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Oral Health academics can afford to smile, even when they meet a crocodile

Published:26 November 2019

TOP LEFT: University of Adelaide delegate Associate Professor Catherine Snelling meets a crocodile. MAIN IMAGE: Associate Professor Leonie Short (in blue) and delegates. BELOW: Associate Professor Gloria Dall'Alba from the University of Queensland.

CQUniversity’s Oral Health team hosted the two-day College of Oral Health Academics Conference this week.

Around 40 participants from across Australia and New Zealand got their teeth into presentations and poster displays, while finding time to have a conference dinner at the Koorana Crocodile Farm.

The wide range of conference sessions included cavities in the curriculum, assessment methods, clinical placements, professional development, use of virtual reality to teach about local anaesthesia, diet and nutrition education, and student well-being.

CQUniversity's Head of Course for Oral Health, Associate Professor Leonie Short said 12 months of planning had ensured the conference was an overwhelming success.

"Delegates had the chance to tour our top-class clinical facilities right at the start," she said.

"They also had the chance to hear from our keynote speaker, Associate Professor Gloria Dall'Alba from the University of Queensland.

"We all want to be good teachers and we want to be continually on our game to improve and get better all the time."

Associate Professor Short said CQUniversity has the only Oral Health course in the whole of Queensland.

"We're training regional people for the regions but we also attract students from capital cities," she said.

"The dental practices and hospital health services need quality staff. They help us with the training and they get wonderful graduates, so it's a win, win, win for everyone.

"The students get a really good job, the regions get health workers and we get to have all the pride in our students."

Rockhampton Region Mayor Margaret Strelow welcomed delegates to the city. The conference was sponsored by Colgate-Palmolive, OneDental and CQUniversity.