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News Bulletin : ADA News Bulletin November 2011
16 NOVEMBER 2011 Dental volunteering in Australia SOmE iDEAS TO gET STARTED committee report There are several ways dental personnel can volunteer their time, resources and efforts in community-based work in Australia. This article provides some examples of volunteering or pro bono activities, which by no means represent an exhaustive listing of all programs in Australia. The examples are intended to guide those who might be looking for ways to provide pro bono services. A more comprehensive list of projects within Australia may be found at www.ada.org.au/volunteers/volprojects.aspx or see the ADA News Bulletin (June 2011, page 39). In YOUR OWn PRACTICE: • Partnering with charity and non-government organisations (NGO), e.g. ‘rescue’ days through the National Dental Foundation and partners; • Specialist opportunities, e.g., orthodontics ‘Give a Smile’, Australian Society of Orthodontists (ASO); AWAY fROM YOUR PRACTICE: • Working directly with a charity or NGO in their premises or locations, e.g., Cerebral Palsy Alliance NSW; Filling the Gap and Wuchopperen, Cairns Qld; • Working with your professional association, e.g., ADA NSW partnering with Australian Red Cross Refugee Services, asylum seekers; ADASA Kindy Oral Health Education and Screening Program; • Working with government and other partners, e.g., Tooth Mob, NT. Project coordinators will be able to advise on what type of commitment is involved, e.g., length of time ‘away from your practice’, costs, resources required ‘in your own practice’ and other relevant matters. We remind dental personnel to consider carefully the continuing need for professional indemnity cover and any other legal and professional requirements such as working within the terms of one’s registration. A key element of all programs is the establishment of working partnerships that identify strategic coordinators both at the dental professional and community levels. The continuing link between a dental coordinator and a key member in the host community is essential to ensure continuing monitoring and evaluation of all aspects of the project. This means asking questions like, “Are volunteers actually doing what the project says they should be doing?”; “Are the project’s objectives being met, and if not should another way be tried or should the objectives themselves change?”; “Are new ideas or technology or procedures available to help reach the objectives more readily?”; “Is the project still required?” It takes more courage to ask this last question. The ADA SPC Volunteers Committee is always keen to receive information about existing or new programs. Sandra Meihubers On behalf of SPC Dental Volunteers To contact the SPC Volunteers Committe, email the Committee Secretary Adriana.Ferrigno@ada.org.au. “A key element of all programs is the establishment of working partnerships that identify strategic coordinators both at the dental professional and community levels.”
ADA News Bulletin October 2011
ADA News Bulletin December 2011