About Us

The Kimberley Dental Team Ltd (KDT) is a not for profit, non government organisation. We are a team of visiting volunteers from the dental profession and allied health professionals, aiming to enhance current resources and levels of dental care for:

  • Indigenous children and their families in the Kimberley region of Western Australia; as well as
  • Disadvantaged people in the Perth metropolitan area (through KDT Southern).

KDT in the Kimberley

KDT advocates for and practises culturally competent oral health care provision in the Kimberley region.

We works in concert with Dental Health Services and the Oral Health Improvement Unit of the Health Department, University of Western Australia and Aboriginal Medical Services, to provide additional and often urgent services to those most disadvantaged by barriers to care such as decreased access, limited staff resourcing and distance. Click here to view the KDT Strategic Plan

Our Mission in the Kimberley is to improve the general wellbeing and dental health of indigenous children and their families thereby reducing the long term cost and suffering dental disease inflicts. This is achieved by implementing realistic, measurable and achievable goals and outcomes including the following:

  • Developing regionally appropriate treatment protocols, going to where people are and offering services without the need for appointment.
  • Develop region appropriate dental health education (DHE) programs with the purpose of encouraging dental understanding, education and early intervention in regions where a dental presence is irregular.
  • Encouraging people involved in the wellbeing of Indigenous people to understand dental health and become confident and involved in DHE as a natural part of their client management.
  • Developing DHE packs specifically for health care personnel, schools, local agencies, parents and children with the aim of significantly reducing the caries rate, especially in the 0-5 age group.
  • Providing information and support to parents to foster awareness of dental health and general wellbeing, starting during pregnancy.
  • Co-ordinating the distribution of DHE packs, provide support and gather data to assess dental.
  • Endeavour to develop a culturally appropriate onsite training program for local indigenous people to assist the visiting dental team with administration and clinical support.

What KDT encourages and supports a committed volunteer dental workforce for the Kimberley.

Dental personnel can apply to volunteer for one or two weeks at a time to work with the Kimberley Dental Team. KDT assists with the airfares, accommodation and transport. The schedule is flexible, so it is possible to combine the trip with some time-off in the region.

To find out more about volunteering read the FAQ’s about Volunteering page and complete our KDT Expression of Interest Form.

KDT Southern

KDT Southern is based on the same successful model of care developed in the Kimberley – services are mobile and patient-centred with no appointments required, anyone seeking services is seen, and children and parents are able to attend the service together (for example UnitingCare West’s homelessness service for families).

with KDT in the Kimberley, KDT Southern provides integrated care comprising dental examinations, dental treatment, toothbrush packs and oral health education.

Most importantly KDT’s cultural sensitivity, respect and empathy for Indigenous people has translated seamlessly working in a sensitive, respectful and empathetic way with all vulnerable people as part of KDT Southern.

KDT Southern delivers services to UnitingCare West Tranby (day centre for homeless people), Uniting Care West Tranby Family Foundations (an evening service for homeless families), Tuart Place (providing services for people suffering from experiences in institutional care as a child), Foyer (a residential facility and services for young people transitioning out of homelessness) and mental hostels.

KDT Southern is always looking for dentists and assistants to help out so if you have a free morning or evening and would like to be involved please contact us – apart from the amazing outcomes achieved for these vulnerable people it’s always a lot of fun.

To find out more about volunteering read the FAQ’s about Volunteering page and complete our KDT Expression of Interest Form.

About the Owens

Dr John Owen AM , graduated from UWA as a Dentist in 1977, completed his Masters degree in Orthodontics in 1984 and over the next 25 years, established two specialist Orthodontic practices in Midland and Mount Lawley in Western Australia. He held the position of Honorary Consultant Orthodontist to the Disabilities Services Commission 1986 - 2011 and is a Fellow of the International College of Dentists, Academy of Dentistry International and Pierre Fauchard Academy.

During his professional career, John has been President of the University Dental Students Society, President of the WA branches of the ADA and ASO and Federal President of the ASO 2000-2002. He was President of the Dental Board of WA from 1999 to 2010, a past director of the Australian Dental Council, past Congress Chairman for the 33rd Australian Dental Association Congress and Exhibition, Perth 2009 and past Inaugural Member of the Dental Board of Australia.

Currently, John continues in the roles of Patron of the Australian Society of Orthodontists, Foundation for Research and Education and Clinical Associate Professor, School of Primary, Aboriginal and Rural Health Care, University of Western Australia. John is a certified member of the Australian Orthodontic Board and Member of the Royal Australian College of Dental Surgeons, in the special field of Orthodontics. John is the inaugural Chairman, Kimberley Dental Team Limited

Jan Owen formerly trained as a dental nurse, in particular dental health education, at the Perth Dental Hospital, and then in Adelaide as a veterinary nurse. Jan later studied homoeopathy and is now a registered practicing homoeopath with a consulting practice and a wholesale business supplying homoeopathic medicine to health food stores and pharmacies across Australia. Jan’s philosophy is to encourage, empower and educate families in the area of health and wellbeing. In 2015 Jan received the Excellence in Volunteer Management Award through Volunteering WA.

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