Olivia Thackeray

Our People 2018 - Olivia Thackeray - 1000pxl.jpg

Community Dental Liaison Officer

Mission Australia, Surry Hills

“My role is to ensure that clients meet the eligibility criteria for our dental service and then book them in to see one of our dentists or oral health clinicians. Our criteria includes homelessness, mental health issues and drug and alcohol dependency.  I liaise with the area crisis centres and support clients throughout their dental care. I also liaise with the dental officers regarding their needs.

What matters to me is ensuring clients feel comfortable and welcome. That they know we care about them and their health. Some of our clients can be quiet distrustful of health services and we try to make this service really friendly and non-judgemental.  We just want to sort out their teeth. We’re not here to scrutinise what else they’re doing.

My favourite part is when clients complete their treatment and they have a new lease on life. They just walk differently, they’re standing straight and they’re smiling. It’s amazing to see the transformation that a nice set of teeth can make to their lives. I’ve had clients tell me that they’ve had job interviews after getting their dentures, whereas they’ve never been able to get them before.”