Volunteer with Filling the Gap in an Aboriginal Community
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples experience significantly higher levels of disease than other Australians. Twice the rate of untreated decay and nearly 50% more gum disease. Poor oral health can affect language development; self-esteem and employment and is linked to diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
Filling The Gap provides oral health care to regional indigenous communities by working closely with the community to provide interim Dentists until a permanent placement can be found. We have successfully provided over 11,500 dental consultations covering both emergency and comprehensive treatment across indigenous communities in the Northern Territory, Queensland and NSW.
Filling the Gap is a not for profit organisation that relies on oral professional volunteers, sponsors, fundraising and donations. As we continue our efforts in supporting and promoting good oral health care in disadvantaged communities across Australia we rely on your generosity of giving:
- In person: Volunteer your skills and Expertise with us for 1-2 weeks within an indigenous community. We fly you and supply a place to live for you (and your family are welcome to join you) to provide valuable dental relief to the communities we partner with. We know from feedback that this can be one of the most rewarding experiences for both the dentist and their families.
- If you cannot go, help to send someone else: All donations can be claimed in tax returns. It costs approximately $1000 to send a Dentist to a community clinic for 2 weeks.
- Fundraise for us: We have many projects on the cusp of establishment and would welcome your assistance whether it’s a school raffle or a marathon.
For more information or to register your interest
It’s hard to know whose ‘gap’ is most filled in this program. As an experience in learning about indigenous culture and indigenous compassion and enthusiasm I would recommend all dentists work with Filling the Gap. With a long life in a dental career it is also good to just do what we are trained to do. Dentistry without practice management is a great experience. The Filling the Gap program allows dentists to come and work for a week or two at a modern well-equipped clinic with well trained and friendly staff..…… It is amazing that working in this environment is actually a vacation.
I did wonder whether going all the way to Australia would be worth the effort, but to directly address the health disparity of the first Australians was truly humbling. My decision to volunteer is proof that it’s never too late to have a life-forming experience. The aboriginal people, their culture, the stunning outback experience and the incredibly committed people from Filling the Gap all combined to make this an unforgettable volunteering experience – and one I am keen to repeat next year.