VE providing Aboriginal Health Practitioners with vital oral health training

VE providing Aboriginal Health Practitioners with vital oral health training

Jaydene Burzacott is Victoria’s first Aboriginal Health Practitioner to be competent in Fluoride varnish applications, after completing a Vocational Education (VE) at RMIT University.

In 2022, an amendment was made to the Victorian Government’s Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act which meant that Aboriginal Health Practitioners (AHPs) were allowed to obtain, possess and administer Fluoride varnish to children between three and 17 years of age.

Jaydene Burzacott, a Clinical Practice Manager with the Bendigo and District Aboriginal Co-operative (BDAC), became the first registered AHP in Victoria to be competent in Fluoride varnish applications, after studying and completing the course, ‘Apply Fluoride Varnish’, with RMIT’s College of Vocational Education. 

Jaydene Burzacott Jaydene Burzacott is the first AHP in Victoria to complete the ’Apply Fluoride Varnish’ course.

Jaydene has been an AHP with the BDAC for fourteen years and aspires to work in emergency medicine and the Royal Flying Doctors Service.

She took part in the Fluoride varnish training as she believed it was an opportunity to improve the oral health care of the Aboriginal population in her community.

“It meant I was able to support, promote and prevent another area of health care for a proportion of my community and for my people who I am passionate about changing the health outcomes for as a whole,” she said.

Jaydene feels as though her completion of the course will help to support her colleagues at BDAC to continue to achieve good health outcomes for her patients and community.

“It is very important to me that we can promote culturally appropriate health care in a holistic health care model,” she said.

It is also important that patients get information, support and health care in a culturally safe space, to help achieve the overall goal of closing the gap in life expectancy.

Whilst she was completing the training course, Jaydene made sure to acknowledge the work that had been done to enable AHPs to gain the skills they need to care for their communities.

“This work paves the way for the Aboriginal Health workers/practitioners before me and the generations to come who work tirelessly to help our people, to ensure we have the services and support in achieving good health outcomes in the community,” she said.

“I was privileged to have a small insight into the process and saw how much work went into making these changes to legislation, to getting the training organised and culturally appropriate for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander students. 

“Making sure this was successful was very important to me and to have the opportunity to be part of the first 10 students in Victoria to go through this training is a real honour.”

Story: Sheridan van Gelderen

15 March 2023


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