A prime aim of the Foundation is to co-ordinate the involvement of all parties involved in philanthropic work within the Australian dental industry. Historically, the efforts of dentists and other dental professionals have been fragmented and often duplicated as well-intentioned volunteers go through a steep learning curve.
The Foundation acts as a coordinating and fund raising body with actual delivery operations directed by State Advisory Committee Members under the direction of a NDF State Chairman. Each State Chairman is a Director and a Board Member. They are able to represent the requirements of their respective states at executive level and share their knowledge and experience.
Each state has a part time State Coordinator who works under the supervision of the National Coordinator who reports directly to the NDF Board.
The Federal ADA has committed to providing ongoing administration and other back office support to assist the National Coordinator.
NDF BOARD MEMBERS
NDF Board of Directors,picture taken at the recent 2015 NDF AGM.
From left to right: Dr Russell Gordon,Mr Simon Bailey,Dr Peter Waltham,Dr Dennis Gregory, Dr Henry Gilkes,Dr Julee Birch and Dr David Digges.
Dr David Digges (Chairman)
- Graduated 1981 with a BDS at Sydney University.
- Worked in Newcastle and Hunter Valley regions in 1982.
- During 1983 worked in London for a year, this is where I met my wife.
- Came back to Sydney in 1984 to open my own practice in Bellevue Hill, and owned and operated a second practice in Coogee, up until 1994.
- 1994 to present owns and operates a private progressive family and cosmetic dental practice in Bellevue Hill, Sydney.
- Special interest in Cosmetic dental treatment and rehabilative crown and bridge work.
- I have always had a special interest in treating patients who cannot access dental care.
- Since early 2006 I have worked in conjunction with the National Dental Foundation, allowing underprivileged patients to access dental care both through my surgery and the NDF. Now close to 40 dentists around Sydney, NSW have contributed to this program, over half a million dollars of dental work has already been completed, and hundreds of patients have been treated through this program.
- Hopes to further raise awareness of the poor dental conditions for those who cannot afford complex dental treatment, to both improve their lot and to improve the attitude and contribution of both state and federal governments to this cause.
- Currently State Chairman of the NSW National Dental Foundation.
- Other interests include more voluntary work in East Timor which I have been involved in for a few years now.
- Served on committees such as North Bondi Surf Club, Eastern Suburbs Dental Group, member of many sporting clubs, currently a member of the Australian Dental Association, Australian Prosthodontic Society and the Pierre Fauchard Academy.
Dr Russell Gordon
- I graduated in 1977 BDSc from the University of Western Australia
- 1977-1980 Having held a State Government Cadetship I was employed by the Perth Dental Hospital. I spent most of these years in travelling dental vans in country W.A. broken occasionally by training stints in specialist departments of the Hospital. This work exposed me to a wide variety of people of differing socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds.
- 1980 to the present I have worked in my family dental practice at Rockingham Dental Centre where we strive to provide high quality preventative dentistry within a caring and compassionate environment.
- My practice has run NDF volunteer days since their inception in WA.
- My colleagues and I at Rockingham Dental Centre have found enormous satisfaction in helping those who have been unable to access dental care. Working as a State Director of the NDF is a logical way of extending help to these people in need in our community
Dr Peter Waltham
- Dr Peter Waltham graduated from Adelaide University in 1977. After starting his career working at a suburban private practice in Adelaide, he relocated to Cairns in Far North Queensland to take up a government position as a staff dentist at Cairns Base Hospital. Two years later he was appointed as Dental Director, a position which involved administering both the Cairns clinic and the provision of all dental services to the remote communities of Cape York peninsula and the Gulf of Carpentaria regions, known locally at the time as the Flying Dental Service.
- After about six years in Cairns, he relocated back to Melbourne, working for about six months as a locum for various private practices, and also including the aboriginal dental service. He eventually took up a an offer to work in a private suburban practice. After a few years working as an employee dentist, Dr Waltham made the decision to commence his own practice in the Mebourne bayside suburb of Sandringham in 1987. This was a successful career move, and it is where he continues to work to the present, although with a much larger team than when his practice first commenced.
- Dr Waltham first became involved in dental volunteering in 2009 when he participated in the Australia – Vietnam Dental Health project (supported by Rotary Australia). He found the experience to be very affirming, and on his return started to look around to try to find if there were any opportunities to provide volunteer dental services to the under-privileged within Australia. This eventually led to him becoming involved in working with the National Dental Foundation, and is currently it’s Victorian chairperson. This role sees him actively seeking to inspire other dentists in Victoria to also become involved in dental volunteering.
Dr Henry Gilkes
- Graduated from the University of Adelaide, is a member of the Australian Dental Association and is registered with the SA Dental Board
Dr Julee Birch
- Dr Julee Birch is a 1980 UQ graduate. She practices in private practice on the Sunshine Coast in Qld. Having held various positions at both local and State ADA branch level, she currently serves on ADAQ Council.
- Julee became involved with the National Dental Foundation in 2012. Looking for a way to volunteer dental services, the NDF model was attractive to her current practice. After holding the first dental rescue day in July 2012, she became more committed to helping underprivileged patients access dental care. She took on the role of Qld Committee Chair in July 2013.
Dr Jim Rushton
- Dr Jim Rushton graduated in Adelaide in 1982. He practised on King Island for 18 months on graduating, and then in London ( UK) for 7 years, and Harare Zimbabwe for 18 months before returning to Australia.
- Jim has been based and practiced in Hobart since 1991.He enjoy all aspects of dentistry , but has a keen interest in implant dentistry.
- Jim has served on the Tasmanian state ADA council for the last 12 years, and will be the next state president
NDF NATIONAL COORDINATOR
Lesley Morgan joined the National Dental Foundation in November 2016.
Lesley has worked for many years in financial services for a global investment bank based in London and Tokyo. During that time she held a number of roles, including managing teams involved in trade processing and documentation functions, as Co-Head of the Finance, Administration and Operations in Tokyo, as New Business Coordinator and a Project Manager on a number of projects associated with new business and process improvement. Lesley has come to the NDF with a strong desire to improve the outcomes for disadvantaged members of the community.
Ms Kylie Heath
Wendy Chin began her role with the National Dental Foundation in January 2016 and is based at the Australian Dental Association NSW (ADA NSW) Branch in St Leonards.
Wendy is passionate about volunteering! Finding ways to connect people to meaningful causes so they can have an opportunity to give back to the community, is what motivates her. She started out in the corporate sector but followed her passion for volunteering into the not for profit sector in 2003. Wendy has worked in various not for profit organisations including St Vincent de Paul, United Way Sydney and The Centre for Volunteering, over 13 years and has built strong skills and expertise in Volunteer Management and Coordination.
Wendy will be utilising her passion for volunteering and skills in volunteer management in two ways:
- To open up opportunities for the dental profession to engage in volunteer opportunities;
- To partner with not for profit organisations and enable the people they support to access to the invaluable work of the National Dental Foundation.
Wendy is excited about the role with the National Dental Foundation and seeing how her contribution will grow the impact of the work of the National Dental Foundation in the NSW community.
Dianne Travers has recently been appointed to the position of South Australian State Coordinator in August 2016. Dianne brings an enormous amount of industry experience in the dental profession, as well as a passion for helping the disadvantaged in South Australia.
Dianne is currently also working as a Registered Dental Hygienist in a private dental practice, as well as the resident Dental Hygienist in a large aged care facility. Dianne has worked in the dental industry for over 25 years. Dianne is a compassionate person, with an interest in advocacy and equality of health, completing post graduate studies in Public Health in 2015. She looks forward to applying these skills in advocacy for health and equality while working with the National Dental Foundation. Dianne is currently studying a Diploma in Project Management.
Dianne is excited about this new journey working with the National Dental Foundation where she will strive to help change the lives of disadvantaged people by relieving pain, restoring self-esteem and bridging the gap in inequality of access to dental health.