We are so grateful to the children and staff from Elwood Primary School who played an integral part in our recent 10th anniversary celebrations at Luna Park. We’ve had the support of the school since our inception, with students taking part in our launch ten years ago.
Their enthusiasm was apparent on the day, as they took part in our photo shoot and official proceedings. And they kindly helped spread the word about Give a Smile in their school newsletter. It’s partnerships such as these that allow the awareness of Give a Smile to reach out into the community to continue the celebration of the great work of our orthodontists.
With nearly 1500 recipients, more than 350 supporting Give a Smile orthodontists across Australia and an estimated saving to the public dental system of $10 million, Give a Smile has a lot to celebrate since they began their commitment to providing pro bono specialist orthodontic care to as many under-privileged Australian children as possible.
Celebrating their 10th anniversary today at Luna Park last Friday, where ten years ago it all started – and was launched by the then Federal Health Minister, Hon. Tony Abbott, MP – Founder and Chair of Give a Smile, Dr Ted Crawford, said that the work of Give a Smile orthodontists Australia-wide continues to change the lives of young people.
“When Give a Smile began in 2005 it was a response to a challenge to do something useful. We set in place the charitable arm of the Australian Society of Orthodontists to facilitate specialist orthodontic treatment for in-need Australian families who could not otherwise afford private orthodontic services for their children,’ said Dr Crawford.
“While we provide a service which improves the dental health of these kids, it is the self-esteem and emotional benefits that these children experience that are immeasurable following their Give a Smile treatment,” he said.
Give a Smile patron, renowned Australian comedian and actor, Shane Bourne, has been a great supporter of Give a Smile since its inception: “It has been a privilege to see the transformation and empowerment of these children’s lives. A truly great cause.!” says Bourne.
Emma White-Reese was Give a Smile’s first ever recipient and her treatment has had a profound effect on her self confidence and self-esteem. “As soon as I had my braces off, I felt like I was ready to take on anything. There’s a lot I wouldn’t have been confident enough to do, without my improved smile. If it weren’t for this, since my treatment was so time sensitive it wouldn’t have been nearly as effective as it was. I would have lost my chance to live like any other teenager.”
Patients accepted into the Give a Smile program are offered a full-program of pro bono orthodontic care. Depending on their needs, this treatment takes an average of two years to complete. This equates to a saving to the public system of between $6,000 and $8,000 per patient.
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.
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In June this year, Give a Smile will celebrate its 10th anniversary, a very significant milestone for this important charity. We are inviting all of our previous and current Give a Smile patients to be
part of our birthday celebrations. We’re asking you to take a selfie (especially of your smile) and email it through to Give a Smile to be used in a campaign to celebrate this event on the GAS website, the Facebook page and through the media.
What you need to do
1. Take a selfie of you/your smile.
2. Tell us your name (first name only will be used), your hometown and write us a very short message perhaps about the difference your smile has made to your life, or just a happy birthday message for Give a Smile. It’s up to you.
3. Also confirm that you are OK for Give a Smile to use your photograph and your message as part of the campaign.
4. Email your selfie and message to our Admin Assistant Leah at: email@example.com
So please get involved and help us spread the important message about the work that Give a Smile has been doing for the last 10 years as well as keep us going into the future.
Give a Smile committee member, Dr Kip Homewood, reports on another successful Run for the Kids event.
“We woke to a cool but perfect morning for a fun run, it was going to be great day for the ‘Run for the Kids’.
We arrived early to greet our 15 km endurance runners, Tracey Shell and Michael Kirshon, with our Give a Smile umbrellas raised to the sky and waited patiently at the start, alas we went unnoticed by our runners.
However it was not difficult to see why as there were 35,160 runners in the event.
We had more luck an hour or so later in the 5.5 km event with about 15-20 runners/walkers finding the umbrellas for a group photograph prior to the start. The event proceeded with a wonderful sense of community and of some poignancy as many in the run were commemorating a lost child, bringing a tear to the eye.
The Give a smile group spread out with runners, walkers, families and those pushing prams (we had 3 infants) enjoying the wonderful weather and the general camaraderie.
Unfortunately the GAS shirts did not stand out as vividly this year as the Run for the kids has stolen our idea and their official shirt this year was also red with white writing.
There was some confusion at the end as there were 2 finish lines just to try and test our plans to meet 100 metres past the finish line; undaunted 20 or so of us found the meeting place and enjoyed our well deserved GAS bag of healthy sustenance and a few Easter eggs.
We all congregated to swap stories about the perfect day, the trip through the tunnel, pose for group photographs and congratulate ourselves on our great effort and that of the whole 35160 in raising 1.9 million for the Royal Melbourne children’s hospital. A wonderful fit for the GAS program.”
The reach of Give a Smile continues to grow and we’re proud to say that soon after the opening of Melbourne University’s Melbourne Dental Clinic, treatment commenced last yearwith their first GAS patient, Simone Awad. The Melbourne Dental Clinic is where, under close specialist supervision, orthodontic postgrad students gain their clinical expertise.
Simone was very happy to start her orthodontic treatment under the care of postgrad Dr Yunlong Kang. Assoc Prof Paul Schneider, head of the orthodontic department of the Melbourne Dental Clinic, has undertaken to accept one Give a Smile patient each year to be treated by one of the postgrad students.
Simone liked the idea of some colours on her braces, just like many of her classmates who also have braces. It’s only been five months since she started treatment but she is already feeling very good about her teeth and how the treatment will help her.
On Friday evening, the 13th of February, members of the ASO and guests attended a dinner at the Wine Centre in Adelaide in honour of the legendary Professor William Proffit from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Professor Proffit – known as “Bill” or “Prof” to his many friends – has had a long association with Australia, South Australia in particular and the ASO.
He first came to Adelaide in the early 70’s to study the Yuendumu aboriginals with Professor Tas Brown and Dr Raymond Begg.
Subsequently Prof visited Australia on numerous occasions, culminating with his appointment as the keynote speaker at the WFO conference in Sydney in 2010. He has been a great friend to the ASO over many years.
Prof was presented with the ASO Meritorious Service Award by Steve Langford, the immediate Past President of the ASO.
After the presentation, we were able to engage Prof with an explanation of our Give a Smile program and present GAS caps and GAS greeting cards to Prof, his wife Sarah and their daughter Lola.
He was very interested to hear about the success and high participation rate of Give a Smile.
Along with numerous SA ASO Members, the dinner was attended by many interstate members, including the Federal Executive and some Department Heads, all whom wanted to pay their respect to this great man,
In December last year SA GAS Liaison Officer, Dr Grahame Moore, met with the postgraduate orthodontic students at Adelaide University. He briefed them on the Give a Smile program, how they could get involved and the importance of such an initiative within the broader community. Many of the students expressed their desire to become involved after they graduate with most saying they planned to sign up once they complete their course. Give a Smile will continue to run these type of engagement events with post-graduate students around Australia in order to bring the next generation of Give a Smile orthodontists through the ranks.
The latest Autumn edition of the Give a Smile update card will be winging its way out to our GAS orthodontists very soon. If you’re not receiving these and would like to go onto our mailing list to receive some cards for your waiting room, please get in touch. firstname.lastname@example.org
Give a Smile will celebrate its 10 year anniversary this year and its ability to keep going for another 10 will be dependent on the next generation of Australian orthodontists coming onboard. Dr Dan Vickers met and spoke with postgrad graduates from Sydney Uni late last year to help create awareness about Give a Smile and the important role it plays in dental health.
Armed with GAS hats, t-shirts and a GAS application form, which were snapped up with enthusiasm, Dan explained how they could get involved and sign up to become a GAS orthodontist.
Dan said, ‘What a good idea it was to have a GAS talk with the postgrad students from Sydney Uni. I had no idea how little they knew about GAS and in fact about the ASO in general.’ Thanks again Dan. We’ll be sending you back next year to keep the message going.
Post-grad talks will now become a regular activity across the country as it is an integral part of our awareness campaigning that will ensure the longevity of our cause.
Building on the success of the last two years, Give a Smile is looking to bring together its team for the 2015 Run for the Kids, to be held in Melbourne on Sunday 22nd March. The proceeds support the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday appeal and we support the run because its another way in which Give a Smile can support children within our community.
So if you’re a runner, or even just up for a walk, why not join our team and help make our representation bigger than ever. All the details about how to get onboard can be found in the attached PDF.