Find out more about the people making the decisions and calling the shots in the DHAA.
Every fortnight we ask various movers and shakers, in the association, a set of questions. This week we catch up with Madellyn Kennedy, the DHAA Chair for ACT.
- Why did you decide to become a dental hygienist/OHT?
During my final years of schooling I always intended to study nursing, until a careers advisor told me about Dental Therapy. After investigating this option further, I applied for a position at Westmead School of Dental Therapy and that started my career in the dental industry.
After graduation, I was lucky enough to work as a dental therapist in NSW, the NT, ACT and Queensland. It was while working in Queensland in 2004, that I had the opportunity to train as a dental hygienist and complete my degree in health science as part of the Academic Upgrade Program offered by Queensland Health. The main reason for pursuing the additional hygiene training was to broaden my range of dental skills and give me more employment opportunities.
- What was your favourite subject during hygiene/OHT training?
Rather than a favourite subject, it was the clinical sessions I enjoyed most during my training
The hands-on and communication skills I developed during these sessions ensured a positive patient experience and these skills are such an integral part of my day-to-day role in the dental clinic.
- What do you love most about being a DH/OHT?
I am currently employed in an orthodontic practice and I think the most enjoyable aspect is to follow the patient's journey from when they start treatment through to the day their appliance is removed.I have the opportunity to develop a strong relationship with my patients and have a very positive impact on their long-term oral health, but the greatest satisfaction is when I get to remove the appliance and reveal their beautiful smiles.
- Tell us about your current role with the DHAA, and why you decided to get involved.
I am currently ACT Chair. The position was vacant for some time and I saw DHAA Director, Kathryn Novak, taking on the additional responsibilities with the help from our Communications Officer at the time.Having been in volunteering roles before and knowing how much easier these roles can be when the workload is shared amongst a group of like-minded passionate people, I put my hand up to help.
- Who is the person that most influenced you, and how?
My mother was the person who influenced me the most.
Living with rheumatoid arthritis from her early twenties, and other debilitating diseases later in life, she never let her disabilities stop her from pursuing her passions.
A very gifted and creative seamstress, her passion for all things crafty lead her to create some amazing dresses, quilts, dolls, bears and more. Every one of her creations reflected a bit of her heart and sole.
- What are you currently reading?
The Ruin, a debut crime novel by Dervla McTiernan. I really enjoy a crime story or thriller that I can’t put down until I know “who did it” and my Kindle just makes it so easy to read: any time and any place.
- Where do you go to escape?
If I can’t escape to a beach –which isn’t that easy living in Canberra – you will find me in my garden looking after the roses and trimming the hedges.
It's amazing to see things grow and blossom, and I love the dramatic change in colour during Canberra’s autumn. Rewarding and peaceful.
Keep an eye out for next time, when we will get to know another proud DHAA volunteer workforce.