Dental assistants receive scholarship from the Oral Health Therapist Fund | Te Whatu Ora - Te Tai Tokerau

Dental assistants receive scholarship from the Oral Health Therapist Fund

In early 2024, two candidates were selected to receive a $2500 scholarship from the Oral Health Therapist Fund. 

A member of our community generously provides the Oral Health Therapist Fund to support kaimahi who have no previous qualifications and seek to study at the Certificate, Diploma or Bachelor level. 

The two recipients are Hine Leaf, a dental assistant from Kerikeri who is studying for a Bachelor of Oral Health and Francis Stewart, a dental assistant who is studying for a Bachelor of Health Science in Oral Health Therapy. 

Hine has been working at Te Whatu Ora since 2020 as a dental assistant and has seen first-hand the significant oral health disparities experienced by our people in Te Tai Tokerau. 

“I aspire to equip whānau with the necessary knowledge and resources to maintain good oral health,” Hine offered. 

“I’m eager to join the Te Tai Tokerau Oral Health Service when I graduate to provide much-needed dental therapy to the tamariki in our region. Prevention is key and can profoundly affect our overall health and well-being.” 

Francis describes her experience as a dental assistant has not only equipped her with practical knowledge of dental procedures but has also ignited a desire for a more prominent role in promoting oral health. 

“As a dental assistant, I have had the privilege of interacting with diverse patients, and it is evident that oral health extends beyond individual well-being to community health as a whole,” Francis said. 

“Becoming an Oral Health Therapist will empower me to not only provide essential preventive and therapeutic oral health services but also to engage in community outreach and education initiatives.” 

In her final year, Hine acknowledges that she wouldn’t have achieved what she has without the support she has received and is looking forward to giving back to our community. 

“I am humbled to have received this scholarship and want to thank Pip Zammit, Bianca Mokaraka, my managers and co-workers, clinical educators and AUT for their support over the last three years.”

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