Northern Rivers dental assistant named Indigenous Trainee of the Year

Karri Williams took home the title of Indigenous Trainee of the Year at the 2018 HVTC Excellence Awards held in Newcastle on Friday 4 May.

Karri has spent the past 12 months completing a Certificate III in Dental Assisting traineeship employed by group training organisation HVTC Northern Rivers and hosted by Bulgarr Ngaru Aboriginal Medical Corporation.

The oral health clinic at Casino is run as a partnership between Northern NSW Local Health District and Bulgarr Ngaru Aboriginal Medical Corporation.

After completing high school in 2017, 19 year old Karri was motivated to take up the traineeship as a result of her own childhood experience.

“If I knew then what I know now, I would have taken much better care of my teeth when I was a kid. Because the traineeship was with an Aboriginal health facility I felt that it was a great way for me to help my community and promote the importance of oral health,” said Karri.

Karri encourages others who may be thinking about taking up a traineeship to give it a go and hopes she can be a positive role model for her siblings and family.

Upon completion of her traineeship Karri was offered employment at Grafton Community Health where she is now working full-time as a dental assistant.

Winners in the 13 Excellence Award categories were selected from finalists across HVTC’s ten regional branches located throughout New South Wales.

HVTC CEO Sharon Smith says vocational education pathways can lead to career success for many young people.

“These awards not only celebrate the great results of our apprentices and trainees but they also reflect the significant role our business and industry partners play in making sure our young people secure quality employment outcomes,” Ms Smith said.

2018 HVTC Excellence Award winner, Karri Williams

Image: Grant Reeves (HVTC Northern Regions Manager), Karri Williams