Twelve University of Queensland Bachelor of Oral Health (UQ BOralH) graduates were selected to participate in the 2014 inaugural Oral Health Therapist Graduate Year Program (OHTGYP).   The program is an initiative of the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing, who are funding fifty recently graduated Oral Health Therapists (OHTs) to work within public oral health services around Australia. 

The benefits of the program are twofold; while graduates consolidate and hone their skills in a range of clinical settings (including health promotion activities); they are providing a much needed oral health service to disadvantaged communities in regional, remote and urban areas.
 
Ms Andrea Maguire School of Dentistry Lecturer said, “We are so proud of the 2013 UQ BOralH graduates. The selection process for the program was highly competitive with thousands of applicants, and UQ graduates were awarded 12 of the 50 places offered”.
 
The new OHTGYP graduates, their mentors and service provider representatives converged on the Grand Chifley Hotel, Adelaide in February 2014 for the OHTGYP Orientation Workshop.  Mrs Heidi Peacock, a Queensland mentor said that the workshop provided an explanation of the comprehensive program as well as an opportunity to establish relationships between fellow graduates and other mentors.
 
“I was impressed to see how many UQ graduates had been chosen to participate in the Program”, Mrs Peacock said.
 
Recently graduated Oral Health Therapist Miss Katrina Northey successfully gained employment with the OHTGYP in country NSW.  
 
“Since starting four weeks ago, I have surprised myself with my ability to deal with challenging situations. I work in a small dental clinic inside a primary school and see children from as far as100km away. I owe my success to the UQ School of Dentistry BOralH program Lecturers and Clinical Supervisors. They prepared us extremely well for the real world”, said Miss Northey.
 
“I strongly encourage any future UQ BOralH graduates to apply for the Oral Health Therapist Graduate Year Program”.

 

Contact: Andrea Maguire, Lecturer, School of Dentistry, +61 7 3365 8048 or a.maguire2@uq.edu.au

Photo courtesy of Heidi Peacock

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