NAROOMA dentist Rotarian Charmaine White and her dental assistant Sharon White recently returned from a week’s volunteer work in isolated indigenous communities in the Kimberley in Western Australia.
Volunteering her professional skills through Rotary to help others is a passion of Charmaine’s; last year she volunteered in Jamaica.
“This time I worked with the Kimberley Dental Team in two communities between Halls Creek and Broome which involved a fair bit of travelling” Ms White said, adding she was one of four dentists in the team.
“One community had about five families, the other about 40 families, and none had seen a dentist for quite a while.
“We did a range of work and as much as we could in the time available. One lady had three extractions so you can imagine her relief when they were done.”
Ms White said she gained a sense of health care issues in remote communities and the lack of health education.
“One of the messages the team was keen to get across was that everyone can look after their teeth,” she said.
Rotary in Western Australia is a great supporter of the Kimberley Dental Team project.
Back home, Ms White received a Double Sapphire Pin at last week’s Rotary meeting in recognition of her volunteer work in Jamaica last year.
She was part of a team of 50 from seven different countries who participated in a Rotary Matching Grant Dental-Eye Mission over three weeks.
Ms White explained that an anonymous benefactor was so impressed with what they were doing and with Rotary’s involvement, that he donated thousands of dollars to the Rotary Foundation and asked that each member of the team in turn be recognised as a Paul Harris Fellow in appreciation of their contribution.
This is the third time she has been recognised as a Paul Harris Fellow, hence her Double Sapphire Pin.