The Australian Dental Health Foundation (ADHF) and Dental Hygienists Association of Australia (DHAA) have awarded five study grants to support undergraduate Indigenous oral health therapy and dental hygienist students in their studies.
This year, each of the successful study grant recipients will receive $5000 plus mentoring services by DHAA.
Now in its sixth year, the grant offers Indigenous students funding that may be used to cover costs of dental equipment and textbooks, and financially support students while on placements or living away from home.
The successful students for 2019 are: Corinne Webster, NSW; Jasmine White, SA; Kellie Gleeson, NSW; Latish Sykora, SA; and Tyla McMillan, NSW.
“All of our successful recipients are passionate about enhancing oral health, implementing preventive measures, and reducing dental disease of the Indigenous and wider community,” ADHF chairman David Owen said.
“The Foundation hopes that the grants will provide recipients with valuable assistance to help them complete their courses so they can embark on delivering care to help reduce the inequality that exists between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
“We know that the delivery of dental care to Indigenous Australians is enhanced if that care is provided by a professionally qualified Indigenous practitioner.”
Aboriginal health reports have found that Indigenous Australians are more likely than other Australians to have multiple caries and untreated dental disease, and less likely to have received preventive dental care.
The oral health status of Indigenous Australians, like all Australians, is influenced by many factors including a tendency towards unfavourable dental visiting patterns associated with accessibility, cost, and a lack of cultural awareness by some service providers.