ADAVB President's Comments
March 2019 Hide Comments
New opportunities, new CPD and new savings for members
Another year has passed and we welcome a new group of recent graduates of university dental schools and the Australian Dental Council, boosting our member numbers and therefore increasing the strength of our united voice. I encourage you to take opportunities not only in your work, but also in helping shape the profession in this rapidly changing world by being active in the ADA.
Our association exists for dentists and is run by dentists. Naturally, recent graduates may have other pressing concerns such as securing their ideal jobs, and refining their skills and financial literacy – and these professional development and support opportunities are available through the ADAVB.
For our ‘seasoned’ members, this might be the year to ‘throw your hat into the ring’ to help guide your association. Our collective experiences in the profession help steer the direction of the association, and your support and advice are invaluable for new members you meet either formally as mentors or informally during events like ADAVB group meetings, CPD courses and social events. You can read all about Dr Stephen’s Liew’s journey as an ADAVB and federal councillor on page 12.
After many years of studying, we understand that first year graduate members may have many financial strains. Therefore, your ADAVB membership remains free for the remainder of the financial year, after which you pay a heavily reduced membership fee (67 per cent off the full rate). 
Make the most of our career resources, including the informative Introduction to the Profession handbook, and upload your professional profile on so prospective employers can find you.
Our professional consultants are on hand to help all ADAVB members on non-insurance matters and for members who are insured with Guild, the expertise and support of community relations officers is invaluable. On a personal level, members can benefit from free counselling, advice and support for life and work matters via LifeWorks, our member assistance program.
Remain connected with your peers by joining your ADAVB group meetings. They offer good CPD and networking opportunities with local dentists. The ADAVB doesn’t only ensure your professional needs are met, your sport and social needs are also catered for with tennis, golf, recent graduate cocktail nights and other social activities. Remember the more you participate, the more you gain from your membership.
We are well into our CPD cycle and you will have now received the new ADAVB CPD handbook. We have our usual CPD programs such as relative analgesia, restorative programs, compliance programs as well as some novel programs like ‘Al Denté: Teeth, tortellini & tall tales’ and ‘Step into the history of dentistry at a night at the Melbourne Museum’. This year, the CPD programs include a broader selection of topics and experiences, ensuring that there is something for everyone.
Adding to your professional development, you can also apply for the ADAVB BOQ Specialist CPD Practice Bursary and NEW Recent Graduate CPD Bursary. See page 13 to learn how to take advantage of these great opportunities.
This month, sports programs will be in full swing, so remember to encourage your patients to wear a custom mouthguard during Mouthguard March. You can get involved by contributing a percentage of sales from mouthguards to the eviDent Foundation during our Mouthguard March campaign. To find out more, refer to page 25 and visit
World Oral Health Day is on the 20 March. This year’s campaign ‘Act on Mouth Health’ is the extension of ‘A healthy mouth and body go hand in hand’. You can access free campaign material about health targets for governments, as well as oral health care for children and adults. With a federal election in the wings, members can help press the importance of oral health for overall health of Australians, by approaching their MP’s local office, or perhaps local schools and community centres. Many voices will help support ADA’s ongoing call for improved access to oral health care for all Australians. Visit to find out more.
It is easy to fall back into our routines, but we should remind ourselves that change is the only constant. We should venture outside our comfortable confines and embrace change. Try some different CPD, or other ADA services, reach out to other dentists and be inclusive and inviting. We need to remain united in this ever-changing society if we are to remain strong and relevant.
Dr Kevin Morris 

From the President - Tasmania
‘Balance for better’ this International Women’s Day
March heralds the month I turn 40. I have dealt with it as any respectable 39-year-old would: learning to skateboard, new tattoos and plenty of shopping. The year I turn 40 also sees me finishing the Masters I have worked for over five years and being nominated for fellowship to the Pierre Fauchard Academy and to the Academy of Dentists International. Being President of the ADATas has been my biggest and most rewarding challenge. It’s a year I will be proud of.
March is also when we celebrate women’s achievements on International Women’s Day. This year’s campaign ‘Balance for Better’ was a theme I touched on in last year’s newsletter and is something I advocate for passionately. I have been reflecting on the changes I have seen over the 16 years I have been a dentist; I used to believe there were no disparities as a general dentist as the fees were set or I could dictate my own as a private dentist. Then I remembered when as a younger NHS dentist I was seeing 40 patients a day and believed I was being given equal rebate for my ‘units of dental activity’. After several years at the practice a new male dentist joined and I found out by pure accident that he was being remunerated far more than what the owner of the practice was paying me. Is it because he was male? It certainly wasn’t because I was failing as an employee; I received compliments, I was the highest grossing associate and I hadn’t taken a day off sick in the years I worked there. I had a Post-Graduate Certificate in Restorative Dentistry and my counterpart had the same years’ experience as I did with no post-graduate qualification. I challenged the practice owner and received equal rebate, but the humiliation and feeling a lack of worth still stings over a decade later.
As I turn 40, I see a period where the world expects balance and there is a strong drive for change if apathy and passivity doesn’t take hold of us.

Australia’s first female dentist was Annie Praed who graduated in 1906 at the top of her year. Now in 2019, Australia’s most qualified dentist and only triple-registered specialist is a woman. The capacity of humans to be driven to do better and continuously improve amazes me and I applaud all of our dental community that is part of the collective effort to achieve ‘Balance for Better’. Find out how to get involved with the campaign on 
Dr Angie Nilsson


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