Get To Know: Sarah Laing

Image of the DHAA state chair for Victoria – Sarah Laing

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 Sarah Laing, the DHAA State Chair for Victoria.

  1. Why did you decide to become a dental hygienist/OHT?
    My local hygienist suggested it…and I thought, why not? as it was still a very new/developing profession in Australia and that opportunity to be involved in something evolving appealed to me too.

  2. What was your favourite subject during hygiene/OHT training?
    No idea what the subject was called, that’s quite a while ago - but all about epidemiology, health research etc…I still remember writing the exam answers at the Melbourne showgrounds.

  3. What do you love most about being a DH/OHT?
    I like working as part of a larger, multi-disciplinary team to care for the patients and I love the challenge of complex care on complex people. I’ve never been that hygienist who just 'does a clean' -  and I have a love/hate relationship with having the opportunity to talk…all day long!

    You didn’t ask me what I dislike about it, but I’ll answer anyway - ponytail headaches - which I’m sure many of you can relate too!

  4. Tell us about your current role with the DHAA, and why you decided to get involved. 
    I am the State Chair for Victoria. I decided to get involved again in the DHAA committee as there’s still a lot of room for growth and development of our profession and I would like to be involved in that. Plus, I was not comfortable with how professional education is being run by so many differing bodies and not necessarily evidenced based - DHAA continues to provide affordable, evidence based CPD.

  5. Who is the person that most influenced you, and how?
    Personally - my paternal grandmother, she has always stepped in as a mother to me and blazed quite a feminist trail in her own way in her day. She worked, despite having five children and a husband, and shockingly drove her own car, which was questionable behaviour for a woman in conservative 1950’s Brisbane.

    Professionally, I have been fortunate to have had strong hygienist role models I met whilst studying, June Sinclair, whom I worked with, Carmel Grey and Denise Galouppo, who were my clinical tutors whilst at Uni.

  6. What are you currently reading?
    Since having children and studying I read mostly just on holidays. I am currently watching The Handmaid’s Tale.’ This show has me fascinated given the whole Trump saga in the U.S.

  7. Where do you go to escape?
    The bathroom, where I hide from my two boys – joking. Usually the gym on a weekly basis and when I need a somewhat more significant re-set, I head to Brisbane to see my family and thaw out. I also love a good bush walk far, far away from the city.

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