Tag Archives: Melbourne Dental Wellbeing


At this point in time we would like to thank all our generous donors of cold hard cash. Maintaining a dental program is not a cheap operation. While we try and make our funds stretch as far as possible by utilising volunteers – who all pay their own way – as the muscle of the program, and by obtaining generous donations of dental materials, we aim to reduce the welfare component of our program in order to make the program more sustainable.

That is why we employ a number of local Timorese people. We employ a full-time Timorese dental therapist, Nicolau Pires, who runs the program while the teams are not in Timor Leste. We employ Bonifacio Cardoso on a casual basis, to handle our registrations and liaise with some of the outlying communities; and when the teams are in-country, we also employ a slew of dental assistants, translators and sometimes, drivers.  Now, we are funding a Timorese sister, Sr Delfina, to attend university in Indonesia so that she can become a dentist. It’s a 5 year course and a massive financial commitment for the TLDP. She starts in September this year and the cost of the first year’s tuition is USD 29 000. It’s a lot of money! It is our hope that once she graduates and gets a bit of experience, she will then become the backbone of our program.

So apart from helping us to purchase and maintain our dental gear in our clinics, and to maintain our car and the Sisters’ car which the teams borrow, and helping to support   three other Timorese government clinics, your precious donations are helping us to provide employment, training and experience for young Timorese people. Thank you for investing in their futures.

Thank you, in particular, to the International College of Dentists, which has pledged $4000 annually for Sr Delfina’s education. Thank you to the Rotary Club of Bendigo who recently gave us $2000 to buy local anaesthetic for all the clinicians we support, as well as some instruments that were on Dr Inda’s Wishlist. Thank you to the Melbourne Dental Wellbeing clinic, who threw a film night and donated $1405 to the program, just for the hell of it. Thank you to everyone who has given us even a small donation – every little bit counts!

As I write this, our next team is preparing to head off to TL this weekend. Team 2 consists of  Dr John Moran, Dr John Whyte and Emma Whyte , as well as Nico Pires and Ana Paula do Santos Tavares Salgado. They will be living it up in Railaco! Good luck team!

bending the arc

BENDING THE ARC – Film Screening Fundraiser for the TLDP


Amazing things happen out of the blue. For the TLDP, it came in the form of an email.

This email was from two Melbourne dentists. Given our core business, one might think that this is quite a pedestrian occurrence. But THESE dentists were asking if the Timor Leste Dental Program would be willing to be the recipient of the proceeds of a fundraiser they were organising?

YES! As all of our constant supporters and untiring volunteers have come to realise over the 15 years that this program has been running – dentistry is an expensive business.

Their event is a screening of the award-winning documentary, Bending the Arc , which is about a team of young people—Paul Farmer, Jim Yong Kim, Ophelia Dahl—whose charitable medical work 30 years ago ignited a global health movement. Their goal was  to make high quality health care available to everyone, even in the world’s poorest countries.


Many years ago, Dr Brandeis McBratney-Owen and Dr Paul McBratney-Owen were inspired by the work of Dr Farmer and his friends. Hence, this exclusive Australian screening event is sponsored by their holistic dental practice, Melbourne Dental Wellbeing.

They plan to donate all ticket proceedings to the Timor Leste Dental Program (thank you very much!). If you are in Melbourne, we hope that you take the opportunity to experience this inspiring story, and to show your support for the ideal of universal health care (and the TLDP!). Hope to see you there!

Sunday 29 April 2018

Cinema Nova
380 Lygon Street, Carlton , VIC 3053