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Transforming Smiles and Lives: Our Partnership with River Nile School and Gladstone Park Secondary School

28 June 2023 | Media Release

Australian Dental Foundation is preparing to visit River Nile School in Melbourne, which reached out to us for assistance for their young women students aged 16-22 from refugee/migrant background. 80% of students have either never seen a dentist or have not seen one for 10 years or more and many are suffering from decay and other painful oral health issues. We have partnered with the Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce, which provided $13,000 towards our $21,000 project, to help these young women. Access to quality oral health care for all is a key mission of our Foundation.  

Our project also includes refugee students at Gladstone Park Secondary School, which is a co-educational college catering to students from year 7 to 12, with more than 1600 students enrolled at its Melbourne campus. These students may have experienced disrupted schooling, recently arrived in Australia, or prefer a flexible learning environment.

Pip Henderson, Site Relations Manager (Victorian) said “It was a privilege meeting the students from the River Nile School. Many of the girls had left their home countries under very difficult circumstances to begin a new life in Melbourne”.

We are proud to treat these students who may have never visited a dentist before; it is truly rewarding to offer this much-needed service. We are also thrilled to offer a placement opportunity to a current student at River Nile School, allowing them to gain valuable experience in the dental field. Additionally, we have extended a position of dental assistant to one of their former students, showcasing our commitment to supporting the educational and professional growth of individuals in our community.

Pip said, “There were those that had never been to see a dentist, so when we were asked if we could chat with their girls at the school’s health expo we jumped at the chance. This was a fun and informative presentation, which provided the students with some knowledge of oral healthcare prior to our visit and will certainly help the girls feel comfortable with the dental process moving forward”.

To find out more, please visit our website: www.dentalfoundation.org.au/programs/my-school-dentist-program/