ADAVB President's Comments
March 2018 Hide Comments
Celebrating women in dentistry
With International Women’s Day coming up on 8 March, I have been reflecting on women’s place in dentistry. My own journey to becoming a dentist started in 1984 when my Year 7 maths teacher mentioned that her two older daughters were studying dentistry. It was the first time I realised that a girl could be a dentist! 
When Miss Ethel Godfrey registered as the first female dentist in Victoria in 1898, dentistry would have been considered an unusual profession for a woman. By the time I graduated from dentistry in 1994, one-third of the class were women. Times have certainly changed. Over 55 per cent of student members of the ADAVB in 2017 were female. Last year was the first time that more dental professionals (dentists, oral health therapists, dental hygienists, dental therapists and dental technicians) registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency were women. 
ADAVB has a very proud history of leadership of women in our organisation. To date, seven women have been elected President of the ADAVB. The first was Dr Anne-Marie Vincent in 1996. Dr Vincent was followed by Drs Pamela Dalgleish, Suzanne Hanlin, Anne Harrison, Anne Stewart, Jo-Anne Cherry, and myself. In Tasmania, Dr Dinah Fitzgerald is a past Federal ADA Councillor and Dr Nadia Dobromilsky is a Past-President of ADA Tas. Dr Angie Nilsson is presently the Vice-President of ADA Tas and Dr Gitika Sanghvi is an Executive Councillor of ADAVB.
In Victoria and Tasmania, we are seeing women leading other professional organisations. Presently, the Presidents of the Australian Medical Association Victoria (Dr Lorraine Baker), Law Institute of Victoria (Ms Belinda Wilson) and the Australian Institute of Architects Victorian Chapter (Ms Vanessa Bird) and Tasmanian Chapter (Ms Yvette Bretenbach) are women. 
International Women’s Day is held annually on 8 March throughout the world to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. Female dentists in Victoria and Tasmania can be proud of what we have contributed to our profession and our patients. The following people in particular deserve a mention: Emeritus Professor of Paediatric Dentistry at the University of Melbourne Louise Brieley-Messer, former President of the Tasmanian Dental Board Dr Janine Crotty and Dental Health Services Victoria CEO Dr Deborah Cole.
In the future, I hope parents will not have to say, ‘Girls can do anything’ because it will be assumed that girls can do anything. Female leaders will not be judged by their clothes, hair or make up. And women will receive the same pay as men for the same job in all industries. 
During March, Victorian and Tasmanian men, women, boys and girls start playing team sports such as AFL, netball, hockey and basketball as well as martial arts. This is the perfect time to remind our patients to wear fitted mouthguards made by a dentist for both training sessions and games. The mouthguards purchased in shops certainly do not fit as well as professionally made mouthguards. These over-the-counter mouthguards do not give as much protection to the teeth and are more likely to be a choking hazard.
eviDent Foundation is running the Mouthguard March campaign to remind parents and players of the importance of wearing a mouthguard during sport. eviDent invites practices to highlight the issue and commit to donating a proportion of the sales of mouthguards to eviDent to help them continue their great work. I’m happy to see that many of you have gotten involved in this worthy cause, and I encourage you to partner with eviDent if you haven’t already done so. Visit
Like many other Australians, I scour the newspaper during Australia Day to see who has received an Australian Day honour. With much delight and excitement, I read that Mr Garry Pearson received an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for services to dentistry and education. Garry was the longest-serving CEO of ADAVB from 1991–2017 as well as the founder and the first CEO of the eviDent Foundation. Congratulations Garry Pearson OAM for a very well-deserved honour.
Come and join my husband Gary, nine-year-old son Benjamin and myself at the Color Run on 22 April 2018 at the Sandown Racecourse to help raise money for the eviDent Foundation. There is a special rate of $43 per person for ADAVB members. You can run, walk, skip or dawdle. As there will be lots of colourful paint, ensure you don’t wear your fanciest sporting attire. Looks like it will be a great morning of messy fun.
Dr Susan Wise

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Public Messages
A message from ADAVB President Dr Andrew Gikas (2016/17)
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A message from ADAVB President Dr Andrew Gikas
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Dental Health Week 1- 7 August 2016 focused on preventive measures to assist women through hormone fluctuations. Visit to access information on dental health, free educational resources and steps to prevent dental damage.

One of three messages from Dental Health Week Spokesperson Victoria, Dr Elizabeth Milford.

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The ADAVB is very concerned about the CDBS.

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