ADAVB Chief Executive Officer's Comments
September 2019 Hide Comments
How we’re listening to you
The recent ADA member survey provided a unique insight into the views of our members, and again reminded us of our primary purpose, which is to support our members to provide safe, high-quality dental care to improve the oral health of all Victorians.
Like many organisations, there is a tendency to be very Melbourne-centric, and that is a criticism that is sometimes levelled at us. With more than three-quarters of dentists living and working in metropolitan Melbourne, it’s not surprising that much of our activity is located there. However, we are mindful of the needs of our members and their patients living in regional and rural Victoria.
As someone who grew up and was educated in rural Victoria, I am very aware of the unique challenges of living and working in regional communities, particularly the tyranny of distance.
The member survey showed us that dentists in regional and rural Victoria reported equal or high participation and usage across a range of member services compared with Melbourne dentists, including access to ADAVB CPD, participation in the mentoring program for new graduates, and accessing infection control and practice accreditation training. This reflects the concerted effort we are making to run programs and events in regional areas to reduce the travel and time burden.
One area of concern is members in rural areas being less likely to attend group meetings. There are significant challenges faced by our groups in organising these events, and attendance is difficult in some parts of Victoria. I have been to a number of these regional events in the past 12 months, travelling to Lorne, Geelong, Ballarat and Shepparton, and I hope to visit a few more before the end of the year. 
There has been a great sense of collegiality and fellowship among the members at these events. The inaugural Goulburn Valley Group Ball was a highlight, with more than 100 attendees including dentists, oral health therapists, practice managers and dental assistants dressing up for the ‘Risky Business’ themed event following a morning of CPD.
Overall, there was strong satisfaction with ADAVB member services, although lower utilisation of many of the services than expected. As we prepare to launch the new ADAVB website, I would encourage members to look at all the services that we have on offer, from practice support, continuing professional development, career support, sports and social events, advocacy and lifestyle benefits. These services are there to support you in the delivery of safe and high-quality dental care for your patients, wherever you work. Make sure you are using them.
Thank you to all members who took part in the ADA survey. You can read more about the results on the next page. These results include responses to the ADAVB-specific section of the survey, which helps us plan, evaluate and improve our member services. And as always, we are open to and welcome your feedback. Please email me directly at or our ADAVB team at
A/Prof Matt Hopcraft

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Clinical A/Prof Matthew Hopcraft
Chief Executive Officer
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