ADAVB Chief Executive Officer's Comments
December 2017 Hide Comments

Welcoming new dentists to the profession and farewelling 2017


December is an exciting time for an important segment of our membership – final year dentistry students. It marks the time when examinations are over (possibly for the last time in their lives), the nervous wait for results and a graduation ceremony to mark the completion of many hard years of academic rigour. University life ends, and it’s time to move into the workforce. The daunting search for a job begins, with resume writing and interviews, and tough decisions need to be made about whether to move and which job offers the best experience and mentoring.

‘I would like to welcome this new group of dentists into their next phase as members of the profession, and encourage our existing members to embrace them as they make that step.’

The collective noun for dentists used to be an amalgam, but with the phasedown of mercury as part of the Minimata Convention and the rise in orthodontics, maybe we could consider the term ‘a brace of dentists’? Whatever the correct terminology, I would like to welcome this new group of dentists into their next phase as members of the profession, and encourage our existing members to embrace them as they make that step.


It has become a common occurrence to mark the first 100 days in office for new leaders. And so, it came to pass that I marked the 100-day milestone as the new CEO of ADAVB on Tuesday 10 October, an occasion so momentous that it completely slipped my mind. In fact, on that day I started work with a meeting at The University of Melbourne to discuss our ongoing Continuing Professional Development partnership with the Melbourne Dental School, followed by a planning session with our Policy and Research Manager to prepare for a meeting with Victorian Shadow Minister for Health Mary Wooldridge (among a plethora of other ongoing advocacy work). After that, I had my regular weekly meeting with the President, to ensure we were on track for the upcoming week, in particular to finalise details for the Council meeting on Monday 16 October. Then I stayed back for the Recent Graduates and Students Committee meeting at 6.30pm, to hear their great ideas to support and engage with our newest members.

I’ve lost track of people asking me how the job is going. From my perspective, it has been a steep learning curve, but I have a great team of committed staff who ensure the ADAVB continues to deliver great value for our members. My role is to ensure the ADAVB continues to meet its mission statement – that we are committed to the oral health of all Victorians and the professional lives of our members. I am endeavouring to get out to as many events as I can, to speak directly to members and find out what is keeping you awake at night, and what role the ADAVB can play to help you to achieve your goals. I would like to thank everyone for their support over the past few months, in particular the ADAVB Council, committee members, staff and our partners who have made the transition a smooth one.


Many members will be winding down in the next few weeks to take a well-earned break. We all know how stressful the dental profession can be, so I encourage everyone to use this opportunity to get away and recharge the batteries, because there is no doubt that we will all be busy again next year.

Christmas and New Year is also a time when many of our patients (and us) tend to overindulge. A good health promotion message for our patients is to enjoy some treats but don’t get too carried away. I’m looking forward to celebrating Christmas by embracing a number of family traditions, and I know that across the diversity of our membership, people will enjoy the holiday season in many different ways. On behalf of the ADAVB, I would like to wish everyone a happy holiday season and best wishes for 2018.

Clinical A/Prof Matt Hopcraft

The ADAVB office will be closed from 22 December 1pm – 2 January 9am.


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Clinical A/Prof Matthew Hopcraft
Chief Executive Officer
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