As a child, I was always very quick to come up with solutions to different problems and I have always had a passion to fix things that are broken or need restoring. Dentistry is a profession that allows me to put my skills to their best use by restoring my patient's smiles and it is very gratifying as a professional.
I was on holidays in New Zealand after year 12 exams and my uncle's nurse called in sick. He asked if I would come to the clinic and hold the sucker and that was it for me after one day. I rang my mum in Perth and had her change all my uni preferences from Japanese/economics to dentistry. Lucky I got in!
I had braces when I was younger to correct a crooked front tooth. I loved how a simple change made such a difference to my confidence. I wanted to be able to do this for other people so I started doing some work experience and it was love at first sight!
As a kid, I had a lot of dental work. I am actually missing a front tooth, so growing up I spent a lot of time in the dental chair in order to fix the gap. And as a lanky teenager, walking around with a missing tooth was the last thing I wanted! So the whole process really sparked my interest.
I’ve always loved working with people and working with my hands. I was artistic as a child and loved sciences as well. Dentistry allowed me to work with people and their health while still doing something pretty creative. I’ve always felt it is an amazing combination of art and science.
My brother was at university having a great time studying dentistry, and I thought it was a great combination of science and using your hands. I love meeting interesting people, from all backgrounds, getting to know them, and helping them achieve their oral health goals.
During my school years I was really into the creative arts, biology and health subjects and these are what I did best and enjoyed the most. I figured dentistry would be a great mix of these subjects as a career, so I did some work experience at a local community dental clinic. I loved it, the staff were so friendly and encouraging and suggested I apply for a new course that had only been running for a couple of years - and that was Bachelor of Oral Health at Melbourne University. So through my final high school years that was what I strived for and thankfully was accepted with a scholarship. I had always wanted to return to my local community with my skills when I finished.
Throughout school I was always interested in health sciences, and have always enjoyed helping people. Dentistry always seemed like a good fit for me, but it was only when I got into studying dentistry at university and then treating patients that I understood how versatile and complex the practice of dentistry is, and how much there is to learn and grow within the profession. Since graduating I have not stopped learning and evolving.
My first job during my high school holidays as a dental assistant in a combined orthodontic and general practice clinic gave me great insight into the profession. I loved that dentistry was a combination of art and science and you can help others from a toothache to creating a beautiful smile. Besides, I could see that dentistry can lead to different career pathways.
I have understoodtheimportance of oral health andtheimpact that it has on your general health pretty much my whole life. My father and uncle are bothdentists andthey founded Sydney Holistic Dental Centre intheearly 1980s. Because oftheir influence andthewaythey practicedentistry, I guessthere was always a chance that I would continue onthelegacy. I also have a background in professional sport as well as strength and conditioning training so, even before I was adentistI have always been interested in health and human performance.