Rural, remote and indigenous placement
Griffith University started the part-time clinic earlier this year in partnership with Ochre Health Limited, Greater Western Area Health and Brewarrina Shire Council.
The clinic provides a valuable service for Brewarrina residents who otherwise have to travel about 100km to the nearest dentist. It also gives Griffith dental students exposure to the realities of rural and indigenous health practice while fully supervised by qualified dentists.
Dentistry students Claire Jerrard, Leah Mawdsley and Jennifer Perry welcomed by Brewarrina Dental Clinic receptionist Hiallie Jeffries (second from right).
The dentistry students work in the clinic on three-week rotations. Jennifer, who had previously qualified as a nurse before changing career directions, said she found the experience ‘amazing’.
“The people were very welcoming and appreciative of us being there. It was also great practical experience as we did lots of fillings and tooth extractions.”
After graduation in December, Jennifer is planning to work in a Brisbane dental practice for a year to consolidate her skills. She is then planning to move into a position where she can continue to provide dental services for an Indigenous community.