Proud Gamilaraay woman credits UQ for bright start to dentistry career

9 Dec 2021

Anna Kelly loves the alchemy of art and science which goes into quality dental care and credits The University of Queensland with providing plenty of support and hands-on experience during her degree. 

Even before graduating with a Bachelor of Dental Science (Honours), Ms Kelly secured an Associate Dentist role in a private practice in Sydney, starting early in 2022. 

“I’ve been focused on dentistry since high school when I was called on to introduce a guest speaker who was a dentist,” she said. 

“She was extremely inspiring and, although I had people who doubted me along the way, I always dreamed of completing dentistry. 

“Upon graduating, I was unable to achieve the extremely competitive results dentistry required. 

“I completed the first year of a science degree at UQ to get the grades required and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (ATSIS) Unit helped put my name forward for the dental program. 

“I was also able to source valuable tutoring through ATSIS Unit, during both my science and dental science studies. 

“From second year onwards, I also took on a part-time dental assistant job to try to learn new skills in dentistry.” 

Anna said she was  grateful for support from the Dr Alan Van Tran and Minh Ha Tran Indigenous Health Education Bursary (2017, 2018, 2021), the Geoffrey Sattler Indigenous Scholarship (2021) and the UQ Indigenous Commonwealth Education Costs Scholarship. 

“I loved my whole experience at UQ; it was challenging at times, however I was hands-on with seeing patients from the end of second year all the way through to fifth. 

“Working in healthcare allows me to help those in need and to have an extremely rewarding career path.” 

“It was a dream of mine since childhood and I am extremely grateful to now have the privilege of it becoming a reality, thanks to the ATSIS Unit.”