Oral Health Competition for Schools in the Kimberley

Over 2021, the Kate Mullin Association (KMA) and the Kimberley Dental Team (KDT) ran an Oral Health project for the Kimberley schools. The objective was to promote good oral health and also help develop literacy skills amongst Aboriginal students in the Kimberley.

The competition was to develop an advertising campaign for dental hygiene amongst Aboriginal kids, using any combination of: film, book/comic, fact sheets, leaflets, songs, and apps. The project was supported by the KDT with funds of $10,000, and was managed by Ken Mullin (KDT & KMA), Trish Pepper (KDT) and Sue Thomas (KMA).

The project was primarily done in Term 2 2021. Prior to this, all schools in the Kimberley were invited to send in a submission. Eleven (11) schools undertook to send in a submission, each of which received a Craig the Croc toy. In the end 3 submissions were received – from Broome Primary School, Yiyili Aboriginal Community School, and Ngalangangpum School (Warmun) – from each of the 3 education sectors. All were in video format.

The submissions were assessed by a panel comprising Jilen Patel (KDT), Beverley Burnside (KMA), and Les Mack (KMA). Criteria were: 1) Quality of Standard Australian English, 2) Clarity of Oral Health Message and 3) Usability of the video as an Oral Health information tool for schools. The clear winner was the submission from Ngalangangpum School. The judges said of it: “A very well presented video on oral health in the context of a remote Aboriginal community and the impact on general health”, “Clear, simple message, well illustrated - a good tool for classes”, “Used high quality written SAE”.

All 3 entries were combined into a single video, which will be used as an oral health tool in Kimberley schools in the future. Live presentation ceremonies were held for all 3 schools, and Sue Thomas travelled to Yiyili to do an in-person presentation. The live presentations were done by Zoom and included: an introduction from Craig the Croc in person, commenting on the high quality of the entries, a running of the combined video, a formal presentation of the certificate, and comments from the teachers and kids. The winning teacher (Jennifer Gorey of Ngalangangpum School) was subsequently interviewed on ABC Kimberley Radio by Eddie Williams, and both the KDT and KMA got a mention.

Watch The Competition Video

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