Marc Tennant, AM

Winthrop Professor, BDSc PhD W.Aust., AFCHSE, FICD

  • The University of Western Australia (M315), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


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Personal profile


Marc has been a member of The University of Western Australia academic staff since the early 1990’s having had experience in a number of departments across two Faculties. In addition, to his role as a Winthrop Professor he is currently the Director (and Founder) of the International Research Collaborative - Oral Health and Equity (formally the Centre for Rural and Remote Oral Health). The Collaborative (for over 15 years old now) is a global leader in driving reform particularly focused on marginalisation and addressing health inequality.

Marc has a lifetime focus on addressing issues of equity and justice through reforming oral health with a strong focus on closing the gap for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Marc and his team are acknowledged as the founding driving force in the sub-discipline of rural, remote and Indigenous oral health with national and international awards for his commitment and innovations in the field. To now, nearly two decades later, see this as a thriving area of innovation in Australia bring the team great joy.

Roles and responsibilities

Marc is a sort-after advisor to governments and institutions across Australia and Internationally and has been at the forefront of structural reform in oral health for nearly two decades.

Currently he is on a number of international bodies including the global working group on quality in dentistry for the World Dental Federation. His innovations have enhanced access and addressed critical issues in dental education, workforce locally, nationally and internationally.

Marc has received many awards acknowledging this lifetime commitment to the reform agenda in oral health; and recently had a café at UWA named in his honour. Marc has lead the development of the Collaborative that is strongly focused on enhancing the leadership base in dentistry globally; influence stretching from the Middle East through the sub-continent to Asia and out into the Pacific ( and has more than 120 Fellows and 50 graduate students and 50-100 other students. This world-class group has been acknowledged by WHO within inclusion in its Global Workforce Reform taskforce and Marc has personally be acknowledged for his efforts by the Malaysian government and is a life-Fellow of the Brocher Foundation (a Genève based equity focused think-tank).

Future research

Marc’s social media influence is substantial his Twitter handle is the most read personal handle in dentistry in Australia and his YouTube channels have reached over a third of a million viewers in 125 countries. Marc has served in many executive leadership roles (Clinical Dean and Head of School roles) in Dental Schools both locally and interstate; managing complex stakeholder interactions, including government, universities and communities. He has led the resurgence of dental education in Australia.

Intertwining a love of data systems/evidence-based decision making with an innovative streak Marc has undertaken lead roles in the start-up of all Australia’s newest Dental Schools, all of which are regionally-based (Gold Coast, Bendigo Orange and Cairns) and continues his lifelong efforts towards reducing social disadvantage and marginalisation.

Industrial relevance

Design, Construct and Operate Dental Schools:
Chief dental consultant to James Cook University
Lead dental consultant to Charles Sturt University
Founding Head of School/Clinical Dean, Griffith University Dental School
Founding Head of School La Trobe University Dental School

Teaching overview

Marc has taught across the disciplines of biology, head and neck anatomy, oral histology and local analgesia for more than 25 years. This teaching has been to a wide range of students from recent school leavers through to specialist registrars.

Marc has recently developed two YouTube channels focused on the anatomy of the head and neck. These freely available teaching resources have 350,000 viewers from some 125 countries globally. One of the world's most viewed Anatomy for dental professionals on-line learning resources.

For 60 years, Australia had only five city-based dental schools, however, in the last decade and a half four new dental schools have come into operation. Marc has played key roles in the development of all of these, as foundation leader of the program for the first two and as principle dental consultant for in the later two. Marc has been the driving force in development and implementation of the teaching and learning experiences (ie curriculum) in each of these new schools. They have all received positive outcomes from the professional accreditation body. Marc’s passion to bring these schools about was the critically perilous state dental workforce had got its-self into in the early 2000’s. Today, some decade and a half later we celebrate the success of the developments with Australia, and in particular public dental systems nationally having a steady flow of high-quality graduates.


Marcs team is now recognised globally as the leading oral health R&D group in Western Australia and in 2015 and 2016 Marc was the most published Australian in dentistry. Marc remains in the top half dozen dental academics in Australia for impact (h-factor) with 200+ publications and $15-20million in R&D funding over the last 15-20 years. He and his team hold 8 of the top dozen most cited articles in dentistry in Western Australian history.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Research expertise keywords

  • Dental public health
  • Health services research
  • Oral health in rural and remote communities
  • Workforce and oral health


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