The ADSA advances the rights, interests and welfare of dental students by advocating on behalf of the associations 3,500 dentistry and oral health therapy students. The President leads ADSA’s policy development process in consultation with the Liaison officers from each Dental Student Society and from feedback from students and key stakeholders. These policies are then adopted by ADSAs executive committee and used in campaigns, media statements and in relevant meetings.

We work with organisations with similar goals to advance ADSA’s advocacy such as:

Do you have a particular issue that you want heard? Get in touch with your University Representative or email advocacy@adsa.org.au.
Alternatively, fill out the contact form on our Advocacy page.

ADSA believes that the Federal Government should increase the amount of funding it gives dental schools. Dentistry is one of the most underfunded courses at Universities and dental faculties are struggling to provide updated technology and equipment, attract the best educators, and provide a quality educational experience.

ADSA’s formal position is that the Federal Governments base funding to dental programs should increase to alleviate the huge financial pressures dental schools and students face. Dental education costs need to be addressed by the Federal Government to ensure that dental students receive quality training.

Read the full policy here [PDF]

Since 2005 4 new dental schools have opened up, so there are 9 dentistry courses in Australia which has led to a dramatic increase in the number of students graduating with dental degrees. Over a ten year period the number of dental graduates has increased threefold from 230 graduates in 2005 to an expected 650 graduates in 2015. In this same period there has been an increase in the number of allied oral health professionals and overseas trained dentists migrating to Australia – which has also contributed to the oversupply of dental workforce.

ADSA believes that with an increase in the number of graduating dentists, dental therapists, dental hygienists and oral health therapists, there should be no new dental courses established in Australia, and that Universities and the Federal Government should regulate dental student intakes so that they are at a sustainable level. The Federal Government should remove dentistry practitioners from the Skilled Occupation List and should increase demand of dental services through increased funding for dental programs.

Read the full policy here [PDF]

There is a maldistribution of dentists and allied oral health professionals, with 79% and 72% employed in major cities respectively. There is a need for more dentists and allied oral health professionals in rural and remote areas to ensure that these people have access to dental care. With the projected oversupply of dentistry and allied oral health graduates, we should be encouraging students to work in these areas of need.

ADSA believes Universities should take an active role in promoting rural dentistry to its students by providing positive rural clinical placements and by increasing its intake of students from rural backgrounds. The federal government should provide incentives to students and new graduates to work in rural areas through scholarships and reimbursement schemes.

Read the full policy here [PDF]