About the Australasian Begg Society of Orthodontists

P Raymond Begg was the first Stanley Wilkinson Orator at the inaugural Australian Society of Orthodontists Congress in Sydney in 1961. It was agreed by the ASO executive at the time of this Congress that a Begg Lightwire technique course be organised.

This course was run in 1963, and it was from this beginning that a group “The Society for the Study of the Begg Lightwire Technique” was formed in 1966. The prime aim of the Society was the study of the technique and its ramifications.  The Society was renamed less than 6 months later to “The Australian Society of Orthodontists Study Group for the Begg Lightwire Technique”.

Membership was initially limited to ASO members who had either successfully completed a Begg Lightwire course or presented successfully treated cases using the Begg Lightwire technique.  Continuance of membership required members to present two cases with “detailed case analysis and treatment objectives” and in the spirit of member participation, members were encouraged to table clinical cases, present a poster or lecture during the meeting.

Participants at the first Begg course, 1963.

Early meetings were held, on average, at 6 monthly intervals and the main purpose of these meetings was to further education and development of the technique. During the 70’s numbers swelled and member participation was further encouraged.  Affiliations were made with the American and European Begg Societies and eminent overseas guest lecturers from both Europe and the USA featured frequently on the lecture program.


The work of Dr Begg was honoured by the AAO with the prestigious Albert H Ketcham Memorial Award in 1976.  The same year Dr Milton Sims research was also recognised and he received the Milo Hellman Award.  The presentation of the awards was made in Atlanta, Georgia at the AAO general meeting in May 1977.

Dr Milton Sims (L) celebrating Dr P R Begg's (R) birthday on October 13, 1982.

The Federal ASO announced that it wished to create a research award to honour Dr Begg’s contribution to Australian orthodontics, which prompted the study group to approach the ASO requesting naming one of the main lectures presented to the Congress as the PR Begg Lecture. Both the Begg Research Award and naming of a Congress lecture subsequently occurred. 

By the end of the 1970’s the Begg group had grown to 53 attendees and was a considerable proportion of the Australian orthodontists at the time.  During this period the group changed names and became “The Begg Lightwire Study Group.”

During the 1980’s affiliations grew stronger with overseas organizations particularly in Japan, China and later with India.  Australian meetings were held in New Zealand.  Following the death of Dr Begg in January 1983, the Begg Memorial Display was opened at the Adelaide Dental Hospital in May 1986.  

Clinical excellence of treated cases was recognised by the presentation of the Begg Medallion, first presented to Dr John Jenner in 1985 and then toDr John Reading in 1986.

The 1986 meeting, held in Hong Kong, was followed by a series of lectures and presentations in Beijing and further International exposure of Begg mechanics and treatment principles was undertaken by members of the group in India in October 1989.

The 1990’s saw the group change names again to the “Australian Begg Orthodontic Society” the annual meetings continued, but with the transformation to include other treatment modalities.  Treatment with the TipEdge appliance gained popularity, as it was perceived to overcome some of the design limitations inherent in the Begg appliance but maintained many of the Begg treatment philosophies. The group has always been keen to foster orthodontic excellence while honouring Dr Begg's considerable contribution to the profession.

The thesis of the group is to maintain the consideration, discussion and debate required to progress the theory and application of the contemporary orthodontics, in much the same manner as the namesake of this Society would have wished the constant development and review of orthodontics to be continued.  The Society perpetuates the name and status of arguably Australia’s most pre-eminent and innovative orthodontist.

Currently meetings of the Society are held biennially, generally at locations where delegates can explore the best that Australia has to offer.  Numerous members maintain their affiliation with European colleagues by attending the meetings of the European Begg Society of Orthodontists.