
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. This has helped shape service delivery funding and workforce initiatives, as well as prevention and early intervention strategies.
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," says Dr Skinner.
Dr Skinner completed 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. 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 says.