Going the extra 'smile' in Cambodia pays off for Oral Health students

Published: 23 January 2019

highlights from the CQUni Oral health excursion to Cambodia
Group Image at TOP: Samantha Barbeler (left) and the other CQUni Oral Health students including Ashleigh Plath, Liko Kotera, Chloe Kitchingman and Katelyn Bretag who visited Cambodia recently. Images BELOW: Other highlights from the excursion.

Five of CQUniversity's Oral Health students were able to go on an intensive learning curve recently, while treating dozens of Cambodia's most underprivileged children.

Participating student Samantha Barbeler praised the three-week-long excursion organised via CQUni Global Outbound and the Antipodeans organisation.

The students provided dental services to impoverished children at schools run by the Cambodian Children's Fund and the People Improvement Organisation.

"The children we treated were happy and friendly and amazing and did not complain despite the fact many had issues that would have caused discomfort," Ms Barbeler says.

"Thanks to pre-trip organisation by Melissa Plath, who had previously gone to Cambodia, and Sonia King who led our tour as clinical supervisor, we had the opportunity for an intensive learning curve, including some cases we would never see in Australia.

"Travel highlights included the very touching Khmer Rouge killing fields and prison as well as seeing the Angkor Wat temple complex at sunrise.

"Our bus driver even pulled over along the way so we could witness a village wedding which had around 800 guests under a huge marquee."

Ms Barbeler said another boon of the trip was the chance to mingle with Oral Health students from the University of Newcastle.

Sponsors and donors who supported the CQUni students included Toombul Family Dental, One Dental, CQUniversity, King’s Auto Transport and Brown and Hurley Rockhampton.