Leonie has held academic positions at six universities and helped establish Australia’s first dual-skilled Bachelor of Oral Health degree at the University of Queensland in 1998, Australia’s first new dental school for 57 years at Griffith University in 2004, and the Bachelor of Oral Health degree at CQUniversity in 2012. In her early career Leonie was a lecturer in Dental Assisting for Redfern TAFE in the 1980s and developed a Certificate III in Dental Assisting and a Certificate IV in Oral Health Education for Southbank TAFE in 2003. She was also instrumental in establishing a Certificate III in Dental Assisting at CQUniversity in 2018.
Whilst based at CQUniversity, Leonie worked with Bachelor of Oral Health students for seven years, instigating and providing oral health care training for staff in five residential and aged care facilities (RACFs); and providing oral health care assessments, care plans, preventive dental treatment and referral to GPs, dentists and dental specialists for residents in five RACFs in Rockhampton and on the Capricorn Coast.
Leonie also educated and assisted adults with intellectual and/or physical disabilities through the Healthy Lifestyle and Living Centre with the Endeavor Foundation in Rockhampton.
She knows and understands first-hand the personal issues that can arise to maintain her mother’s dental and gingival health (with a fully-functioning natural dentition) as her mother was in residential dementia care for five and a half years up to her death at 94 years of age in December 2019.
Leonie has been awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree (Wollongong), a Diploma of Clinical Hypnotherapy and a Master of Health Planning (NSW) and is a registered dental practitioner – dental therapist – with the Dental Board of Australia.
Leonie has been awarded $1.8m in grants and written numerous publications in refereed journals. She was the first dental therapist to be appointed as Director to the Australian Dental Council and to become a member of the Australasian Council of Dental Schools.
April van den Elsen
At a young age April, had an introduction to aged care facilities through her mother’s experience of work as an enrolled nurse and patient care assistant. She had a very keen interest in continuing care in this setting/ environment after undertaking her education and practice in oral health.
April has worked as an oral health therapist (OHT) with adult scope of practice providing both curative and non-curative measures in the private and public sectors. April has held positions as a Health Promotion Officer/OHT and as a Research Project Coordinator with the University of Adelaide in the Northern Territory. Currently she works in various locum roles across Australia as a registered dental practitioner– oral health therapist – with the Dental Board of Australia.
Volunteering within the dental community is paramount to April – she volunteers in her discipline in the local community and through the Dental Hygienists’ Association of Australia as an active member.
April has been awarded a Bachelor of Oral Health (CQUniversity) with an excellence award from the Dental Hygienists’ Association of Queensland in Year 3 oral health clinical placement, a Bachelor of Public Health (Double Major -Heath Promotion and Environmental Health and Sustainability) (Griffith University), a Cert IV in Oral Health Education and a Cert III in Dental Assisting. April is at present time completing a Graduate Certificate in Health Service Management (Aged Care) through the University Tasmania.