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WA Dental Health Foundation equipment

WA Dental Health Foundation 

A group of passionate dental professionals established the Western Australian Dental Foundation (WADF) in 2001, at a crucial time in UWA Dental School’s history, when the future of dental education in Western Australia was uncertain. Since then, leaders of the dental profession have contributed their time to encourage alumni and friends to donate to UWA to support programs for UWA Dental School. They have also been actively involved in guiding UWA Dental School in decision making relative to donated funds.

Current Projects and Scholarships

Currently, UWA Dental School and WADF’s joint priority is the refurbishment of the Dental Clinical Simulation Laboratory at the Oral Health Centre of WA (OCHWA), where students undertake pre-clinical training using artificial models and simulation machines to hone their skills. Scheduled to commence in December 2022, WADF invites UWA Dental alumni and friends to further support the project and turn the facility into a state-of-the-art resource for students.

Read more about the project here: Renewing the Oral Health Centre of WA

Western Australian Dental Foundation Scholarship

Established to encourage and assist an eligible student experiencing financial hardship to commence and undertake studies towards the Doctor of Dental Medicine at the University. Students can find more information for applying here.

Alistair Devlin Memorial Scholarship

Established in memory of the late Associate Professor Alistair Devlin to encourage and assist a student in their final year of the degree of Doctor of Clinical Dentistry (DClinDent), in the specialist area of Paediatric Dentistry, to further their study experience through international engagement. Students can find more information for applying here.

WA Dental Health Foundation Advisory Board

Dr Ross Bailey

UWA BDSc '81

Principal, Peel Dental Studio and Chair, WA Dental Foundation

I became involved with the WA Dental Foundation in the beginning, as a result of the uncertainty surrounding the future of our Dental School at the time.  My interest continues, in the hope of helping to maintain the high standard of education and training our dental graduates have been able to acquire at UWA.  As well as working in and managing a busy dental practice in Mandurah, I enjoy sport, particularly water polo and rugby union, as well as  scuba diving and fishing when the opportunity arises.

Dr Amit Gurbuxani

U Rajiv Gandhi BDS '06 UWA MDP&PH '11, MRACDS

Principal Dentist, Mi Dental, President, Australian Dental Association WA, Senior Clinical Lecturer, UWA Dental School

My relationship with the WA dental foundation began when I was the clinical co-ordinator of the final year dental students at the UWA Dental school. To be able to help deserving students via scholarships through the WADF was a blessing. It is an attestation  to the fact that when people believe in something and give back, we can make it a reality. That’s why I truly encourage all the alumni, including past international students, who like myself, moved overseas and for whom UWA was their first home, to give back and help the future generations.

My favourite memory of UWA is attending the Graduand Ceremony of my final year dental students, on my wedding day, while my newly wedded wife waited outside in her wedding dress J. Outside dentistry, I love trying new things, from sky diving, to white water rafting.

Dr Terry Pitsikas


Principal Dentist, Karrinyup Dental

I became involved in the WADF when a group of impassioned UWA Dental School Tutors and Lecturers approached the ADAWA when I was branch President  in 1999 to see what could be done to ensure UWA continued to have a Dental School as there were fears it would be closed down and moved to South Australia. The original Steering Committee consisted of Drs Alistair Devlin, Stuart Gairns, Mark Hansen, Phil Lawe-Davies and Albert Tan with me as chairman. We were soon  joined by Professor Paul Abbott whose valuable input was immediate.

My enthusiasm for the WADF is borne out of the fact that the profession, through my education at UWA, has allowed me to have a fulfilling professional career in dentistry. I now want to ensure that young students have the opportunity to fulfil their dreams of being successful in their chosen career and it all starts at UWA. I have enjoyed private practice for over 40 yrs and have been in partnership with fellow UWA colleagues since 1982. I have enjoyed fund raising ventures with Variety WA as Ernie and still have an avid interest in motor racing and attempt to play golf whenever the time allows.

Dr David Hallett


CEO, Australian Dental Association WA

I always had an emotional attachment to the Dental School. However, it wasn’t until I returned after nearly 30 years away that as a clinical tutor and clinician that I gained insight into the needs of both the students and the School. Active participation in the Foundation has been a fulfilling way of giving back to the School, the students and the profession. My most outstanding memory of UWA is the lifelong friends I made during those years. Outside dentistry it has always been simple…. family and sport.

Dr Gwen Chin

UWA BSc '96, BDSc '00

Associate Dentist, Harbourne Dental, President, UWA Dental Alumni, Secretary, WA Dental Foundation

I decided to be a part of the WADF as it was so closely allied to the philosphy of the UWA Dental Alumni. The concept and establishment of the WADF resonated strongly with many of us and it gave us an avenue to give back to the community and to the Dental School.

I have lots of memories of UWA, as it was such a large part of my life for such a long time. From my first day in my Bachelor of Science dgeree, sitting in the Octagon Theatre for my Human Biology lecture, to starting Dental School , to participating in the University Games, the richest of my memories come from my days at UWA.

Winthrop Professor Paul Abbott


Professor of Clinical Dentistry, Endodontist

As a former student, a former Head of School and a current academic staff member of the Dental School, I fully understand the support that students need as well as the support the School needs from the dental profession. I encourage all members of our profession to support the Foundation so it can be effective directing support to the students and School. I have many memories of my time at UWA but perhaps my student days stand out the most – for the great camaraderie and the wonderful life-time friends I made plus the great education and how it prepared us for dental practice. It also stimulated me to do more study and then to return as a teacher. Outside dentistry, I enjoy cooking (and eating what I cook!), being a handyman and travelling.

Associate Professor Mithran Goonewardene

UWA BDSc '82, MMedSc Harv., CertOrth Harv. & Forsyth, FICD, FADI

Orthodontist, The Orthodontists, Associate Professor Orthodontics, UWA Dental School

I am a proud graduate of the old UWA Dental School and faculty member for 35 years. From our humble beginnings at the Wellington Street site, I have seen the School go through significant changes but most notably the move to the OHCWA site that delivered a state of the art facility that we can all be proud of. My experience as a graduate student overseas emphasised the importance of a strong and dedicated alumni group in supporting the educational activities to ensure that our graduates are afforded the best possiible facilities and opportunities.

Moreover the WADF plays an important role in focussing both in supporting academic endeavours and personal support for students who have faced financial hardship. I am fortunate to have a large group of dedicated alumni who completed the course over 40 years ago and have become lifelong friends and supporters of our profession. I encourage alumni and friends to support the WADF as this group is seen as an integral part of our ongoing dedication to the welbeing of our current and future students. I am a proud parent and grandparent with 2 kids following me into dentistry and share Paul Abbott's love for cooking and travel.

Professor Hien Ngo

UAdel BDS '82, MDS '90, PhD '05

Dean and Head of School, Director of Oral Health Centre of WA, Professor

As Dean and Head of UWA Dental School, I greatly value the opportunity to engage with our volunteer Advisory Board leaders who have a passion for supporting students and research though the WA Dental Foundation. My role on the board is to communicate the needs of UWA Dental School and receive the advice from dedicated members of the profession about how we can make a difference together. I really appreciate how the community of UWA Dental School alumni has welcomed me since I took up my role at UWA and look forward to engaging further with the profession within Western Australia.

The Honorable Dr John Day

UWA BSc '78, BDSc '83 FICD

Patron, Dental Clinical Simulation Laboratory Project; Chair of the Board of the State Library of Western Australia; Board Member, Art Gallery of WA; Former Minister and Member of Legislative Assembly, Parliament of WA. 

I was pleased to accept the invitation to be Patron of the Dental Clinical Simulation Laboratory project to help ensure students can learn with up-to-date equipment and facilities. As with all students of my era, I learnt in the 'Op Tech" laboratory in the former shoe factory building at the previous UWA Dental School in Wellington Street, Perth. Technology has developed enormously since then. In post-parliamentary life, much of my time is spent with the arts, including advocating for public libraries. I recommend joining and using your local public library and the State Library - they have a wealth of information, interesting books and other material, talks, and helpful librarians!


To discuss how you can make a difference to the educational experience of the next generation of dentists and to the care of the patients through giving to UWA, please contact Kamyra Laurenson, Director of Development, +61 429 518 792 [email protected]

To volunteer your time to support UWA Dental School please contact [email protected]

Donate online:
Choose from dropbox ‘Dental Clinical Simulation Laboratory’ or ‘Other’ (type scholarship name).

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