ADAVB Chief Executive Officer's Comments
December 2019 Hide Comments
Wrapping up another year
As another year draws to a close, it’s time to reflect on our achievements for 2019. I’m extremely proud of my team at the ADAVB office who have worked very hard to deliver on the ambitious strategy set by Council.
Improving the oral health of all Victorians
When I decided to become a dentist, I wanted to help people become healthier. Throughout my 25 years as a dentist, I have been able to do that in a variety of ways: providing care to patients in the Army and in both private and public clinics, teaching a generation of dentists and now in an advocacy role.
The ADAVB’s mission is to improve the oral health of the community and enhance the professional lives of our members. I think that we have been able to achieve both these goals this year.
We achieved a record number of members for November, with more than 3100 members. This means that three out of four registered dentists in Victoria are members of the ADAVB. Our focus on delivering value to members across a range of services is key to acquisition and retention. We continue to have strong attendance at CPD, sports and social events, and great uptake of Practice Plus sservices. Our community relations officers assist members to manage patient complaints and provide valuable advice to the public. We will continue to innovate with our services to provide you every reason to belong to the only professional association that represents the interests of all dentists. All these things help you deliver the best care to your patients.
On the advocacy front, we started the year working with our partners in the Rethink Sugary Drink alliance to launch the ‘Thirsty’ campaign, highlighting the risk of sugary drinks and dental health. The campaign was extremely successful, with widespread media coverage that helped enhance the ADAVB brand. Throughout the year, we delivered on important measures, including a record Enterprise Bargaining Agreement for public sector members, working with the TAC and WorkCover to improve their fee schedules, holding regular meetings with key stakeholders, including the Health Minister, Shadow Health Minister and Members of Parliament from across Victoria. We continue to develop oral health education resources for members and patients, and be a strong presence at public events to promote the importance of oral health.
The capstone to the year includes two major achievements. Firstly, an announcement from Health Ministers to improve the Health Star Rating system. We have been strong advocates to improve health stars and have added sugar included on food labels to help consumers make healthy choices. Our partnerships with other organisations have been instrumental in including the dental perspective on these public health measures. 
Secondly, we launched our ‘Take Control’ campaign to encourage people to visit the dentist. Only around 50 per cent of the population visits the dentist each year, and lack of regular dental care is a contributing factor to dental disease. If we can lift this figure, it will help improve the oral health of our community and provide value to our members. We will continue to build this campaign to ensure that people see the importance in regular dental care and visiting an ADAVB dentist.
Enhancing the ADAVB brand is a major benefit to members. Although dentists are well trusted in the community, the ADAVB has a relatively low profile and low brand recognition. Our campaigns and media engagement help to build that brand, and trust in the organisation. This flows through to members – by showing the public that ADAVB members are the dentists they should seek out. Over the past 12 months, we have had more than 500 mentions across print, radio and TV, delivering an estimated $1.8 million in value to the ADAVB and members.
Graduating students
I recently celebrated my 25th dental school reunion and I don’t think any of us could believe it had been that long. We reminisced about the fun times at dental school, and the challenges and achievements over that time. December will see around 140 new graduates from Melbourne and La Trobe universities entering our profession,
and I am looking forward to delivering the occasional address to the graduating class at The University of Melbourne later this month. It is an exciting time as they make the transition from student to dentist in an era that I know is vastly different from the one that I graduated into in 1994.
If you employ one of these new graduates, make sure that you invite them along to ADAVB events and make them feel an important part of our dental community.
Merry Christmas
On behalf of the ADAVB, I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and happy holiday season, however you choose to celebrate it.
A/Prof Matt Hopcraft

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Clinical A/Prof Matthew Hopcraft
Chief Executive Officer
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