World-first conference on indigenous oral health

Thursday, 21 August 2014

The University of Adelaide is hosting the first conference of its type in the world dedicated solely to the critical issue of indigenous people's oral health.

The inaugural International Indigenous Oral Health Conference, to be held at the National Wine Centre from 27-29 August, has been established by dental researchers at the University of Adelaide and is attracting delegates from around the globe, including the US, Canada, Brazil and New Zealand.

Associate Professor Lisa Jamieson, Director of the University's Indigenous Oral Health Unit, says such a conference is long overdue.

"Oral health has been a major issue for indigenous populations around the world for many years, but until now there has never been a conference focused solely on addressing these issues," Associate Professor Jamieson says.

"Indigenous peoples in countries such as Australia, Canada, the United States and New Zealand historically have experienced very similar oral health problems, and we're now at the crossroads in terms of healthcare and cultural support for communities.

"This conference brings together some of the world's experts in this field, including world experts based right here at the University of Adelaide. By working together and sharing our knowledge, we hope to be able to create some positive outcomes for people worldwide," she says.

The two keynote speakers hail from different North American indigenous backgrounds: Professor Kamilla Venner (University of New Mexico) is of Alaskan Native descent, and is an expert of the use of motivational techniques to improve the uptake of dental care among indigenous communities; while Professor Terry Batliner (University of Colorado), a Cherokee man from Oklahoma, is an outspoken supporter of the broadening of oral health approaches in the US.

Other speakers include Dr Rui Arantes (Oswaldo Cruz Foundation), who has managed oral health promotion programs among the Xavante people in Brazil, and staff and students from the University of Adelaide's School of Dentistry, which has an international reputation for its work on indigenous oral health.

"In keeping with our aims of raising awareness of and improving oral healthcare in indigenous communities, we also have an extensive cultural program built into our conference program," Associate Professor Jamieson says.


Contact Details

Associate Professor Lisa Jamieson
Director, Indigenous Oral Health Unit
Australian Research Centre for Population Oral Health, School of Dentistry
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 4611

Mr David Ellis
Deputy Director, Media and Corporate Relations
External Relations
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5414
Mobile: +61 (0)421 612 762