Volunteering FAQs

How does the Kimberley Dental Team work?

KDT is a voluntary program. We recruit experienced and respected dental and allied health professionals to work in the Kimberley region of Western Australia and in the metropolitan area through KDT Southern. The program operates as a partnership, where the dental team contributes their time and professional services. For trips to the Kimberley the KDT steering committee coordinates all aspects and organises flights ex Perth, accommodation and road transport.

Why did it start?

The program started in order to meet a dental crisis in the Kimberley region, in particular Halls Creek. There are simply not enough dental personnel in the area to address the dental need and provide the necessary dental health education.

When did Kimberley Dental Team start?

We began in May 2009 commencing with screening and DHE of the children at the Halls Creek District High School. Initially the service was mainly provided out of the 2 surgery dental clinic at the Halls Creek hospital. The service now visits numerous towns and Aboriginal communities in the East and West Kimberley (including remote communities), providing emergency and general care, DHE and organising dental treatment.

KDT has not extended its volunteer work to assist vulnerable groups in the Perth metropolitan area through KDT Southern.

What are the dental facilities like?

The dental clinic at Halls Creek is comprised of two fully equipped dental surgeries and a small laboratory set up within the modern hospital. Infection control procedures are strictly followed and adhere to the guidelines. KDT also has vehicles and mobile dental equipment to provide treatment in communities.

KDT Southern is a mobile service which visits organisations providing services to vulnerable people and sets up dental clinics on their premises.

What kind of dentistry is practiced by KDT in the Kimberley?

A wide range, like in any dental practice, including preventative, restorative, prosthetic, endodontics and oral surgery, X-rays and referrals for OPG in Kununurra. However, there is a higher percentage of people with compromised, chronic health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and rheumatic fever, than you would probably see in an average metropolitan, mainstream dental practice. Included in the Halls Creek hospital is a medical service with full-time medical practitioners who are always willing to give advice. Dentists are not pressured into performing any particular style of dentistry, but are encouraged to independently evaluate each individual patient needs.

What hours could I expect to work in the Kimberley?

The usual hours are 8.30am to 5pm Monday to Friday with tea breaks and an hour for lunch. However this is flexible depending on the scheduled work. There is always time for scenic and community activities.

What sort of accommodation is provided in the Kimberley?

This is usually provided at the Broome KDT Base in Louis St, Kimberley Hotel in Halls Creek, Fitzroy River Lodge or community accommodation with numerous outdoor camping opportunities .

Can I take a holiday before or after my volunteer work?

You may choose to extend your flights around the scheduled work time to take the opportunity to enjoy the Kimberley region. This cannot be planned at short notice. KDT is not able to cover air fares or accommodation for accompanying persons.

What about the flights? Who organises these and do I pay?

In most circumstances, KDT arranges and covers the cost of your airfare from Perth to and from Broome or Kununurra. Eastern States volunteers need to organise their own flights to and from Perth ensuring they arrive in plenty of time for the connecting flight. Our admin staff will discuss the special procedure for booking flights once they have your application and a time slot for volunteering has been agreed.

I don’t work in WA. What about registration to practice there?

This is not a problem now that we have National Registration of dental practitioners. Overseas registered dentists, hygienists and therapists, will unfortunately, find it very difficult to be able to register and Volunteer. KDT can offer advice on the registration process or you can visit the Dental Board of Australia’s website.

I’m a dental student outside WA, how do I get involved?

At this stage unfortunately KDT does not have clinical affiliation with other Australian university dental schools. We therefore cannot satisfy student supervision requirements for eastern states dental students with the Dental Board of Australia. As many eastern states students have shown interest in joining a KDT trip we are looking at ways to work with eastern states universities so their students can benefit from the Kimberley experience in the future.

What about insurance?

Every dental practitioner must have professional indemnity insurance to register and practice in Australia and this includes volunteering. KDT has workers compensation insurance for the time that you will be working in the Kimberley.

Drivers of vehicles must have the appropriate drivers licence. All volunteers require a WA Working With Children check.

Am I covered by Insurance while working as a volunteer?

KDT has insurance to cover accidental injury. Follow the links to read a Synposis of the policy and to read the QBE Product Disclosure Statement and Accident and Health Insurance Policy.

Can I get paid?

KDT asks that volunteers provide their skill and their time in an honorary capacity.

It is the goal of KDT to provide as much of the financial support though our various supporters and Jan and John Owen, to cover the cost of air and road transport cost and accommodation. With many similar overseas volunteer programs, the volunteers pays for all of these costs. Some well respected practices have continued the pay their staff their normal salary while volunteering with the Team. This has been offered in recognition of their commitment to their practices, while allowing them the opportunity to assist the many in our community in severe need. Please read volunteer testimonials on our website.

For further questions Contact Us.

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