Hosted by Erica Hwin

At Dental Head Start, our goal has always been to keep our conversations real and relevant for students and new grads, and so what better way to do that than to hear directly from you guys! In this episode, we are joined by some fellow students from around Australia, who are completing their final year of dental school, to get their perspectives on what it’s like for the new generation of dentists. 

From USYD to UQ to La Trobe, join us to hear about the differences between each university’s curriculum and culture, the different committees and extra-curricular activities Richard, Anushka & Joanne are involved with, and the pearls of wisdom they have for younger students. We dive into what the future looks like for everyone and the topics that as future graduates, we’d love to learn more about.

And if there’s anything you’d like to learn more about, or even if you just want to chat, don’t be a stranger! We’d love to hear from you.

Find the DHS team on Instagram or Facebook!

Dental Head Start @dentalheadstart

Erica Hwin @ericahwin.dmd

Cigdem Kipel @dr.cigdemkipel

Graeme Pearson @dr.graemepearson


Joanne Ling (La Trobe)

Joanne is a final year student at La Trobe University, member of the La Trobe Student Excellence Academy and Past Treasurer for the Bendigo Oral Health and Dentistry Society. This year, she is the Australian Ambassador for Global Leadership in Dentistry & Sciences, the Immediate Past President of the Australian Dental Students’ Association, and a member of the Australian Dental Council Accreditation Committee. Joanne is passionate about volunteering and her other hobbies include baking bread, hiking, painting, and spending time with friends/family. Fun fact: Kevin Rudd is one of her 7 followers on Twitter!

Richard Zhu (UQ)

Richard is a final year Dental Science student studying at the University of Queensland. He was born and raised in Brisbane and was inspired to pursue dentistry at a young age after receiving orthodontic treatment. Richard has been involved with the University of Queensland Dental Student Association (UQDSA) as a Social Committee member in 2020 and subsequently as Vice-President in 2021. On his days off, he enjoys volunteering at the Tzu Chi Foundation Inclusive Health Clinic as a dental assistant, going to the gym, producing music and eating out with friends. A fun fact about Richard is that he was the Time Magazine’s Person of the Year in 2006.

Anushka Fernando (USYD)

Anushka is a final year dentistry student from The University of Sydney and is also the student President of the Sydney University Dental Association. She has served as a Student Board Member for the Faculty of Medicine and Health, is a post-graduate student representative for dentistry at the Faculty and more recently was nominated as a Pierre Fauchard Academy Scholar in 2022. Anushka loves meeting new people and exchanging perspectives on life before dentistry, during and after. Anushka’s favourite thing to do in her time off is explore Sydney’s best spots for sunrises and sunsets.


Dental Protection Limited

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Dental Protection we’re the first to come on board supporting dental students and graduates through the Dental Head Start Podcast and now they’re stepping up again by release the new publication Young Dental Practitioners as well as the Survival guide, their e-Learning platform ‘Prism’ and Sign up for Risk Wise Connect. Find it at the links or on their Facebook Page.


Clinical Aligner Excellence

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Aligners are becoming an integral part of private practice. Whether you are new to aligner therapy or an experienced practitioner, the opportunities are vast. But how do you do it at a high standard, efficiently and profitably?

Dr Geoff Hall and Dr Jesse Green have come together to help with these key problems through Clear Aligner Excellence – their latest education platform.Visit clearex.com.au for more information. You can expect a wealth of knowledge to help improve your practice as well as huge discounts on major aligner therapy companies and lab fees.


RIPE Global

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In this exceptionally difficult time for our profession, we need to look at the silver lining. With time, we can work on ourselves and work on our dentistry. And what better way then with RIPE Global

In a market flooded with online content, RIPE Global sits head and shoulders above the rest. Enjoy some of the most useful yet professionally created online content anywhere in the world, for just $59AUD/month.

Benefits include

  • Access to over 200 hours of lecture recordings and clinical videos.
  • Phone, email and chat support
  • 4 Dentistry Fundamentals courses per year (valued at $1075). (Restoration Fundamentals is an example of this style of product.)
  • 4 Exclusive Live and interactive Q&A sessions per year (valued at $10K)

My crown prep workflow is modelled on Lincoln’s video from the academy 3 years ago! This will change your practicing career.

Get 30% off the membership for life – Use the code “Headstartripe” 

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