Filling the volunteering gap

Volunteer dentist Dr Steve Chaffe and patient in Cairns

Filling the Gap is seeking dental professionals to volunteer at a community-controlled Aboriginal health services.

Right now they have some great opportunities available for dentists and especially experienced dental assistants at two Aboriginal Medical Services, one in Broken Hill NSW and the other in Narooma on the far south coast NSW.

They are looking for volunteers for two-week blocks throughout 2014 into 2015.

Both of the Aboriginal services are in need of dentists and dental assistants in order to meet the high demand from their communities. There are long waiting lists for treatment and in some areas of the regions people are finding it more or less impossible to get any treatment at all.

And, it’s a really rewarding and very useful experience. As one of their returned volunteer dentists, Dr Stuart Cran, said, “I feel like I achieved something worthwhile, being able to contribute in this way was both professionally and personally gratifying, while at the same time eye-opening, and enriching at a cultural level. It gave me the opportunity to give a little back for the privilege it is to be a part of the profession of Dentistry.”

All the costs of travel and accommodation are taken care of through a partnership between Filling the Gap and the Aboriginal health services.

Dental hygienists and oral health therapists who are willing to work as dental assistants can also apply, but give them a call first.

Since Filling the Gap began in 2006 it has provided over 10,000 appointments through the wonderful support of more 220 dental professionals

To find out more, visit where you can apply directly on line, or call Bronwyn Crosby on 0428 088 742.

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