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 Susan Melrose, who is the the new DHAA State Chair for ACT.
- Why did you decide to become a dental hygienist/OHT?
My decision to become a dental hygienist was influenced by Mary Beare and Liz Codina whilst I was studying for my dental assistant Certificate in Canberra in 1994. Mary and Liz were delivering the course and when they talked about what they did I knew that a career in dental hygiene was for me. I loved being a dental assistant but wanted to be directly involved in the clinical aspect of dentistry.
- What was your favourite subject during hygiene/OHT training?
Periodontology was my favourite subject.
- What do you love most about being a DH/OHT?
I am genuinely interested in the lives and health of my patients. I share stories, tears and laughter with them. Empowering patients to achieve oral health or at least improve it certainly provides job satisfaction also.
- Tell us about your current role with the DHAA, and why you decided to get involved.
I have known for many years I would take on a position with the Association and being on the CPD committee for the last two years confirmed to me that I would enjoy the position as chair for the ACT. I decided to wait until my children were both in high school to take on a greater role. Madellyn and I quietly had a succession plan in place.
- Who is the person that most influenced you, and how?
In my dental career the person who has most influenced me would be my first employer as an assistant, Dr Naren Chellappah. He taught me from day one that we are providing a health service and not trying to generate as much money as possible for our own pockets. For over 15 years he has volunteered both in Australia and overseas providing dental treatment for the most underprivileged of people. He has retired but continues to volunteer.
- What are you currently reading?
I am currently reading “Robin” the biography of Robin Williams by Dave Itzkoff.
- Where do you go to escape?
My place for escape is a sleepy camping ground on the south coast called Beachcombers Holiday Park. I caravan there with my family and closest friends. It’s just perfect.
Keep an eye out for next time, when we will get to know another proud DHAA volunteer workforce.