Advocacy and the battle to stay award-free

Advocacy and the fight to stay award-free: DHAA CEO Dr Melanie Hayes and DHAA President Kathryn Novak at the Fair Work Commission in Brisbane

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not” – Dr. Seuss


One of the largely ‘unseen’ benefits of being a DHAA member is the advocacy the Association provides for the profession. We care about our members and the issues that are important to them, and their support ensures that we have the strength and the resources to advocate on behalf of dental hygienists and oral health therapists, as well as for the oral health of Australians.

The battle to stay award-free

We know retaining the award-free status of our profession is important to members – a survey conducted earlier this year let us know that 97.5% of our members want to retain their award-free status. The DHAA had active representation during the entire hearing of the Health Professionals and Support Services Award review from the 11-12 December, at the Fair Work Commission in Brisbane.

Advocacy and the fight to stay award-free: DHAA CEO Dr Melanie Hayes and DHAA Qld Director Carol Tran at the Fair Work Commission in Brisbane

DHAA CEO Dr Melanie Hayes and DHAA Qld Director Carol Tran at the Fair Work Commission in Brisbane

The DHAA was the only organisation present representing the professions of dental hygienist and oral health therapist, with CEO Dr Melanie Hayes and Qld Director Dr Carol Tran providing valuable witness statements during the first day of the hearing. A final decision is not anticipated until 2018, however we will continue to work with our advocate to ensure our case is strong so that we maintain the status-quo. We would like to thank our advocate, Katrina Murphy, for her unwavering support for our cause.

“Advocating for fair and equitable oral health is important to us, and so we have been supporting a number of key initiatives recently”

Advocating for fair and equitable oral health is important to us, and so we have been supporting a number of key initiatives recently. The DHAA attended a Roundtable on Dental Services at Parliament House, where Health Minister Greg Hunt addressed key organisations committed to improving oral health for all Australians. We thank the ADA for coordinating this roundtable, and look forward to working with this forum on some shared goals.

The DHAA joined 13 other health organisations in an effort to stop the Coca Cola Christmas truck; deceptively promoted as an opportunity to spread “Christmas cheer”, the truck flies in the face of Coca Cola’s commitment to avoid marketing to kids under 12.

We also supported an open letter to Gunnedah Shire Council, expressing our support for water fluoridation as a safe, cost-effective and equitable public health measure.

Remember your association is only as strong as its members – so be a part of the community and let us know what issues are important to you.