2014 winners

On 27 November 2014 at DHSV’s Annual General Meeting we celebrated our many achievements and successes from 2014. We also announced the winners of this year’s Public Oral Health Awards.

Profiles of winners

light blue starStar of Public Dentistry


Dr Ian Steele

Dr Ian Steele first registered as a dentist in 1966, completed a Masters in Prosthodontics in 1987, and has been helping people improve their oral health ever since. Now Head of Prosthodontics, Endodontics and Periodontics at The Royal Dental Hospital of Melbourne, Dr Steele is a Senior Fellow at University of Melbourne and has spent his career in the public sector helping those in need.  

Dr Steele is well known for his delivery of high quality care and for working tirelessly with patients presenting with some of the most challenging cases. He has also dedicated countless hours to teaching and mentoring hundreds of dentists and specialists throughout his career.  

Dr Steele treats all people with respect and kindness, fostering teamwork with his colleagues and trust with his patients.



Anne Lennard

Anne Lennard, cohealth Oral Health Program Manager, has worked in the Victorian public oral health sector for over 20 years.

She is committed to service delivery and patient satisfaction and  constantly encourages innovation within her team. As a dental therapist, Anne is keen to promote an increased scope of practice for dental and oral health therapists and dental assistants and she was involved in launching a new model of care that helped cohealth to utilise a range of oral health practitioners, allowing her dental team to work smarter and to its full potential.

Anne has contributed to the sector through numerous working groups and has mentored overseas trained dentists, helping them to learn new skills while on the job.

Dr Nick Baker

Dentist, Dr Nicholas Baker works in the DHSV Integrated Special Needs Unit and has been a part of the Victorian public dental sector since 1977.

Dr Baker travels across Victoria delivering oral health care services to children with moderate to severe disability. He visits special development schools, private homes and attends emergencies as required - treating an average of 1250 children with special needs each year.

Recognising that children with disabilities require a special focus and a unique method of interaction, Dr Baker delivers a compassionate brand of care. He ensures the children have a voice by using sign language or play to communicate with them and gives them as much time as they need to feel comfortable before commencing treatment.




green starOral Health Project of the Year


Monash Health: Refugee Oral Health Capacity Building

The City of Greater Dandenong is the most culturally diverse locality in Australia, with residents from over 150 different birthplaces. Over 80% of residents are born overseas or have a parent born overseas and more than 50% of these are from a non-English speaking background.

To improve the staff awareness and the delivery of services to their diverse client group, Monash Health Dental Service (MHDS) worked in partnership with the Victorian Refugee Health Network and DHSV to develop the Refugee Oral Health Sector Capacity Building Project, focusing on staff training and improving the client experience.


George Gray Centre: Wise Choices Are For Everyone

The George Gray Centre offers day services in Maffra and Sale for adults with intellectual and/or physical disabilities, mental health issues, acquired brain damage or any combination of disabilities.

In 2013, the GGC received a small grant from DHSV to develop the ‘Wise Choices Are For Everyone’ project to encourage clients to become more actively involved in managing their own oral health and preventing dental disease.

They developed a series of posters using clients as positive and empowered role models for oral health and in consultation with Central Gippsland Health Service, the centre provided oral health education sessions for staff and clients.


Barwon Health: Kinder Wide Smiles

In their efforts to improve the oral health of their young community members, Barwon Health created the Kinder Wide Smiles program to intervene before a patient needed general anaesthetic or an emergency visit.

The services used a minimal intervention approach and provided dental assessments to children who may otherwise not attend clinics, remineralised initial carious lesions in Kindergarten settings and provided oral health promotion information through child and parent activities.  

This innovative service delivery model brings the care to the child and Barwon Health found that examining children and treating in non-clinical settings achieved cost benefits and improved access to dental services for children identified with caries.




blue starPublic Dental Clinic of the Year


Knox Social and Community Health

Knox Social and Community Health prepare for future service needs through formalised service and master planning and aim to secure capital funding to support clinic redevelopment and expansion. To date this has resulted in a clinic with 13-chair capacity and three new surgeries.

KSCH has partnered with local private providers to co-deliver care and together dental services in the area have reduced the dental waitlist from 21 to six months within a year.

The clinic has expanded their outreach models to include aged care settings and some of Victoria's most vulnerable children in residential care and the service is working to better the public oral health workforce through support of both dentist and Oral Health Therapy undergraduates, and hosting dental assistant trainees and new graduates.



Ballarat Health Service

Ballarat Health Service has delivered outstanding programs in the Ballarat community, building relationships with new partners, developing capacity, and improving the efficiency of service delivery - particularly to those marginalised and at-risk.

Their aged care project, involving use of a portable dental chair at four residential aged care sites, saw provision of 973 general dental treatments to 163 residents and helped all residents receive an oral health care plan.

The dental team also provided oral health education to carers and produced a manual to assist future care.

The health service also ran the school engagement program, assessing and providing oral health education to 500 children, and the “sit and wait” initiative to better triage emergency patients.

The Peter Innes program was also introduced to support teenage mums and pregnant teens to finish their education.

cohealth operates 22 chairs across sites in Footscray, Niddrie and Kensington, providing services to over 20,000 clients each year.

A recent accreditation cycle highlighted their outstanding achievement in consumer engagement and participation standards.

The service’s new service delivery model focuses on prevention, promotion and minimal intervention, utilising the full scope of practice of all staff.

cohealth seeks to ensure that their services reach communities and individuals that generally experience higher rates of oral diseases but have low rates of access. 50% of their clients sit within priority groups including refugee and asylum seekers, Indigenous peoples, those with mental health issues and the homeless.



red starCommunity Oral Health Champion


Jaimie Poorter, Lower Hume PCP 
Seymour resident Jaimie Poorter is dedicated to ensuring our youngest community members and their families, recognise the importance of good oral health.

As Smiles 4 Miles Coordinator, Jaimie works tirelessly to promote the healthcare services available within the region to kindergarten children and their families and to make the Eat Well, Drink Well and Clean Well messages part of everyday conversations.

Jaimie has worked hard to engage residents in oral health promotion through numerous community programs and has recently focused her attention on promoting oral health to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community with the help and support of local elders. Jaimie has also partnered with maternal and child health nurses to present healthy eating and oral health to mothers.



Karen Chugg, Bass Coast & South Gippsland
Karen’s work as Best Start Community Facilitator has helped her and her partners to raise awareness of the importance of oral health in Bass Coast and South Gippsland.

Karen has facilitated the implementation of the oral health policy and supervised toothbrushing programs in Bass Coast and South Gippsland Special Schools, as well as promoting annual dental visits for vulnerable and Aboriginal families involved in supported play groups.

Karen has made the most of opportunities to promote oral health and has been active on DHSV’s Healthy Families, Healthy Smiles Early Childhood Educators’ working group, representing Best Start Facilitators.

She was one of the first early childhood educators to support the initiative and has been active in seeking opportunities to further support oral health promotion in the area.

Gabrielle MacTiernan, Plenty Valley Community Health

In 1996, Gabrielle commenced as CEO at Plenty Valley Community Health.

That year, the dental service had two dental chairs and two part time dentists.

When Gabrielle resigned she had helped the dental service to grow, employing more than 55 staff, with 10 surgery rooms.

Gabrielle has been actively involved with the Dental Practice Board for more than a decade and continues to be involved with the Dental Board of Australia and the development of the National Oral Health Plan.

She has been instrumental in advocating for dental services in the NorthWest Metro Oral Health Plan and is a strong advocate for the introduction of specialist dental services to regional areas and the outer Melbourne metropolitan ring.

Gabrielle has helped introduce low-cost private dental services, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Saturday breakfast club and free dental treatment for bushfire-affected communities.

Last updated: 2015-06-24