ADAVB President's Comments
December 2018 Hide Comments
A time to reflect
As we approach the end of the year, it is time to reflect upon the dental community, our achievements and your own goals.
The success of negotiating better pay and working conditions for Victorian public dentists in the new Enterprise Bargaining Agreement not only benefits our public members but also puts the importance of oral health in the spotlight, and presented the ADAVB as a prominent and effective influencer of government. 
Negotiating reasonable changes for general anaesthesia and IV sedation in our dental clinics demonstrated our commitment to protecting the public, maintaining high practice standards and protecting the way our members practise. 
We continue to improve our member services with, for example: 
  • Launching the online Dentists Wellbeing Ergonomics Programme in partnership with PSA Insurance to help members prevent and avoid musculoskeletal complaints resulting from work practices (see page 25 for more information)
  • Reducing Practice Plus consulting rates to help members run their practice and prepare for accreditation 
  • Introducing popular new CPD courses at appealing venues, such as the MCG, Melbourne Zoo and the Arts Centre.
Over the coming year, we will continue to improve our CPD program to ensure a wider variety of training to interest our diverse range of members. 
We will also be undergoing significant IT changes and are hopeful that in the next calendar year, the ADAVB can be more effective in serving your needs with a much-improved website and better database management.
Dentistry continues to face challenges and we need your support to keep presenting a strong, objective and united stance on issues that affect our profession. The ADAVB is your association and we will continue to represent our members’ interests – but this on its own is insufficient. At the end of the year, reflect upon your commitment to protecting the way you practise. With the proposed changes to the scope of practice, we need everyone to express their concerns, not only to their patients, but also to their local and federal members of parliament. 
Be involved with your association – the easiest way is to join your ADAVB group. Enjoy some CPD while having a meal and meeting up with your colleagues. Dentistry can be very isolating and we become removed. We must fight this complacency and remain involved in our profession.
Which is a good segue to welcome our 2018 graduating class from La Trobe University, The University of Melbourne and the Australian Dental Council. This year, the ADA, in conjunction with the ADAVB, created a new online tool for 2018 graduates to promote their credentials (replacing the printed Employers’ Guide): This tool will help both potential employees and employers connect, and Victorian graduates are the first to be given access. 
I congratulate all our new members and encourage you to remain engaged in your profession. The more you put into the profession, the more you get back! I recently had my 25-year reunion and am still enthused with our profession, as were so many of my peers, because we remain engaged and proud of the work we do.
As the year ends, we should all reflect upon our personal and professional achievements and plan for more challenges for the next year. As leaders in oral health, we should not be expecting less than the need to also continue to improve ourselves and our profession!
Until next year, take care and enjoy your break!
Dr Kevin Morris

Produce, grow and perform
Equality. Equity. Parity. If I’m confused between the definitions of the words, I’m sure I’m not alone. The Australian Workplace Gender Equality Agency has a ‘business case for gender equality’ that describes the importance of achieving gender equality, with evidence showing that organisations will have an increase in productivity, growth and performance if they are actively reducing the gaps. It’s hard to believe that in the 21st Century we are still having the same conversations about the lack of representation of females in dentistry.
The percentage of female dentists in Australia is increasing and this looks set to continue. Although the evidence shows that increased gender diversity on boards and senior executive positions is associated with better financial performance, we still see huge disparities within our profession. I don’t label myself a feminist; a humanist perhaps. This is not a struggle between genders; organisations need to actively make change to the inherent culture. I’ve been lucky to have been supported by a diverse and fair council, and barriers to seeing positive change have been the result of men and women. 
I question an organisation that is aware of a problem but takes no positive action to move forwards. I’m also aware that trying to recruit any members onto a council, let alone a diverse group, has its challenges. 
As a professional association and an incorporated entity, the true ‘owners’ of the ADA are its members. Let us be encouraged and see us ‘produce, grow and perform’. We welcome you to take an active interest in your organisation and be part of positive change.
This issue of the Victorian Dentist heralds the end of another year and an acknowledgement of the achievements by our members. Dr Jessica Manuela was honoured with 2018 Tasmanian Young Achiever of the Year while Dr Pat Pandey and Dr Girish Sasidharan achieved their RACDS membership. Dr Errol Kilov also attended this year’s convocation as he achieved his RACDS fellowship. 
The ADATas Council has advocated for key issues being raised by members and continued to promote oral health for our community. Through my passion for advocating for older people’s oral health,  I have highlighted the need for greater inclusion of gerodontology in the dental curriculum and as a council, we continue to support research in this important area. 
The ADATas lobbied against the proposed Scope of Practice Registration changes by writing to Health Minister Michael Ferguson outlining member concerns. The response from the Health Minister noted our concerns and advised that he will take the views into consideration when the Standard comes before the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Health Council. We encourage you to use the resources available from to continue the campaign against these changes which, if passed, will fundamentally change the nature of the dental profession and the provision of dental services in Australia. 
We look forward to representing you in 2019. Happy holidays!
Dr Angie Nilsson

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