Kathy Vern-Barnett


Katherine Suzanne (Kathy. Nee Lorant) Vern-Barnett OAM (1939 –    )

Kathy is a member of the prominent Vern-Barnett family of dental practitioners, Kathy has contributed for a long time to her local community. For many years she worked as a Dental Nurse in her husband Brian’s dental practice in Chatswood. The Vern-Barnett Award in Dental Assisting Excellence was established by the Dental Assistance Professional Association to recognise Kathy and Brian’s contribution to the education, advancement and recognition of dental assisting as integral to the professional standing of the dental health profession.

They were also recognized in the 2005 book, The Manual of Dental Assisting.

As well as being dental professionals the Vern-Barnett family has a long tradition of supporting the Arts, especially music with sponsorship of the Organ Music Society’s of Sydney Organ Competition.

Kathy (front left) presenting the Award at Sydney Town HallA

As a member of the Chatswood West Ward Progress Association Inc., for many years Kathy convened the West Ward Traffic Committee. This involved not only acting as the recipient of complaints about traffic, transport in footpaths in the Ward saw Kathy establish a number of innovative approaches to bring the issues to note and achieving positive resolutions.

After every edition of the 6,000 distribution of the West Ward News Kathy would collect information from the members who delivered the news about the condition of the footpaths in the Ward. She would then studiously send these details to a Council Officer in the Council Works Depot who would schedule the appropriate repairs.

Kathy also convened a number of project groups looking at specific issues. This involved motivating people to come to meetings to express their views. She would then prepare a position report and send this off to Council. When the time came she would attend the Council meeting and advocate the communities’ position. The same would go where the matter fell within the province of the RTA/RMS. She was a regular attendee and speaker at the RTA/RMS Traffic Committees where she forthrightly express the feelings of the local community. Some of the major campaigns that Kathy managed on behalf of the Association dealt with Mowbray Rd (including negotiations with neighbouring Lane Cove Council; Fullers Rd, Chatswood Transport Interchange, the Pacific Highway; school precincts; truck movements from transport tunnels and a plethora of issues dealing with local streets. One of many of Kathy’s public contributions can be viewed at https://cwwpa.org/2013/11/12/test/

For many years Kathy has also been the Course Coordinator for the Harbourside North Region of the University of the Third Age. In this role she has sourced a variety of course suited the needs of learners and ensured that the courses were delivered to a high standard. For many of these courses this also involved managing the logistics of enrolment and payment collection (this can be very time consuming).

Kathy married Brian Vern Barnett in 1957. They had lived opposite one another in Chatswood, she at 19 Goodchap Rd and he at the corner of Whitton and Crichett St.

Kathy was a Registered Nurse. From 1972 to 1999 she worked as a Dental Assistant in Brian’s dental practice in Chatswood, having qualified as a Dental Assistant in 1973. From 1975 to 2002 she was a member of the NSW Dental Assistants Association becoming its Secretary in 1981. In later times, Kathy and Brian lived on Mowbray Rd Wes, Lane Cove North near Centennial Avenue. After Brian’s passing, Kathy moved into a unit in Mowbray Rd West, Chatswood near the Great Northern Hotel.

Kathy has also been a Course Coordinator of the Harbourside North Region of the University of the Third Age. A long-time member of the Chatswood West Ward Progress Association, for many years she convened the West Ward Traffic Committee grappling with a multitude of traffic issues on behalf of the local community.

In 2006 Kathy was awarded a Medal in the Order of Australia for her services to the dental profession.

Kathy is a caring and passionate women and a leader in her community where she is open and welcoming to all and is committed to a healthy, happy and an inclusive community.