First Indigenous dental assistant trainees graduate

DHSV welcomes the four new trainees to the profession.
DHSV welcomes the four new trainees to the profession.

Four young Indigenous people have become the first dental assistants to graduate from the Dental Health Services Victoria (DHSV) Indigenous Dental Assistant Traineeship Program.

DHSV, Victoria’s leading public oral health agency, first offered the eighteen-month program in 2012 to encourage fresh, young talent into the organisation and the public dental sector as a whole.

Melissa Stevens, Wazana Maza, Michael Lawler, and Alwyn Ross were recruited in the first tranche of the program – with trainees coming from across the country to take part. They have successfully completed the program and are now working as qualified dental assistants.

The quartet will help support various departments at The Royal Dental Hospital of Melbourne, and they are all looking forward to using their position to give something back to their community.

One of the graduates, Melissa Stevens, said: “This traineeship was such an incredible opportunity. The DHSV team were so supportive and encouraging, and I am thrilled that I can now care for members of my community and encourage them to take better care of their health.

“Oral health is so important to our overall health and wellbeing, and I am glad that I can use my new skills and knowledge to pass that information on to others.”

DHSV Chief Executive Officer, Dr Deborah Cole, commended the four young people on their terrific efforts.

“I’m incredibly proud of Melissa, Wazana, Michael, and Alwyn’s hard work in becoming qualified dental assistants. We are thrilled to have them as part of the DHSV team, and hope that they will inspire other young Indigenous people to strive to be the best they can be,” Dr Cole said.

DHSV expects that at least two other trainees will graduate at the beginning of February 2014.

DHSV is looking to recruit another four Indigenous Dental Assistant Trainees by March 2014, with two to start their traineeships at The Royal Dental Hospital of Melbourne in December 2013 and another two in March.

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