Anna Holyoake

President, NZ Dental Hygienist Association

4 October 2019, 11.10am

NZ Dental Professional Organisations: Prioritising equity in the oral health workforce


Anna began her career in the dental industry as a dental assistant after leaving secondary school where she assisted in a busy practice  for two years in Taranaki. Anna was motivated to advance her career after reading an article in the Dominion Post about dental hygienists  in Wellington.  Anna graduated from the University of Otago in 2006 with a Diploma in Dental Hygiene and then completed the local anaesthetic course at AUT in 2007.

Following graduation, Anna returned to New Plymouth to practice dental hygiene full time. She is passionate about professional development. Anna has frequently hosted undergraduate students from The University of Otago during their placement. Anna has encouraged and motivated 3 of her colleagues to study Bachelor of Oral Health and become Oral health therapists. All 3 now practice in New Plymouth.

Not long after returning to New Plymouth,  the Taranaki Branch of the NZDHA was almost non existent. It was at this time that Anna's commitment to the NZDHA began.

Anna started off as the CPD co-orindator and then became the Taranaki Branch Chair. During her time as the Taranaki Branch Chair, she organised a very successful conference which was held in New Plymouth in 2016. In 2016 Anna was elected as the Vice-President of the NZDHA and continued with conference planning for 2017 which was the beginning of the combined conferences with NZDOHTA.

In 2017 Anna was elected to President of the NZDHA. This role has seen Anna  advocate a number of positive changes for NZDHA and NZDOHTA members. Engagement at branch level was one of Anna's concerns as she believes if the branches are strong, the association is strong. This has seen the introduction of the Chair incentive to reward, encourage and motivate members to engage more with the NZDHA Executive and the members of their branches.  Since this introduction, NZDHA Management meetings almost have 100% attendance.

Anna has also formed partnerships with companies on behalf of the NZDHA to grow and strengthen membership and social awareness of the profession. Her focus is on achieving excellence professionally and socially.