Colin Riley Scholarships |Tonga Islands Dental Program

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The second round of Colin Riley Scholarships are now open!

The second round of Colin Riley Scholarships are now open and Oral Health Therapists and Dental Assistants across the public oral health sector are invited to apply.  

About the scholarship

Dr Colin Riley devoted his career to improving public oral health. His commitment to making a difference is what inspired the team at DHSV to create the Colin Riley Scholarship.​​​​​​​

As part of the scholarship, three decommissioned dental vans have been donated to Vanuatu, Tonga and the Solomon Islands in the names of Colin’s three beloved daughters: Ella, Nicola and Fiona.

​​​​​​​Earlier this year, we opened the first round of the Colin Riley Scholarships to public oral health professionals to participate in a study tour in the South Pacific. Our successful applicants will travel to the Solomon Islands this September.

Tonga Islands Dental Program

The second round of Colin Riley Scholarships is open to an Oral Health Therapist and Dental Assistant across the public oral health sector.

Two successful applicants will be provided with a unique opportunity to take part in the Tonga Islands Dental Program tour.

You will be part of a larger dental group tour which will take place from Sunday 25 June – Monday 3 July (subject to available flight times).

Beyond the clinical component of this tour, you will also meet with local health practitioners to better understand the needs of the community and help scope out, with local health representatives, how DHSV could partner with oral health teams over the next 5 years.

Knowledge of working within a mobile dental van will be valuable. Education on operating the equipment and van will be an advantage for this initial program. Training and support material will be provided.

What do I need to know?

The capacity-building scholarship was established to provide 5 years of support to the region, and the mobile dental trucks will provide help where it is needed the most.

The tour leader Dr David Goldsmith will be available to provide valuable support and expertise on this trip.

The donated dental van will arrive during the Tonga Islands Dental Program tour and there will be an official handover ceremony. The ceremony will be attended by the King of Tonga along with a range of high-ranking officials, dignitaries and senior clinicians.

You will also engage with a variety of representatives from the Ministry of Health, the dental department and Rotary.

Who should apply?

This round of the Colin Riley Scholarship is open to oral health therapists and dental assistants.

Have you:

  • worked full-time or part-time as an Oral Health Therapist or Dental Assistant within public dentistry for a minimum of 12 months and are committed to continuing your work in public dentistry?
  • received the support and endorsement of your manager
  • exceptional communication skills?
  • a sufficient level of confidence to represent DHSV with stakeholders at all levels, including officials, dignitaries, senior clinicians?
  • a reasonable level of fitness, good health, and up to date vaccinations?
  • a valid passport?

If this sounds like you and you’re ready for an adventure, we encourage you to apply!

​​​​​​​Scholarship application​​​​​​​ timeline

Tuesday 23 May

Applications open

Wednesday 31 May

Applications close

Thursday 1 June

Panel convenes

Tuesday 6 June

Successful applicants advised

Sunday 25 June

Tonga Islands Dental Program tour begins

We hope it will inspire eager applicants to take advantage of this opportunity.

We acknowledge that this is a tight timeframe and the scholarship coincides with the end of the financial year; and apologise that the time constraints may be limiting for some applicants.

Can't apply right now? Don't be discouraged - we will have a number of exciting scholarship opportunities coming up over the next few years!

How to apply for the Colin Riley Scholarship

Are you eager to travel while using your skills and experience to make a difference? Apply now!

Applications are now open to oral health therapists and dental assistants working in public dentistry in Victoria. Applications for this exciting scholarship close at 5pm on Wednesday 31 May.

You can apply for the Colin Riley Scholarship by completing this form.

Have questions or need​​​​​​​ more information?

If you want more details about the Tonga Islands Dental Program tour, please email