Get To Know: Desiree Bolado

Image to support Get to know Desiree Bolado the Employment Officer of the DHAA

Find out more about the people making the decisions and calling the shots in the DHAA.

The DHAA has a crack team of volunteers that keep the wheels of our association turning. This week we catch up with Desiree Bolado, who is the Employment Officer of the DHAA.

  1. Why did you decide to become a dental hygienist/OHT?

    My parents always encouraged me to study something to do with dentistry. My Mum is a midwife, my Dad is a dental technician. At that time, I was 16 years old, when only yesterday I had to ask if I can go to the toilet and now I have to decide what I really wanted to do for the rest of my life. Then I told my parents, I wanted to do hospital nursing.

    Then, when I was 19 years old, we moved to Adelaide, South Australia from Manila, Philippines. Starting a new life was difficult but exciting at the same time. Meeting new people, learning new things, new places. After 2-3 months of finding my feet, I was recommended to work as a sterilisation nurse near where I lived, doing casual work, few hours a week, to see if I’ll enjoy, hate or love the job. I was very observant, all the ideas and questions I have. Should I continue working or continue my studies to be a hospital nurse. I decided to work full time and study at night, I then completed Certificate III in Dental Assisting and Certificate IV in Dental Radiography. After years of encouragement from family (since I was 16 years old), friends and work colleagues, I eventually enrolled and completed Dental Hygiene at TAFE SA Gilles Plains. The dental calling had always been there, parents know best, I just didn’t listen to their advice.

  2. What was your favourite subject during hygiene/OHT training? 
    Biology – the study of living things. I am fascinated how a single organism adapts to survive in their own habitats. How the body react and mend. The diseases and healing process.  The integral part of learning was the mentorship I had during my hygiene school, I am forever grateful.

  3. What do you love most about being a DH/OHT?
    Patients. I love seeing them smile after their dental treatment. It makes it more rewarding when they come back to see you and tell you, “Desiree, I have been brushing better morning and night, flossing once a day. I listened, and understand now why it is important to keep my mouth clean! No more bleeding gums!”.

  4. Tell us about your current role with the DHAA, and why you decided to get involved.

    I am the DHAA Employment Officer. I am responsible to replying to questions that come from the website employment link and for uploading the advertisement on the DHAA website. Liaising with the media officer to e-blast the job opportunities to all DHAA members.

    I am also the Communications Officer for DHAA Victoria Branch, responsible in emailing updates to committee members, collate creative inputs for CPD events from the committee, formulate the agenda and the minutes of meeting.

    I decided to get involved with the DHAA to give something back to the association. To collaborate and meet with Executive and State Directors, committee, colleagues and DHAA members. It provides me an opportunity to develop new skills and responsibilities, to build on existing experience and knowledge.

  5. Who is the person that most influenced you, and how?
    • My partner:  He believes in me, more than I believe in myself. His support and partnership have been unconditional. He’s always encouraging and supporting me, from decision making to life endeavours. He has let me know I can succeed in anything I put my mind to, and gives me hope for a much better future. He also taught me how to find hope and possibility in uncertainty.
    • Family and relatives: Plenty of encouragement and guidance. When I have questions in any given situation, they give me advice and put things into different perspective in life when I am unsure. They always help me along the way.
    • Mentors/Academic Educators, past, current and future: Without their expertise and hard work, I wouldn’t achieve what I have achieved today. They are an inspiration.
    • DHAA Executive and State Directors and Committee, past, current and future: The time and work they put together to provide all members the outstanding support and benefits.
    • Patients: They make me happier when I see the beautiful smile on their faces, the hugs, the appreciation. They influence me to do what I do best at work.


    Throughout our lives we’ll encounter messengers. They’ll come in different shapes and sizes. And if we’re open to it, they’ll leave their mark, which we’ll pass on to one person and that person to the next and so on, until what happens is a ripple beyond measure.” Unknown.

  6. What are you currently reading?
    Who Says You Can’t? You Do. by Daniel Chidia; The Barefoot Investor by Scott Pape; and Journal of Clinical Periodontology 2018 – most recent publications.
  7. Where do you go to escape?
    Wining and dining: I love to eat! I enjoy going out at restaurants to try different cuisines.
    Travelling and exploring: I like to explore places that I have never been. Within or outside Australia.

Keep an eye out for next time, when we will get to know another proud DHAA volunteer workforce.