Where the Mind Meets the Mouth

An innovative annual oral health conference with extraordinary thought-leaders.


2016’s conference: Putting the Mouth Back into the Body




“Absolutely up to date on where our public social policy is moving.”

2015 conference delegate

Resources and news

Find resources and read insights from our incredible speakers.

The days of the traditional “drill and fill” approach to dentistry are passing. Oral health workers need to connect with their clients, working together to achieve behaviour changes which benefit their oral and general health. Where the Mind Meets the Mouth is an innovative conference which intends to help oral health professionals consider new ways of working with their patients, particularly those that need that extra bit of help. Vulnerable populations and people with complex special needs have higher levels of oral disease and poorer overall health. Traditional “drill and fill” models of oral health care have generally ignored social determinants and instead have focused on the treatment and management of existing disease. Determinants like economic disadvantage, mental health, sexual identity, experience of family violence and migrant status can all impact a person’s oral health or access to care. At Where the Mind Meets the Mouth 2015, oral health professionals and advocates learnt about the oral health needs of diverse communities and were empowered to meet those needs. CPD points: 10

“Prevention requires a long-term view and is fundamentally different from the treatment-based approach that most clients and staff have been accustomed to.”

Bradley Christian, Martin Hall and Rachel Martin, A paradigm shift in models of oral health care: an example and a call to action, Journal of Family Medicine and Community Health, special edition on Primary Healthcare. Accepted on 31/08/2015.

The inspiration

There are plenty of dental people out there who know that the “drill and fill” approach doesn’t work but don’t have the empowerment or support to change. Where the Mind meets the Mouth seeks to change that.

“…while we work towards achieving teeth that look great, the actual health of many Australians’ teeth and mouths is in decline.”

“A growing body of research shows that poor oral health at an early age can significantly affect school performance, social skills and self-esteem.” “Over half (54.9%) of people experiencing depression also suffer from one or more oral health problems that impact their daily life.”

Oral Health Advisory Panel

Read more.

“Pain, infection, and tooth loss are the most common consequences of oral disease, which can cause difficulties with chewing and swallowing, as well as speech, sleep, and productivity. There can also be significant impacts on self-esteem, psychological and social well-being, employment, interpersonal relations, and quality of life.”


Bradley Christian, Martin Hall and Rachel Martin

A paradigm shift in models of oral healthcare. Journal of Family Medicine and Community Health special edition on Primary Healthcare. Accepted on 31/08/2015.

Conference program

Friday, 27 November 2015

8.00 – 8.30Registration
8.30 – 8.45Welcome by Richard Wynne MP
8.45 –10.15Keynote 1 – Mindfulness
Dr Craig Hassed
10.15 – 10.45Morning tea
10.45 – 12.30Keynote 1 – Mindfulness
Dr Craig Hassed continue
12.30 – 13.30Lunch with exhibitors
13.30 – 14.45Keynote 2 – Family Violence
Dr Manjula O’Connor, Kirsty Forsdike
Prue Cameron, Rob Hulls and Elena Campbell
14.45 – 15.45Keynote 3 – Mental Health
Dr Caroline Johnson, Ingrid Ozols
15.45 – 16.15Afternoon tea
16.15 – 17.15 Keynote 4 – Drug & Alcohol
Dr Anne Marie Laslett, Penny Francis, Darryl Annett
17.15 – 18.00Panel discussion
Dr Deborah Cole, Darryl Annett, Prof Hanny Calache
18.00 – 19.00 Networking – All Nations Hotel

Saturday, 28 November 2015

8.30 - 9.15YogaSalivary testing3D imagingSplint/ mouthguard constructionHall technique and MIDNutritionQUITBack to the grind: occlusal splintsResin bonded bridges
9.15 - 10.00MeditationSalivary testing3D imagingSplint/ mouthguard constructionHall technique and MIDNutritionQUITBack to the grind: occlusal splintsResin bonded bridges
10.15 – 10.45GLBTIQ training
Lara Watson and Jemma Mead
Health literacy
Michal Morris
10.00 – 10.15Break
10.45 – 11.00Break
11.00 - 12.00We need to talk about complaints
Bernadette Liston
12.00 – 13.00Panel discussion and Q&A:
Tom Symondson, Demos Krouskos, Dr Martin Hall, Dr Deborah Cole
13.00 – 14.00Lunch
14.00Conference concludes


Dr Craig Hassad

Dr Craig Hassed is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of General Practice and coordinator of mindfulness programs at Monash University. His teaching, research and clinical interests include mindfulness-based stress management, mind-body medicine, meditation, health promotion, integrative medicine and medical ethics. Craig is regularly invited to speak and run courses in Australia and overseas in health, professional and educational contexts. He was the founding president of the Australian Teachers of Meditation Association and is a regular media commentator. He writes regularly for medical journals and has published nine books; “New Frontiers in Medicine” (Volumes 1 and 2), “Know Thyself” on mindfulness-based stress management, “The Essence of Health” on the lifestyle approach to health and chronic illness, a textbook co-authored with Kerryn Phelps, “General Practice: the integrative approach”, a book written with Stephen McKenzie, “Mindfulness for Life”, a book written with Richard Chambers, “Mindful Learning” on the role of mindfulness in education, and a book on epigenetics titled “Playing the genetic hand life dealt you”. Craig also featured in the documentary, The Connection, and wrote the companion e-book, The Mindfulness Manual. Craig’s next book, “The Mindful Home”, will be written with Deirdre Hassed and is due for release in late-2015.

Adjunct Professor Hanny Calache

Prof Hanny Calache (BDSc, GradDipHealthAdmin, MDSc(paediatric dentistry), Doct.Pub.Health) is the director of Clinical Leadership, Education and Research at Dental Health Services Victoria. Since February 2005, Prof Calache has contributed his clinical experience to DHSV and has undertaken many research projects to improve the state of the public oral health sector. He has seen much success with his research and in 2011 was recognised with the Victorian Minister for Health’s Public Health Award for Developing a Capable and Engaged Workforce. Prof Calache is a specialist in paediatrics and is also Chair of the DHSV Clinical Leadership Council.

Dr Deborah Cole

Dr Deborah Cole (BDS, GradDipHealthAdmin, MBA, GradCertLead&CathCulture, FAICD, FAIM) is the chief executive officer of Dental Health Services Victoria. Appointed in February 2011, Deborah brings considerable experience in managing major public healthcare organisations, having held CEO positions at Calvary Health Care and Yarra City Council as well as senior executive positions at Mercy Health and St Vincent’s Health. Deborah has also had senior management experience in the oral health sector as Director of The Royal Dental Hospital of Melbourne from 1995-1999 and Regional Director of the South Australian Dental Service.

“…Craig Hassad’s talk on mindfulness was the best talk I have been to for a while.”

2015 conference delegate

Dr Manjula O’Connor

Dr Manjula O’Connor is a Psychiatrist, Hon. Senior Fellow at School of Population Health, The Centre for Cultural and Global Studies, The University of Melbourne.  She is the Director of 20 Collins street medical centre and is the Founding Director of NGO “Australasian Centre for Human Rights and Health.” Dr Manjula O’Connor works across the whole spectrum of Domestic violence: helping victims of Domestic Violence and marital conflict in acute crisis, raising awareness in the community through education and conducting research programs to find solutions to the problem of Domestic Violence. She Chairs the Royal Australasian and NZ College of Psychiatrists Working Group on Family Violence and has received the Victorian Governments Multicultural award of ‘Excellence in Women’s Health.’

Prue Cameron

Prue Cameron is the Senior Policy Adviser at Domestic Violence Victoria. As the peak body for women and children’s specialist  family violence services in Victoria, DV Vic’ work involves policy development, system reform and advocacy for women and children and service providers. Prue has worked in social policy and research in a range of community, academic and political settings. Her recent research with women experiencing financial abuse in the context of family violence for WIRE, Women’s Information and Referral was recognised with an outstanding achievement award from Financial Literacy Australia.

Kirsty Forsdike

Keynote 3: Family violence, 13.30-14.45 Friday 27 November

Kirsty Forsdike (BA(Hons) English, PgDip Law, PgDip Legal Practice) is currently involved in ongoing research projects in the area of abuse and violence including qualitative studies and development of educational programmes for general practitioners. She is undertaking a PhD through La Trobe University regarding women’s emotional wellbeing and participation in sport. Before joining the University of Melbourne, Kirsty worked at The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists as a Project Research Officer. She managed a number of projects including the review and update of carer and consumer clinical practice guidelines and the development and delivery of career information packages for medical students and pre-vocational doctors. She also assisted in policy research including women’s mental health, mental health literacy, allied mental health professional training within the context of the Stolen Generations and medical students’ specialty choice. Before working in project research, Kirsty was a commercial lawyer specialising in banking and finance.

Elena Campbell

Elena Campbell is Manager, Policy and Research at the Centre for Innovative Justice and is responsible for co-ordinating the Centre’s research and policy development, as well as its advocacy and communication work.

A policy lawyer and writer, with a background in social justice and human rights, Elena worked as a legal adviser and speechwriter in state government for ten years. She has also worked as a consultant to organisations such as the Australian Human Rights Commission. Elena is the principal author of the Centre’s reports, Affordable Justice and Opportunities for Early Intervention: Bringing Perpetrators of Family Violence into view.

Rob Hulls

Rob Hulls completed his law degree at RMIT and began his career as a Solicitor for the Legal Aid Commission of Victoria from 1984–86. Rob served one term in Federal Parliament from 1990–93 as the member for Kennedy, Queensland and in 1994 on return to Melbourne was appointed Chief of Staff to the Victorian Leader of the Opposition.

In his state political career Rob held the offices of Attorney-General; Minister for Manufacturing Industry and Minister for Racing, Minister for WorkCover, Minister for Planning and Minister for Industrial Relations.

As Attorney-General, Rob instigated significant changes to Victoria’s legal system which saw the establishment of the state’s first Charter of Human Rights and reform to Victoria’s Upper House. He established specialist courts in Victoria including for Victoria’s indigenous community, for people with mental health issues, and for victims of family violence and introduced an open tender process for applicants to Victoria’s judiciary.

In October 2012 Rob was appointed Adjunct Professor at RMIT and was invited to establish the new Centre for Innovative Justice as its inaugural Director. The Centre’s objective is to develop, drive, and expand the capacity of the justice system to meet and adapt to the needs of its diverse users.

Ingrid Ozols

Ingrid Ozols is an active workplace mental health and suicide prevention advocate and educator of more than 16 years. She is the founder and managing director of Mental Health at Work (mh@work®), a national consultancy aimed at improving the mental health, resilience and productivity of organisations and their people. Ingrid helps reduce the stigma, discriminatory practices and lack of understanding about mental health problems and suicide prevention. She participates is a member on many national Australian boards, committees, government advisory,  and university, research groups. Having appeared widely in Australian media, Ingrid shares her journey of loving, living and working with many people in her family and workplaces who have been touched directly and indirectly by mental illness and suicide. She is an ambassador of CRESP (BlackDog Institute’s Centre for Research Excellence in Suicide Prevention) and Lifeline, Australia’s largest mental health and suicide crisis charity and other community and academic organisations. Ingrid was Victoria’s State Finalist at the 2007 Telstra Business Women’s Awards and finalist in the Social Contribution section of the Ernst and Young Entrepreneurship Awards in 2009.

Dr Caroline Johnson

Caroline is a General Practitioner in Surrey Hills, Melbourne.  Her interest in primary mental health care grew out of her experience providing professional development activities for GPs as a medical educator at the RACGP Victorian Faculty from 1996 until 2002.  This led to a lecturer position at the Department of General Practice, University of Melbourne, where Caroline has had the opportunity to teach at undergraduate, vocational and postgraduate levels.  She is a member of the RACGP Expert  Committee – Quality Care and has represented the RACGP on a variety of committees related to mental health, including current roles as a member of the Mental Health Professionals Association and as a Board Member of Mental Health Australia.  In 2015 she completed a PhD at the University of Melbourne, researching the monitoring of depression in the GP setting.

Dr Anne-Marie Laslett

Dr Anne-Marie Laslett is a Senior Research Fellow at National Drug Research Institute, focusing on alcohol’s involvement in child abuse, neglect and other harms. She also directs the Range and Magnitude of Alcohol’s Harm to Others project at the Centre for Alcohol Policy Research at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia. She is a co-investigator and technical advisor to the World Health Organization/Thai Health International Collaborative Research Project on ‘The Harm to others from drinking’. Dr Laslett originally graduated as a dentist, and went on to complete Master of Preventive and Community Dentistry (Oral Epidemiology) and Master of Public Health degrees and recently her PhD. She has more than 20 years’ experience at Turning Point and in public health in the Department of Human Services, where she worked in protective services, alcohol and drug services, sexual health, mother and children’s health, and cancer and injury epidemiology.

Penny Francis

Penny Francis is the Team leader of the Alcohol and Drug Team at North Richmond Community Health. Penny oversees a multidisciplinary team that works with people who inject drugs (PWID). Penny has had various senior roles at North Richmond Community Health. Penny has worked on a range of diverse projects over the past six years at the centre, these range from strategic planning for chronic disease, health promotion and prevention, direct service delivery, service coordination, program reviews and area based planning. Penny has previously managed the Health Promotion Program at NRCH, this previous experience provides for a tangible opportunity to bring together the prevention, management of chronic disease and health promotion.

The Alcohol and Drug program at NRCH has implemented a small pilot project My Health My Mouth targeting people who inject drugs. The project aimed to increase oral health screening of PWID, create a seamless pathway for treatment and develop a screening tool for AOD clinicians to identify people who are at risk of oral health problems.

Darryl Annett

Darryl Annett is a Principal Solicitor at The Salvation Army’s Urban Justice Centre. The Urban Justice Centre is the legal service arm of the Melbourne Project 614 network of services, which also includes a mental health care clinic, case workers, accommodation support, an employment and training program, material aid, an outreach service and a Café where people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness can obtain nutritious meals free of charge. Darryl established the Urban Justice Centre in 2012, supporting Project 614’s multidimensional efforts to create pathways out of social poverty. Around 90% of clients visiting the centre have complex circumstances impacting their criminal behaviour and the Urban Justice Centre ensures that many are well represented and kept out of custody. He is also the Deputy Chair of the Merri Community Health Service.

Dr Martin Hall

Dr Martin Hall graduated as a dentist from Adelaide University in 1980. He has worked  35 years in public oral health, remote and rural aboriginal health, international development, research and dental therapist training. He has been the Manager of the Oral Health program at North Richmond Community Health for the past 20 years, where a majority of clients come from a “special needs” background. His program won the 2013 Public Oral Health Award for their innovative health promoting model of care.

“Dental assistants are so under valued – they generally have the best relationships with clients. Potentially, if given the opportunity, they can make the most lasting change, through empathetic relationships and the transfer of practical advice.”

Dr Martin Hall, manager of the North Richmond Community Health Oral Health program.

Demos Krouskos

Demos is the chief executive officer of North Richmond Community Health as well as the director of the Centre for Culture, Ethnicity & Health (CEH). Demos migrated to Melbourne with his family from Greece in 1954. Since 1985, he has held a number of positions in the health care sector including six years as executive officer with the health consumer organisation Preston/Northcote District Health Council. In 1991, he was appointed the chief executive officer of North Richmond Community Health Centre and in 1999, director of CEH. His professional interests include health and cultural diversity, health issues affecting refugees and migrants, health equity and human rights, the health of Indigenous Australians, the development of ethical health care practice and health care service research. Demos was awarded the Centenary Medal in 2000 for services to community health.

Dr Rachel Martin

Dr Rachel Martin graduated as a dentist from Melbourne  University in 1991.  She gained a Masters of Public Health in 1998. She has worked 25 years in public oral health, developing community programs, teaching and research. She works as a clinician in the Oral Health program at North Richmond Community Health and runs the Victorian research study on the Hall Technique. Rachel was on the committee that wrote the first National Oral Health Promotion Plan for Australia in 2013, and is an inaugural member of the Australian Chapter of the international Alliance for a Cavity Free Future. She also sits on the Dental Board of Australia, Registration and Notification committee (AHPRA).

Tom Symondson

Tom joined the Victorian Healthcare Association in 2012 to lead policy and advocacy before becoming Chief Executive Officer in 2015. Prior to moving to Australia in 2011, Tom worked as principal advisor to the elected leader of one of London’s largest and most diverse local councils. In this role, he headed the leader’s office and was responsible for stakeholder engagement and policy development across social and aged care, public health, education and urban planning.

Dr Kunal Pandya

Dr Kunal Pandya is a specialist prosthodontist and is a partner at Prosthodontic Associates in Collins St, Melbourne. He also visits rooms in Ivanhoe and Traralgon. Kunal maintains an active involvement in continuing education around Victoria and is strongly involved with the ADAVB and the University of Melbourne.

Dr Gordon Burt

Gordon is a Melbourne prosthodontist, providing comprehensive restorative treatment to his patients. He graduated in 1984 from the London Hospital Medical College i and completed a Master’s degree in prosthetic dentistry in 1989 from London University. At the University of Minnesota, he received an MS in prosthodontics in 1993. He is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons.

He has practised prosthodontics in Victoria since 1995. He is a demonstrator in the Graduate Prosthodontic program, University of Melbourne. He is a past president of the ADA (Victorian Branch) and remains on its Council. He has lectured locally, interstate and internationally.

Jemma Mead and Lara Watson

Jemma Mead has worked at Merri Community Health Services since 1999, starting YGLAM Queer Youth Theatre, a performing arts project for same sex attracted and gender diverse young people. Jemma then moved into the Youth Health Team Leader role and is currently the Manager of Counselling and Support Services.

Lara Watson has worked for Merri Community Health Services since 2007 in various roles and has job shared the Quality Manager role since June 2012 which oversees areas such as accreditation, clinical governance, privacy and feedback.

Jemma and Lara have been part of the Merri Community Health Services Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer (GLBTIQ) Working Group  since its inception in 2013. This working group led the work that was undertaken in preparation for our successful Rainbow Tick accreditation in November 2014.

Ana Ivanovic

Ana Ivanovic has worked at North Richmond Community Health since 2002. As a dental assistant she developed a high level skills in infection control and oral surgery. Further studies in the RMIT Advanced Diploma in Oral Health has her working as a dental hygienist since June 2015. She has a passion for preventive based care and is working in the “Pearly whites” aged care outreach program. Ana has a certificate 4  in training and work place assessment and  presented at 2015  DHSV Innovations workshop on the advanced scope of practice for the dental assistant  in a health promoting model of care. She will be presenting on saliva testing and management of the client at higher risk due to dry mouth.

Hieu Tran

Hieu Tran graduated from Melbourne BOH in  2013 with the Dean’s Award. She has worked at North Richmond Community Health as an Oral Health Therapist since graduation and at Co-health as a health literacy project officer. Her role in the NRCH health promoting model of care involves “Chompers” a school based outreach program and prevention-based clinical care including silver fluoride and Hall Technique for atraumatic management of  primary molars. She will be presenting with Australian Imaging on 3D imaging (Cone Beam Computerised Tomography) currently used at NRCH to enhance quality of care.

Vang Huynh

Vang Huynh has worked at North Richmond Community Health since 2006. Additional training in oral health promotion enabled her to pioneer the Oral Health Educator role in the health promoting model of care at NRCH. Further studies in RMIT Advanced Diploma in Oral Health has her working as a dental hygienist since January 2015 coordinating the “Pearly whites” aged care outreach program and prevention-based clinical care. Vang has presented at various conferences and forums on the advanced role of the dental assistant in preventive practice. She will be presenting on saliva testing and management of the client at higher risk due to dry mouth.

Alyson Bettega

Alyson is an Oral Health Therapist, graduate from the University of Queensland 2007.  After gaining valuable experiences in the school dental service of Queensland and the Northern Territory, Alyson moved to Melbourne and began working with North Richmond Community Health in 2011 as well as a private dental practice in Fitzroy North.

Alyson furthered her studies with Melbourne University in 2013, completing the Advanced Certificate in Dental Therapy and at the Prince Alfred Hospital Lung Health training program.  Alyson has participated in the Hall Technique research and has recently piloted a smoking cessation program at North Richmond Community Health.   Alyson has modified her practice to include motivational interviewing for smoking cessation and will present on this subject at the conference.

Anisha Prasad

Anisha is a Nutritionist and Senior Project Manager with over 10 years experience.

Throughout her career she has worked with community, government, disadvantaged groups, prisons, families, young people, substance misuse, learning disabilities, homelessness, teenage pregnancy, not-for-profit and private sector organisations across London and Melbourne.

Bernadette Liston

Bernadette Liston is a conciliator working with the Office of the Health Services Commissioner.

Bernadette has been working in the area of health complaints for nearly 20 years in Victoria and New South Wales.

She is interested in increasing understanding about why people complain and how we might reduce the incidence of complaints.

Stuart Stevens

Stuart has been working in the dental market for six years, and specialising in imaging for the past four in CBCT, digital and occlusal analysis. Before working in the dental field, he was in the army for nine years as an electronic technician and completed a seven month tour of Iraq in 2009.


  For general enquiries, please contact Anni Tillack-Benton on 03 9418 9928 or annit@ceh.org.au. For volunteer enquiries, please contact Anisha Prasad at anishap@nrch.com.au. For media enquiries, please contact Jessie Richardson at jessier@nrch.com.au.

You can also follow North Richmond Community Health on Twitter  @nrch_Aus and like us on Facebook: facebook.com/nrchAustralia.

North Richmond Community Health 23 Lennox St, Richmond Vic, 3121 www.nrch.com.au

Thanks to our volunteers

We’d like to thank our amazing volunteers who made Where the Mind meets the Mouth 2015 a success. They supported speakers and staff, guided attendees, ran microphones, took photos, fed everyone and were terrific representatives for North Richmond Community Health and Where the Mind meets the Mouth.

They were:

Upasana Pathak, Jaime Daniel,  Zac Haussegger, Megan Lai,  Dang Anh Minh,  Rebecca Goldman,  Reaga Yousif,  Rubab Batool,  Dan Vaughan,  Sumaya Hassan,  Tamara Bacchia,  D’arcy Noonan, Selena Nguyen,  Jessica Jerome,  Maria Luisa Mamerto,  Rachelle Johnson, Aimee Mills,  Louis Nov and  Joanna Dong Chang.


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dentavision logo

DPH logo with details

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 merri logo

We would like to thank the following organisation for their support: