Former local returns to give back to community which supported her dental studies

A strong connection with community has brought last year’s Dr David Bowler Memorial Scholarship winner Penelope Billings back home to work in the Far West LHD public dental service.

The former local and Bachelor of Oral Health Therapy graduate said she was very happy to be home working and helping local dental patients – something she planned on throughout her studies.

Penelope said she is passionate about clients in remote locations being able to access dental services. Taking up tertiary studies as a mature-aged student was driven by a desire to help provide continued dental care to the community here and throughout the District.

“I have a strong connection to the Broken Hill community, and I’m very excited to be home and working in the Far West Public Dental Service. I’m looking forward to being an active member of the community,” she said.

She was the 2020 recipient of the annual Dr David Bowler Memorial Scholarship Award and said she was very happy to give back to the community by coming home to work in her chosen field.

Penelope recently completed a Bachelor of Oral Health Therapy at the University of Newcastle on the Central Coast (graduated with Distinction). During her studies she participated in numerous volunteer activities such as the Children’s University program, President of University of Newcastle Oral Health Society, 2019 nominee for Student Volunteer of the year and was selected for a two-week clinical placement in Cambodia 2020. In addition to volunteer work, Penelope worked as a Dental Assistant in both the private and public sectors throughout her three-year degree.

Prior to starting her tertiary studies Penelope worked as a Dental Assistant at The Dental Centre and Maari Ma, gaining 15 years of experience within the dental industry.

Karen Kennedy, Far West LHD Oral Health Manager, said the LHD is fortunate to have Penelope back and working in the dental service at the Community Health Centre.

“We’re very happy Penelope has joined our team and it is particularly pleasing a former David Bowler scholarship winner has returned home to help provide a valuable and crucial service to our communities,” she said.

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