Brisbane, 1 December 2022
Queensland dentists, Dr Arosha Weerakoon and Dr Lynlee Tatnell, have been awarded the 2022 Australian Dental Association Queensland Branch (ADAQ) and BOQ Specialist Dental Excellence Bursaries.
Dr Weerakoon from Tewantin Family Dental in Tewantin and Dr Tatnell from both Island Sands Dental in Boyne Island and the Royal Flying Doctors Service (Qld branch), will each receive $5,500 to put towards ADAQ Continued Professional Development (CPD) courses after being named the recipients of the bursary.
Now in its sixth consecutive year, the ADAQ and BOQ Specialist bursary program aims to recognise and reward dental practitioners who are committed to high quality learning by providing financial support for further professional development. There are two bursaries offered – the Practice Bursary awarded to an experienced dental practitioner to support the training and development of themselves and their team, and the Emerging Practitioners Bursary awarded to dental practitioners with less than five years of work experience.
Emerging Practitioners bursary recipient and 2018 graduate Dr Tatnell said that since graduating, she has loved working regionally, is enthusiastic about continuing professional development within the dental profession and enjoys every opportunity to partake in events to improve her skills and knowledge to benefit patient care and wellbeing.
“I am passionate about further education and would like to consider post-graduate studies in the future. I want to have a dental career where I am well educated (both through clinical learning and networking) to ultimately treat patients with the best care I can deliver. Working in a regional and rural capacity has shown me the importance of excellence in dental healthcare, as there can be restricted access for patients to specialist care.
“I am a second generation dentist. My mother (Dr Narelle Eckersley) has worked rurally and regionally her entire career. She is my inspiration and influence and I would like to thank her. She has kindly treated countless patients in her local and wider communities, to help bring them to a better state of oral health.
“I am passionate about providing oral health care for people living in regional and rural areas where access is challenging. This bursary will allow for further CPD opportunities to better equip me and my dental team to serve our local and wider communities.”
Fellow bursary recipient and owner of Tewantin Family Dental, Dr Weerakoon notes that the benefits of the bursary to her practice are significant.
“Tewantin Family Dental is a small two chair practice in the heart of Tewantin which serves the local community and acts as a 'feeder' town to people residing in surrounding areas.
“After working as an associate for nearly 20 years, I became a solo dental practice owner in late 2022. This bursary allows me to refresh my knowledge and skills so that I can increase the scope of services I provide my patients, while supporting my staff’s training and development needs.
“This bursary lightens the financial load that often prevents dentists new to practice ownership from completing face-to-face courses. I am very grateful for the support.”
ADAQ President and bursary selection panel member, Dr Matthew Nangle said, “This year’s bursary recipients demonstrated an impressive commitment not just to their own continuing professional development, but also to developing their teams to deliver the highest quality care to their communities.”
BOQ Specialist’s Queensland State Manager, Mark Bartholomeusz, concluded, “BOQ Specialist has been working closely with dentists for over 30 years and during this time, we have continually seen the benefits and opportunities that ongoing upskilling and training not only brings to practices, but to the wider community.
“We are proud to partner once again with the ADAQ to recognise two outstanding recipients in Dr Weerakoon and Dr Tatnell.
“As a recent graduate, Dr Tatnells’s passionate commitment to her professional development in order to provide an exceptional level of care to patients in rural settings is commendable, making her a most deserving recipient of the Emerging Practitioners Bursary.
“Dr Weerakoon’s genuine passion for education and excellence, as well as her team-oriented approach to professional development, also makes her a very deserving recipient of this year’s Practice Bursary,” said Mr Bartholomeusz.
Dr Tatnell and Dr Weerakoon will be profiled in ADAQ’s Dental Mirror as well as BOQ Specialist’s own ‘Best Practice’ magazine.
BOQ Group Media Relations
Tel: (07) 3212 3068
Melissa Kruger, Manager – Marketing, Membership and Engagement
Tel: (07) 3252 9866
About BOQ Specialist
BOQ Specialist has been Australia’s leading financial services partner for medical, dental and veterinary professionals for over 30 years. Their distinctive range of personal and business banking products and services include everyday banking and savings accounts, credit cards, residential mortgages, car loans, practice purchase loans, equipment and fit-out finance, commercial and investment property loans. For more information, call 1300 160 160 or visit www.boqspecialist.com.au
About the Australian Dental Association Queensland Branch
The Australian Dental Association Queensland Branch (ADAQ) is the peak body representing the dental profession. We advocate for our members, and work with government and other bodies to develop oral health policy and resources which will provide for improved oral health of all Queenslanders. ADAQ supports the practise and development of dentistry in Queensland through the design, support and delivery of education and professional services to member dentists and dental students. Further information: www.adaq.org.au