Introducing our new WA Give a Smile Liaison Officer

His commitment to helping those in need to access treatment and care is just one of the reasons Dr. Samuel Bennett welcomed the opportunity to become the new WA GAS Liaison Officer.

Samuel took up the position to continue on the great work of Dr Kalafatas, who had spent seven years in the role.

Samuel has practiced full-time at the Oral Health Centre of WA at The University of Western Australia, since 2010. The practice supports socio-economically patients in need of dental and orthodontic services.

“I believe GAS is an important charity for a variety of reasons including the need to ensure healthcare, including orthodontics, is affordable to all Australians. Give a Smile is a charity that helps people who are socio-economically disadvantaged to receive orthodontic treatment,” said Samuel.  “It’s a valuable and worthwhile cause that fosters goodwill in the community and orthodontic profession.”

Sam BennettWestern Australia has 21 orthodontists registered with GAS and this number is expected to increase as new graduates come on board. There have been 180 patients treated by GAS orthodontists so far and we are sure the good work of Dr Bennett will enable this number to grow further.  We welcome him to the role and thank him for his dedication to our important charity.

Sharing the GAS message with postgrads

For the last few years Dan Vickers, the GAS NSW Liaison Officer, has used one of his final tutorial sessions for the year to talk to the postgraduate orthodontics students talk about the Australian Society of Orthodontics and Give a Smile.

These talks provide an important opportunity to bring the next generation of orthodontists into the work of Give a Smile.

Dan says, ‘I use the time to explain to them the structure of the ASO, what the functions are and how that relates to them now and when they graduate.  I also share information about the two not-for-profits the ASO manages, the ASO Foundation for Research and Education and Give a Smile.

In relation to GAS, Dan explains how they can become involved from the time they graduate and how to get their employer to support their involvement.

‘I get them to put on our GAS t-shirts and take a photo of the group.  It’s a bit of fun but all the while are we having a discussion about how we can work together to help Australian kids in need.  And because I usually do it before Christmas everyone is in a very altruistic mood,’ he says.

Regardless of what time of year it is, GAS is happy to welcome new GAS Orthodontists to further support our important work. Learn more about how you can be involved here.

Post grad NSW 2016

Entries are now open for the 2017 Run for the Kids

A big call out for all of our runners and walkers who want to get behind Team Give a Smile in this year’s Run for the Kids. This years event will be held on Sunday 9th April.  IMG_0396

Entries are now open, To register, simply follow these steps

  1. Head to the Run for the Kids website
  2. Click ENTER NOW
  3. Select your course distance – either 4.8km or 14.6km
  4. Click Join a Team
  5. Search – Team Give a Smile
  6. Enter the password Smile 2017 and complete your entrant details and you’re done!

Run for the Kids is now the single biggest fundraising contributor for the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal. To date the event has raised over $14.1 million dollars for the appeal and we want you to join our GAS Team to contribute further to the success of the event. Over 30,000 people hit the streets each year to take part in this event and we hope you’ll be one of them.

GAS welcomes SA Liaison Officer, Dr Melinda Barva

Dr Melinda Barva has taken on the important role of liaison officer for South Australia. She will be the link that enables a young patient to be allocated to a GAS orthodontist in their area.

MelindaShe has been a GAS orthodontist herself since 2005 and knows the importance of being able to support children in need with orthodontic services.

She has a keen interest in continuing education within the field and has taught post-graduates in the Orthodontics Master’s program for five years. She is a member of the Australian Orthodontic Society and the Australia Dental Association.

Melinda replaces Grahame Moore in this role and we’d like to thank Grahame for his service to GAS and wish him well for the future.

Smiling Siblings

Two siblings, both presenting with very different but significant issues, and their mother who had recently lost her partner and one a single income were lucky to find themselves in the orthodontic practice represented by a Give a Smile orthodontist.

Chloe Blight, a 14 year old was referred by her general dental practitioner with severely impacted upper cuspids. These were palatally impacted, less than 5mm apart and had started resorbing one of the lateral incisors. Treatment for this latter condition had become a priority. The family qualified for a health care card but the concern was that the wait for the public health system would lead to the loss of one or both lateral incisors.

Chloe’s 17 year old brother Cameron was also examined. He had severe crowding and poor self-esteem, possibly related to his smile. Again the wait for the public health system to resolve his malocclusion would have meant treatment would continue into his 20’s.

It was in this instance that South East orthodontics decided to self-screen and deemed the family deserving for treatment under the Give A Smile banner. The paperwork was completed and treatment commenced for the two Give A Smile patients.

Needless to say the patients and their family were thrilled with the results and very thankful to the Give A Smile program and the Australian Society of Orthodontists.

Cameron Blight final photo reszied Chloe Blight final photo resized

But the Blight kids were also fortunate enough to be treated by Oral and Maxillofacial surgeon Mr Kevin Spencer. Kevin realised the value of Give a Smile and offered to carry out the surgical work at no cost to the patient and also that of the Anaesthetist. He also went a further step and then persuaded the St John of God hospital to do the same. South East Orthodontics now have an ongoing agreement with them all to provide one surgical treatment per year if necessary.

These now smiling siblings also helped the practice achieve its two GAS allocations for the year. Well done!

Founder of Give a Smile recognised in 2016 Queens Birthday Honours

Congratulations to Dr Ted Crawford AM!

Founder and retired Chairman of Give a Smile, Dr Ted Crawford, was recognised for his significant service to dentistry in the field of orthodontics, to professional organisations, and to tertiary education in the  2016 Queens Birthday Honours.

Ted has given significant time to the Australian Society of Orthodontics (ASO), establishing Give A Smile when he was ASO President in 2005 with fellow ASO member John Armitage.

Ted said, “Receiving an Order of Australia award is a huge honour and a great privilege. Whilst the award is personal it also reflects the generosity of the ASO and its members in a wider way. Without such strong support from so many ASO members, and by many outside our association too , Give a Smile and this award simply would not have happened. My sincere thanks to everyone involved.”

Ted has served on the ASO Federal Council twice and held various positions including State Councillor, Federal  Secretary, Vice President and Federal President (2004-2006).

He has been heavily involved in the Australasian Orthodontic Board including acting as Chairman and AOB Registrar.  Ted also chaired the Australian Orthodontic Congress Committee which hosted the 15th Australian Orthodontic Congress in Melbourne in 1996.

Ted has also held positions of clinical instructor and lecturer to post-graduate orthodontic students and is a visiting lecturer to orthodontic programs throughout Australia.  In 1998 he was part of the inaugural team which evaluated all Master’s Degree orthodontic courses in Australia leading to national accreditation. 

182 copy

Team Give a Smile enjoys another successful Run for the Kids

The Give a Smile team of Orthodontists, staff, family and friends competed in the Run for the Kids again this year on March 20th. It was a magnificient March day, typical of Melbourne’s autumn with a cool start but a bright and sunny day, perfect for a fun run/walk.

This event provides a wonderful synergy with Give a Smile, the charitable arm of the Australian Society of Orthodontists, as Run for the Kids is a major fundraising event for the Royal Children’s hospital. The Give a Smile foundation has a special interest in supporting children through its donation of over 10 million dolllars worth of free orthodontic treatment for under privileged kids.

This year’s event saw more than 27,000 Melburnians dig deep for this special annual event, both out on the running track and in their hip pockets, raising over $1.7 million to help the State’s sick children. Former marathon champion Steve Moneghetti, race director for the 11th Herald Sun-CityLink Run for the Kids, said he was blown away by the enthusiasm on display on Sunday. “This a truly emotional event. You can feel it when you’re lining up at the start or crossing that finish line,” said Moneghetti.

Run for kids 2016


Give a Smile Founders to say farewell

The Melbourne Congress, held in February, marks the farewell to Give a Smile by its Chair, Dr Ted Crawford, Treasurer, Dr John Armitage (Armo) and co-opted committee member Mrs Annette Bacash-Armitage.

Ted, Annette and Armo, founders of the concept of Give a Smile way back in 2002, have been involved in the planning, implementation and the running of the ASO’s pro bono charity ever since.

ASO’s Give a Smile was launched to the public in June 2005 and its success has been quite phenomenal. With some two-thirds of ASO members signed up to the program – and now with more than 1500 patients having received their treatment through GAS – the runs are on the board. Give a Smile also celebrated its significant 10 year milestone in June 2015.

Ted Crawford said, “It has been a wonderful time for all three of us. We have thoroughly enjoyed seeing the idea of providing pro bono orthodontic care to as many under-privileged Australian children as possible come to fruition. But more than anything it has been fantastic for the ASO, for specialist orthodontics and especially for all those kids who have benefitted from GAS.”

And there is a lot to be proud of. At present, there are more than 350 Give a Smile orthodontists right across Australia offering their unique skills to children in need – from Bunbury to Cairns and in between. The impressive support level of over 60% of all ASO orthodontists has resulted in a massive 10% reduction in public orthodontic waiting lists nation-wide. The work of Give a Smile orthodontists changes the lives of these young people – and this is the most crucial and valued aspect of the program.

Ted added, “Give a Smile has also enjoyed the support of the ASO, its members and many others too. But the time has come to move on and to leave this wonderful charitable program in the hands of the next generation. We sincerely trust that GAS continues its success. We will be pleased and proud to see that happen.”

We wish them well and thank them for their generous contribution and service to this important charity.

A Message of Thanks

We always appreciate when we get a letter of thanks from any of our Give a Smile recipients.  Not only does it make us happy, it gives us an opportunity to share the outcomes of our collective work with others.  We received this message from Courtney, who has recently had her braces removed. 

The opportunity of being a Give a Smile patient has meant a lot to me as it have given me the self-confidence I never had. I can now smile and be proud.  I thank Ted and all the staff for helping me become the person I am today. Sincerely Courtney”

It’s been a journey for Courtney but obviously a very worthwhile one. Just look at the result.

1. Courtney smile pre Tx

2. Courtney smile end Tx

It’s time to join the team

Yes, we’re calling for entrants for the 11th edition of the Run for the Kids event to join Team Give A Smile.

The event is being held on Sunday 20th March and registrations are now open.

Run for the Kids is now the single biggest fundraising contributor for the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal. To date the event has raised over $12.4 million dollars for the appeal and we want you to join our GAS Team to contribute further to the success of the event. Over 30,000 people hit the streets each year to take part in this event and we hope you’ll be one of them.

To register as part of the team, simply download the PDF and follow the simple instructions.  And remember to share this information widely with your friends and family.  Everyone is welcome to run with us.

Click for more details: run for kids 2016

1 2 3 7
Join our newsletter Please enter your name & email to join our free eNewsletter