GET TO KNOW: Kathryn Novak

Portrait of DHAA President 2017-18 Kathryn Novak

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

Every fortnight we will ask various association movers and shakers a set of seven questions. First-up we catch up with newly-elected DHAA President, Kathyrn Novak

  1. Why did you decide to become a dental hygienist/OHT?
    I decided to become a hygienist when I was working as an assistant to a periodontist. I couldn’t believe the improvement you could get in the tissue health with just scraping the stuff off. Heck, even I could do that! He also had ‘imported’ a hygienist from Kansas, the gorgeous Liz Codina. She was always up and enthusiastic and wore the brightest coloured uniforms she would order from an American catalogue. All the patients adored her. I just wanted to be like her. Liz was a pioneer in the ACT branch, along with a few other hygienists – mostly from the US.
  2. What was your favourite subject during hygiene/OHT training?
    I can’t really remember that far back! It was the 80’s. I really enjoyed the way we would all be given a topic and had to teach it to the rest and provide handouts and use the overhead projector. Some of you might have to Google that one! My favourite one of those was on exercise and muscle contraction. I also loved the microteaching lesson we had in pre-clinical. I still use some of those principles today. Psychology wasn’t bad either.
  3. What do you love most about being a DH/OHT?
    People! I love watching the light bulb moments when patients get it. I love the other hygienists in my town and especially the ones I work with.
  4. Tell us about your current role with the DHAA, and why you decided to get involved.
    My current role is president. I’ve been through a few a few different roles in branch and national levels. I didn’t decide to get involved, it just sort of happened organically. But I have decided to stay on and try other roles because I enjoy the way it has expanded my horizons. You never grow in your comfort zone. It’s been my mantra for a few years now. I’ve met some amazing people all over the country that I wouldn’t have if I’d stayed in my own surgery and attended CPD meetings. Getting involved improves you personally and professionally.
  5. Who is the person that most influenced you, and how?
    Hmmm. See question one.
  6. What are you currently reading?
    I have three things on the go at the moment. ‘The art of people’ by Dave Kerpen. ‘Henry VIII -King and Court’ by Alison Weir and ‘Good Governance Principles and Guidance for Not-for-Profit organisations’ from The Australian Institute of Company Directors.
  7. Where do you go to escape?
    I escape into books and sitting at the sewing machine (making quilts). Spending time with the family, especially holidays by the beach, is another particularly escape worthy activity.

Keep an eye out for next time, when we will get to know the new DHAA Vice President, Tabitha Acret.