August 3rd, 2017

Dental Health Week, which takes place in the first week in August is the Australian Dental Association’s major annual oral health promotion campaign. The week aims to educate Australians about the importance of maintaining good oral health in every aspect of their lives. With celebration of this national week, there has never been a better time for Australians to think about health and wellness focused careers in the lead up to Australia’s pinnacle week for celebrating vocational education and training (VET), National Skills Week.

This year’s theme, ‘Oral Health for Busy Lives,’ aims to help people to appreciate that, no matter how busy they are or where they are in life, it is possible to fit caring for your teeth and gums into an already-overcrowded diary. Two people who know the value of this very well are Dimiti Andresen and Katherine Masson, two Australian Training Awards finalists and dental assistant practitioners.

Dimiti Andresen, 2016 Australian Training Award’s School- based Apprentice of the Year Award finalist, completed her Australian School-based Apprenticeship whilst attending Centralian Senior College in Alice Springs.

Completing a Certificate III in Dental Assisting, and a Certificate III in Business through her school and Charles Darwin University, Dimiti has been able work full-time while remaining school-based to achieve her Northern Territory Certificate of Education and Training. Currently employed in a full-time position at Northern Territory Government’s Oral Health Services branch, Dimiti’s vocational education and training qualifications have been able to open doors to a career while still in high school.

During her Australian School-based Apprenticeship, Dimiti gained an understanding of procedures and treatments and learnt how best to support the dentists and assist with practice administration.

“Being able to complete on the job training while in high school, gave me an insight into the working world, while still allowing me to enjoy my high school education,” says Dimiti.

Enjoying the challenge of her busy days, Dimitri and has gained confidence in communicating effectively with health clinic staff and patients of different cultures and ages, and has long term goals to work overseas in the health care sector.

“Being able to earn while you learn, is a fantastic opportunity for today’s youth. Once you finish high school, you are already part, if not the complete way towards your qualification and ready to enter the workforce,” says Kirstin Casey, General Manager at SkillsOne.

Katherine Masson, 2015 Australian Training Awards Australian Apprentice (Trainee) of the Year Award finalist, took up a dental technology traineeship in 2012 with NECA Education and Careers, RMIT and host employer, Tasmanian Health Service – Prosthetic Dental Services North.

“Having full time employment whilst still being able to study and train to complete my Diploma of Dental Technology are just some of the benefits of completing a traineeship,” said Katherine. Completing her traineeship in 2014, Katherine gained full time employment as a Dental Technician where she has a range of responsibilities including making and trimming models and special trays, setting up full and partial dentures and conducting repairs.

“In the dental industry my particular area is working as a Dental Technician. In this position you have to be very versatile, have an eye for detail, patience and good time management skills. Having an open mind to learning will give you the right skills you need for any job.”

“If you have something in mind that you’ve always wanted to do and the opportunity comes around, grasp it with both hands. The feeling of achievement begins when your outside your comfort zone and it’s a great feeling!” said Katherine.

For further information on Dimiti or Katherine’s story, or other inspiring career stories from the Australian Training Awards, VET Alumni Program or the Australian Apprenticeships Ambassadors program, visit the Australian Training Awards website.

SkillsOne will be showcasing VET qualifications during National Skills Week from 28 August to 3 September 2017. National Skills Week is Australia’s primary week to acknowledge vocational achievements and celebrate the endless opportunities available through VET.

To organise an event, or take part in the many events that can be found across the country, visit the National Skills Week website.
For more information please contact: Kirstin Casey (General Manager

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