ADAVB President's Comments
July 2019 Hide Comments
Welcoming the new ADAVB President, Dr Gitika Sanghvi
We welcome our new ADAVB President, Dr Gitika Sanghvi. Gitika graduated from The University of Melbourne in 2006 and was elected to Council in 2013. 
Gitika has been involved in numerous ADAVB committees including the Recent Graduate and Students Committee, the ADC Graduate Support Ad Hoc Committee, the Oral Health Committee, and the Sports and Social Committee. She currently serves on the Constitution and Policy Committee. Gitika was a Clinical Demonstrator for final year dental students at Goulburn Valley Health, and has worked in public and private general practice, both rurally and around Melbourne. We spent a few minutes getting to know our new President.
What do you look forward to most in your role as ADAVB President?
I feel honoured to be representing our members and am looking forward to advocating for them on all things dental. 
Currently there are a few big issues that we will continue to address during my term, including private health insurance issues (such as differential rebates) and scope of practice. We will also be focusing on government funding and public dental health. 
As a first-year dentistry student, did you ever imagine you would be ADAVB President one day? 
Not at all. During my first year I was so overwhelmed by the course, new people and a new environment, that even though I joined the ADAVB, getting further involved – let alone being president – wasn’t even on my radar. It wasn’t until I finished university that I decided I wanted to get further involved with the ADAVB.
How do you plan on reaching out to members and listening to their needs and concerns?
I have cleared my diary for the duration of my presidency as I plan to attend as many meetings and events as possible, so I will be readily available to listen to members in person. I also hope members feel comfortable enough to contact me should they have any concerns or if they want to discuss any issues.
What have been some of your key lessons while being on ADAVB Council?
One of the main things I’ve learnt being on Council since 2013 is effective advocacy takes a well thought-out strategy, risk analysis and time. I’m lucky to be part of a Council that is very inclusive, with a wide range of experience, which I think is integral in our ability to make well thought-out decisions in line with our strategic plan.
Where did your leadership journey begin?
My leadership journey began way back in high school where I was a prefect. I always liked to be in the thick of things and part of the process of change. At university, I became president of the student society and started getting involved in the ADAVB after that. I joined my first ADAVB committee (the Recent Graduates and Student Committee) in 2005 and served as chair in 2010/11. I completed the ADAVB Health Sector Leadership Program in 2012.
Is it all hard work being on Council?
It can be hard work sometimes, but very satisfying to say the least. It definitely requires a time commitment. There are lots of papers to read before every meeting, and issues to dissect and think about before discussion takes place. Also, councillors are assigned ADAVB groups. We attend the group meetings, present an ADAVB update, and are often asked to chair group events and attend functions. 
What advice do you have for members considering a role on Council? 
It is always great to start on an ADAVB committee first and get to know the workings of the ADAVB, and whether it works for you and your expectations. You can also nominate for the Health Sector Leadership Program, which is great preparation and available every year. 
If you’re extra keen, attend an Australian Institute of Company Director course on governance, finance, and/or strategy and risk. This is what we recommend for new councillors so they have some background knowledge on what’s expected as a board member.
As always, councillors are eager to chat to members and answer any questions about what to expect, and how best to prepare.
What attributes do you think make a great leader?
The ability to inspire people and bring people together for a common cause.  
Dr Gitika Sanghvi

Pioneering and inspiring
Plastic Free July 
Tasmania has a proud history when it comes to pioneering in dentistry; in 1953, the first town in Australia to have a fluoridated water supply was Beaconsfield in the north-east of the island. Now, in 2019, every town with a population of 1000 and over has a fluoridated water supply, and we are starting to see a decrease in child caries rates. 
Your ADATas Council has continued the work by lobbying councils throughout the state to increase water filling stations. Not only will we provide our communities with a healthier choice but support sustainable living and reduce the need for single-use plastics. The Northern Tasmanian Waste Management Group (NTWMG) offers an annual grants program, which opens in August. This program provides opportunities for financial assistance on projects that aim to reduce waste and landfill diversion, with water drinking stations fitting the criteria. 
Another way to get involved in Plastic Free July is to sign up to Terracycle’s Oral Care Recycling Program. From toothpaste tubes to floss containers, used products can be sent for free to be recycled into new plastics while redeeming points for non-profit organisations or schools of your choice.
Member achievements 
I would like to congratulate member achievements, with Tasmanian ADA members Dr Chris Sanzaro, Dr Mark Newman and Dr Ioan Jones receiving nominations to become Fellows of the International College of Dentists. ADATas federal councillor A/Prof Len Crocombe was honoured with the ADA Distinguished Service Award for his many years of dedication to the ADA. 
Our younger members have also been contributing to our local communities, with Dr Wendy Huang taking part in a community initiative called ‘Close the Gap’ in St Helen’s. Dr Huang visited a local aged-care facility to provide oral health education to staff and dental care to residents.
Our members in Tasmania continue to inspire; I am proud and humbled to be part of a collaborative and motivated community of dental professionals and look forward to my second term as President of your Council.
Dr Angie Nilsson

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