We should all be very proud of the resounding success of our Kimberley Dental Team (KDT) visits in 2023. In a notable change for 2024, as we transition towards retirement, we have one combined busy trip of 4 clinical weeks planned in May.
Extensive preparations are underway to ensure seamless operations. Our KDT headquarters in Broome will serve as the starting and ending point for our week in the Kimberley region. Teams will fly in and out of Broome and travel across to the East Kimberley for each of their weeks.
The majority of our supplies, sourced through DHS and very generously donated by SDI, are on track for delivery before the May trip. Accommodations and flights are secured, and communities have been contacted to ensure a warm welcome for our dental teams. On March 24th, we held a pre-trip information-sharing gathering, where new team members met and interacted with the seven 2024 UWA DMD Students. This marks a total of 62 final-year dental students who have actively participated in and contributed to KDT since 2010.
The four weeks in May will predominantly focus on Halls Creek, including visits to Bayulu School, Red Hill School, and communities such as Muludja, Ringer Soak, Yiyili, Billiluna, Balgo, Mulan, Warmun, and Frog Hollow. About 28 volunteers, including the dedicated presence of John and Jan every week, will contribute to our 2024 teams.
KDT maintains its strong collaboration with the Office of the Chief Dental Officer, Dental Health Services, WA Country Health Service through the Kimberley Population Health Unit. Trish Pepper, KDT’s Broome representative, spearheads the Strong Teeth for Kimberley Kids toothbrushing program, providing thousands of toothbrushes to Kimberley school children and families annually. We are very grateful to ADA WA for supporting 3 of our 7 final year dental students. Special thanks go to Rotaract for their commitment to repackaging thousands of toothbrushes into classroom-ready packs, a gesture well-received in schools and clinics. We also express gratitude to Colgate for their generous contribution of small toothbrushes and paste, along with My First Brushes and paste for a 0-3 program to be implemented by Trish.
Our heartfelt appreciation goes out to the Australasian section of the International College of Dentists, the Academy of Dentistry International, SDI, Colgate, and the Rotary Clubs of Perth, Heirisson, and City Rotary for their continued generous support.
We extend our deepest thanks to our dedicated volunteers, past and present dental students, and our corporate sponsors and generous private supporters for making our mission possible.
Jan and John Owen
Kimberley Dental Team