Community | 26 July, 2017

Port Lincoln dentists help remote Indigenous communities

TWO Lincoln locals have returned from an adventure to a remote region in Australia’s north-west, where they were part of a team providing vital dental care to indigenous communities.

Dr Garry Hibble and Robyn Kilgour were given the wonderful opportunity to be volunteers in the Kimberley region of WA with the Kimberley Dental team. This was made possible through Maven Dental Group, who sponsored this team while they set out on their mission in a challenging and isolated part of the country.

The Port Lincoln pairing joined a group of ten volunteers from across the country, as they set out in a convoy of trucks and four-wheel-drives from Kununurra to the indigenous community of Warmun, at Turkey Creek. This was a 230km drive through some spectacularly remote country. 

A mobile dental van was set up in the school grounds next to an old Donga, also used as a small clinic. The school, which was run by the Catholic Church, was impressive in that it was newly built after a huge flood washed away the community five years ago.

While there the group visited most of the school classes and the kindergarten. Most of the work involved charting the student’s dentition and dental health, as well as applying fissure seals or arranging for more extensive dental care in the mobile van. 

The group stayed at Warmun for two days before packing up the extensive gear and equipment and making their way to Halls Creek. This leg involved another stunning drive through ancient ranges and past impressive boab trees.

They next set up the mobile dental van in the main street of Halls Creek, where three of the team provided emergency dental care for the community. The rest of the group worked up at the hospital, where they were kept busy (mainly extracting teeth).

On the last day the team worked until lunchtime before setting out on the long journey to Fitzroy Crossing, where the accommodation was in glamping tents on the banks of the mighty Fitzroy River. There they had the delight sharing the showers and toilets with plenty of frogs.

The group were on the road again early the next morning, making the long drive to Broome. There they had a debrief and sad farewells at the home of team leaders John and Jan Owen, before all flew to Perth.

Maven Dental Group are proud to be recognised for their sponsorship of this valuable service, with their representatives saying it was “an amazing experience delivering vital dental care to these remote communities.”

View the full article - written by Port Lincoln Times.