The DHAA Board

Caring for our industry. Caring for you.

The DHAA is run and managed by a team of eager and willing volunteers. These individuals happily give up their valuable spare time to ensure the smooth-running of the Association, the well-being of our members and the future of our profession.

Dr Melanie Hayes
DHAA President & Victorian Director

Melanie was part of the first graduating cohort from the Bachelor of Oral Health Program at the University of Newcastle, where she was the Graduate Speaker and awarded the Golden Scaler for Clinical Excellence. Melanie then went on to complete an Honours Degree with First Class Honours, and then a PhD exploring “Musculoskeletal Disorders in the Australian Dental Hygiene Profession”. Since graduating she has worked in both general and periodontal practices, as well as educating oral health students in Lecturing positions at the University of Newcastle and currently with the University of Melbourne.

Melanie has been involved with various DHAA committees since 2008. She was the Secretary for NSW Branch from 2009-2010, and then the State President from 2010-2012. Following this she was elected as the NSW National Councillor in 2014, and was then subsequently elected as National President in the same year. Since beginning her term as President, Melanie has represented the DHAA in various forums, including consultation on the National Oral Health Plan and the review of Attributes and Competencies of a Dental Hygienist with the Australian Dental Council.

In a rapidly changing profession, Melanie is keen to ensure that the DHAA provides all members with the support they need for professional growth and career development.

Kathryn Novak
DHAA Vice-President & ACT Director

Kathryn has been in the dental industry since 1982 where she started as a part time assistant in Canberra. After working in orthodontic and periodontal practices, she studied in Adelaide to complete a Associate Diploma in Dental Hygiene. For the next 20 years she worked in numerous practices, rural and city, public and private, general and orthodontic, while having a family and relocating often due to her husbands work. Since returning to Canberra in 2005, she has held many roles in the DHAA branch. She has been President, National Councillor and CPD chair but the highlight was being the Chair of the National Symposium in 2014. She still really enjoys her clinical work in Ortho and General practices.

Cheryl Dey
DHAA Treasurer & South Australia Director

Cheryl graduated from the Advanced Diploma of Oral Health at Gilles Plains, TAFE SA, in 2006, receiving an award for excellence from the Australian Dental Association and delivering the graduate speech. Since graduating she has worked in general and specialist practices in Adelaide and Sydney.

Cheryl has been a member of the DHAA and involved in various committees since 2007. She became involved in the DHAA SA executive after graduating, taking the role of State Treasurer from 2007 to 2009. In 2012 she took on a mentee role under the National Treasurer, taking over the role formally in 2012. Cheryl has been heavily involved in the Restructure Task Force since its inception, taking on the role of Chair in 2014.

Cheryl is passionate about furthering the position of the DHAA as the peak professional body representing Dental Hygienists and Oral Health Therapists. She firmly believes that the members deserve a strong Association to provide leadership, advocacy, education and mentoring.

Cheryl currently works full time in a private orthodontic practice; primarily in Adelaide, and commutes to Melbourne twice a month.

Leonie Brown
Northern Territory Director

Leonie graduated from Curtin University in 2008 with an Associate Degree in Dental Hygiene. She worked in general private practice in Perth until 2015 when she moved to Darwin working both as a civilian dental hygienist for the defence force and in general private practice.

Leonie joined the DHAA(WA) committee in 2014 as the alternate national councillor. With the move to Darwin she had taken on the NT Director role. 2016 will be the first year DHAA has had an NT committee. Leonie is confident that NT OHT’s and hygienists will now be able to have all the benefits membership with the DHAA offers.

Ian Epondulan
New South Wales Director

Ian graduated as an Oral Health Therapist from The University of Sydney in 2011 and took up a position at NSW Health – Hunter New England Local Health District (HNELHD) gaining valuable clinical experience. He is passionate about Population Oral Health Promotion and in 2016 is currently undertaking a Master of Public Health at The University of Sydney.

Ian became involved with the Dental Hygienists Association of Australia (DHAA) Ltd. volunteering as a student member and joined the CPD Team. In 2013 he was elected as Vice-President for the NSW Branch and assisted as NSW Acting Secretary. Following this he was elected as NSW National Councillor in 2014 and subsequently in 2015 as NSW Board Director. Part of his role involves Chair of Membership Committee, engaging in active participation in managing communication to members via social media platforms and assisting in the organisation of CPD events. A highlight achievement was the successful planning of the 13th DHAA National Symposium in Sydney in 2015.

Ian is part of the Supporting Oral Health in Later Life Group (SOHILL), a special interest group created to help improve dental services for older people and embraces all people who want to be involved in improving oral health for this group. He has volunteered for the Tzu Chi Foundation which provides free dental care for the disadvantaged in Western Sydney. He hopes to continue to be a voice and advocacy for future leaders of the profession through encouraging the development and mentorship of recent graduates and new members.

Rhonda Kremmer
Western Australia Director

Rhonda trained in the first year of Dental Therapy in Victoria. They were pioneers working in new dental vans/clinics at primary schools where the caries rate was high. Fluoride was only introduced into the Melbourne water supply in 1977, the year they graduated. Children often required eight fillings or more and extractions of six year old molars. In 1999 a bridging course was offered at Melbourne University for the first time (pioneering again). A diploma offered Dental Therapists training as Oral Health Therapists (Hygiene) and Rhonda undertook the year intensive study. Rhonda became passionate about periodontal disease and addressed the need to educate and treat predominately adults with this condition. She has worked with periodontists and the experience has aided her clinical expertise. Currently Rhonda works part time in a private dental practice in Subiaco.

Rhonda has held executive positions on dental hygiene committees for over fourteen years including being a past president in Victoria and National Councillor in two states. She has a keen interest in our profession and have been actively involved in lobbying for hygienists’ to address aged care oral health and hopefully other disadvantaged communities. Rhonda enjoys participating in a team environment and appreciates the privilege of representing our members at national level where we can make a difference. She finds mentoring the newly graduated hygienists on our committee rewarding and benefits herself from their keen assistance.

With three adult children not living close by (and two delightful grandsons who live in South Africa) Rhonda has time to give back to the profession so long as she can fit a couple of games of golf in per week!

Andrea Shoobridge
Tasmania Director

Copy to come

Carol Tran
Queensland Director

Copy to come

State Chairs

Your friendly local contact.

The following volunteers are on-hand to represent our members in all corners of the country. As the state chair-person they are you local face of the DHAA association and work tirelessly, with their teams, to ensure that you have CPD events and state-specific support at your fingertips.

Madellyn Kennedy
DHAA ACT State Chair

Tabitha Acret
DHAA NSW State Chair

Leonie Brown
DHAA Northern Territory State Chair

Carlene Franklin
DHAA Queensland State Chair

Lyn Carman
DHAA South Australia State Chair

Rachelle Johnson
DHAA Tasmania State Chair

Anne Di Paolo
DHAA Victoria State Chair

Anne is a registered practicing dental hygienist in a Melbourne general practice with over 30 years of experience in the industry.

Her professional career in dentistry has included expanded dental assistant roles, clinical dental hygiene, dental assistant and dental hygiene education and professional speaking. She has also been instrumental in the development of training manuals.

Following completion of her Advanced Diploma of Oral Health (Dental Hygiene) in Adelaide, Anne returned to Melbourne where she became involved with Dental Hygienists’ Association of Australia Victoria Branch. She has served as President several times of the years and has always remained an active member of the committee. An extensive list of additional committee appointments through the years reflects a close association with colleagues and peers and a genuine interest in oral health and representation of her profession. She still remains an active member of Australian Dental Association Victorian Branch Oral Health Committee where she has held that position for over 10 years.

Anne has worked in both specialist and general practices, is a clinical demonstrator for the University of Melbourne and is a keen photographer.

Aileen Lewis
DHAA Western Australia State Chair

Supporting Officers

Meet the engine room.

Outside of the main DHAA board and State representatives there are even more hard-working individuals that keep your Association running smoothly,

Josh Galpin
IT Director

Patricia Chan
Administration & Events Officer

Amelia Munn
DHAA Memberships Officer

Shiralee Davis
DHAA Employment Officer

Shida Taheri
DHAA Sponsorship Officer

Joanna Mohammadi
DHAA Bulletin Editor