Pro Bono Work for the Australian Dental Health Foundation (ADHF) and the National Dental Foundation
In 2005, Dr David Digges and Dr Heather Mueller decided there was not enough being done for those who fell through the cracks in the state and national dental systems. They decided to open up their practice for one day each year to treat people from charities, including the Matthew Talbot Hostel and Youth off the Streets program.
In 2006, they started working in conjunction with the National Dental Foundation (NDF), a national charity which coordinated delivery of care to disadvantaged members of the community around Australia.
Under the Dental Rescue Day program, each patient walks away with oral health instructions and oral health hygiene products, kindly donated by Colgate and Henry Schein Halas. Pain relief and fillings are also offered.
A lot has happened since then – Dr Digges has become both State and National Chairman of a national group of like-minded dentists, and the idea has grown into a nationwide event. Now, several times a year, Dr Digges organises many practices around the country to open their doors to people in need. So far, more than $3 million worth of dental treatment has been provided to those who need it the most, selected by charities that work with the NDF.
Pro Bono Work in East Timor
Since 2004, Dr David Digges has travelled to East Timor and carried out pro bono dental work in areas such as Dili, Maubara, Maliana and Bachau. He has been accompanied by Dr James Digges and other members of the Digges family on multiple occasions. There are just three dentists in the entire country of East Timor, all of which reside in its capital, Dili. This leaves the rest of East Timor heavily reliant on foreign volunteers.