ADAVB Chief Executive Officer's Comments
February 2018 Hide Comments
Our focus for the new year
Happy New Year. I hope you enjoyed a good break, and are managing to stick to all your resolutions!
After a busy six months settling in to the role as CEO, my focus now is on ensuring that the ADAVB continues to be relevant to members, providing value and services that meet the needs of the whole membership, and continuing to advocate for oral health measures in the community.
I took the opportunity over the break to catch up with a few members to pick their brains about what they think are the burning issues affecting them. I plan to spend more time this year getting around to meet more of the membership.
What is clear to me is that we have a very diverse membership, and services and offerings that might suit one segment of the membership may not be relevant to others. Therefore, it is important for us to ensure that we have a broad range of services to manage this diversity.
As Susan wrote in her President’s Column, ADAVB Council has recently adopted a new strategic plan, with a focus on engagement, leadership, member services and capability to help drive organisational performance.
Our goals in the short-term include:
  • Growing the membership
  • Enhancing the member experience and interaction
  • Improving awareness of how the ADAVB represents members
  • Advocating on issues that impact on the practice of dentistry in Victoria
  • Promoting equitable and sustainable access to dental care
  • Enhancing the reputation of the profession
  • Promoting and supporting excellence in clinical practice and practice management
  • Ensuring that our systems and resources enable us to achieve our goals.
I will provide more details of our strategic focus and plans in upcoming columns.
We are continuing to advocate for dentists working in the public sector, who are paid on average 40 per cent less than their colleagues in other states.
The #RespectPublicDentistry campaign is gaining momentum. We are negotiating in good faith under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), and trying our best to reach agreement to support our public dentists, public dental specialists and specialists in training. Unfortunately, the negotiations are progressing slowly.
We need as many public sector dentists to join the ADAVB as possible so that we can continue to provide this valuable support that will benefit ALL dentists in the public sector. Encourage your friends and colleagues to join, because the ADAVB is stronger in our advocacy efforts when we have a strong and vibrant membership base.
Read more about the campaign on page 9.
With a state election coming up in Victoria in November this year, we are looking at how we can ensure that dental health is a bigger focus for government. We have started this process with our annual Budget submission in which we are calling on the Andrews Government to:
  • Invest more money in the public dental system
  • Expand water fluoridation to smaller communities to improve oral health
  • Provide support for victims of family violence
  • Pilot an aged-care dental program.
We have recently called on other organisations to join the Victorian Oral Health Alliance to assist with our advocacy, with groups including the Brotherhood of St Laurence, Health Issues Centre, Council of the Ageing, and the Victorian Alcohol and Drug Association able to talk about how poor oral health affects their constituents.
We are developing a campaign strategy, and will be calling on members to become more involved in the lead-up to the election this year.
This year is also an ADAVB Convention year, and we are well underway with planning our flagship continuing professional development event for 10–11 August.
I have always enjoyed attending Convention as an opportunity to catch-up with colleagues and classmates who I haven’t seen for a while, and I’m looking forward to this year’s Convention as an opportunity to meet more of our members.
A/Prof Matt Hopcraft 

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Clinical A/Prof Matthew Hopcraft
Chief Executive Officer
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