Dental group grants put money where mouth is

Five study grants to support undergraduate indigenous oral health therapy and dental hygienist students in their studies have been awarded this week.

The Australian Dental Health Foundation (ADHF) and Dental Hygienists Association of Australia (DHAA) have awarded each of the five successful study grant recipients $5,000 plus mentoring services by DHAA.

Now in its sixth year, the grant offers indigenous students funding that may be used to cover the costs of dental equipment and textbooks, and financially support students while on placements or living away from home.

The successful students for 2019 are:

  • NSW – Corinne Webster, Kellie Gleeson and Tyla McMillan; and
  • SA – Jasmine White and Latish Sykora.

ADHF Chair David Owen congratulated the recipients, noting all the successful recipients were passionate about enhancing oral health, implementing preventive measures and reducing dental disease among the indigenous and wider community.

“The foundation hopes the grants will provide recipients with valuable assistance to help them complete their courses so they can embark on delivering care to help reduce the inequality that exists between Indigenous and non-indigenous Australians,” he said.

“We know the delivery of dental care to indigenous Australians is enhanced if that care is provided by a professionally qualified indigenous practitioner.”

Aboriginal health reports have found that indigenous Australians are more likely than other Australians to have multiple caries and untreated dental disease, and less likely to have received preventive dental care.1

The oral health status of indigenous Australians, as with all Australians, is influenced by many factors, including a tendency towards unfavourable dental visiting patterns associated with accessibility, cost, and a lack of cultural awareness by some service providers.2,3

DHAA CEO Bill Suen also congratulated the recipients.

“The DHAA is proud to be able to help fund study grants and mentoring support to these undergraduate students during their university journey.

“University can be a challenging time, particularly financially, so these grants are there to make the experience that little bit easier. We wish the recipients well for their future studies.”

References:

  1. AHMAC (Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council) 2017. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework 2017 Report. gov.au/reports/den/231/oral-health-and-dental-care-in-australia/contents/summary
  2. COAG (Council of Australian Governments), Health Council 2015. Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives: Australia’s National Oral Health Plan 2015- 2024. gov.au/reports/den/231/oral-health-and-dental-care-in-australia/contents/summary
  3. NACDH (National Advisory Council on Dental Health) 2012. Report of the National Advisory Council on Dental Health 2012. Canberra: gov.au/reports/den/231/oral-health-and-dental-care-in-australia/contents/summary

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