Meet the ADAWA member-facing staff 

Posted on 3rd June 2021

You’ll know them by their phone voices and email messages, but can you put a face to the names at ADA House? Now’s your chance: we’re introducing the member-facing staff of ADAWA  

DR DAVID HALLETT, ADAWA CEO

After over 30 years chairside as a dentist, Dr David Hallett became the ADAWA CEO seven years ago. 

David was no stranger to the workings of ADAWA when he first accepted the CEO role, as a past ADAWA councillor and president (2012/2013). As the CEO, David says his role is to implement policy and decisions of the president and council and to manage the day-to-day business of the office – all of which should predominantly be for the sole benefit of ADAWA members – which is clearly apparent if you come to ADA House and notice the comings and goings of the numerous members that he makes time to see, in between the phone calls that come throughout the day and meetings attended. 

“I am part of a team who are committed to looking after our members in any way we can,” he explains. “I am here as an always-confidential confidant to help them as best I can with their day-to-day professional and personal issues.  

“There is a lot of behind-the-scenes effort that goes on,” he adds. “Although an individual member might not deal with us for many years, they may suddenly get a call from AHPRA or a health fund or disaffected employee or be going through professional or personal issues; when they really need us, and we will be here.” 

When asked about his favourite part of the role, he says it is the interaction with members. “The best part of dentistry is generally the interaction with your patients, and the interaction as CEO with the members is exactly the same,” he explains. 

Contact David by emailing ceo@adawa.com.au

SUE HURLEY, ADAWA Administrator

Our administrator Sue Hurley knows more about the ADAWA workings and history than most. After all, she’s worked for ADAWA for an impressive 26 years. 

Although her first office was in the stationery cupboard (true story!), Sue has stayed with the association for 13 Presidents, four CEOs and four insurance companies. 

“My job over the years has evolved from memberships and accounts,” Sue recalls. “A few years ago, the auditors said I needed some assistance because I used to do it all by myself and work weekends, so Andrea Andrys came on-board to take over most of the membership work. That left me free to deal with things behind the scenes, to ensure we have all the systems we need in place. 

“The accounts have become more and more involved over the years,” Sue adds. “I also take care of the end-of-year financials and budgets, making sure everything is coded. I’m also there for my CEO.” 

Sue says ADAWA staff help members with everything they possibly can. “If Andrea is not dealing with a change of category, then I jump in,” she says. “We have a very hands-on approach to members, and we are always here for them. Renewal is a huge part of the job to make sure that everyone has the correct information.” 

Sue’s reason for her long tenure at ADAWA is simple: the members keep her here. “We are a member-based association, and we are here for our members.  

“No matter what your question, ring us and we will help; if we can’t, we’ll point them in the right direction. We want our members to feel like part of a family, and we are all working for the good of everyone.”  

Contact Sue by emailing admin@adawa.com.au

JENNY CATTO, Executive Assistant

If you’ve ever called ADA House, you’ve likely spoken to our Executive Assistant, Jenny Catto. 

Jenny has worked at ADAWA for seven years and is a member’s first point of call when they contact the association. 

Jenny answers phone queries from members and provides information to help with those queries. She sends out pamphlets and medical questionnaire pads and assists with booking members into CPD courses, setting up Zoom meetings and Council meetings, organising bookings for the lecture theatre, arranging (always delicious) catering for events, and placing any member advertisements for the classifieds and job board on the ADAWA website. 

Interestingly, the most common queries Jenny receives are about item codes (see – you weren’t the only person needing help with these!). 

“I really enjoy speaking to dentists and helping with their queries, I find it very interesting,” Jenny says. “We have a stack of information to give to members now, and David (Hallett) gets me to research different things for him, which I really like doing.” 

Contact Jenny by calling 9211 5600 or emailing adawa@adawa.com.au

ANDREA ANDRYS, Member Advisory Services

Andrea Andrys has worked at ADAWA for six years, ensuring that all the Is are dotted and Ts crossed.  

“It’s a multi-layered role,” Andrea says. “We are talking about a person’s initial onboarding as a student, welcoming them to ADAWA as a free student member, and then maintaining that to roll over to be indemnified when they are about to graduate, which rolls over when they are a graduate to being a working member. 

“We support members by making sure they have access to the website, ensuring they receive the Western Articulator if they choose to, and emails from us to keep them up-to-date.” 

Transferring members in and out of the State and changing members’ categories also forms a large part of Andrea’s workload. “We have members going between categories all the time so that is a constant and it never stops,” she explains. “It is very important that a member makes sure their circumstances are up-to-date so they are in the correct category for their circumstances and the hours they are working. Getting a phone call saying: ‘I started back at work last week but I’m still on maternity leave’ is a heart-in-the-mouth moment, so please call us before you go back to work.” 

Andrea also assists ADAWA members’ practices going through practice accreditation because of her background as a dental nurse. 

“I have all the resources to assist with infection control, so if they have questions that they don’t want to send in an email to the Infection Control Committee at the Federal level, they can call or email me,” she adds. 

Contact Andrea A by emailing andreaa@adawa.com.au 

ANDREA PATERSON, CPD Assistant and Australian Dental Health Foundation WA State Coordinator

Andrea Paterson (yes, there are two Andreas at ADA House) started working at ADAWA nine years ago, as the CPD assistant. “I manage the course registrations and the administration,” she explains. “I liaise with members regarding WA Dental CPD courses enquiries and information, arrange the preparation of course handouts and anything that Dr Jenny Ball, the conveyor of WA Dental CPD, needs me to assist with.  

“Sometimes I set up in-house if we are hosting a course in the lecture theatre or the seminar room; getting the chance to meet attendees is a beneficial side of the role, to be able to engage in-person with members.” 

In addition to her role as CPD Assistant, Andrea took on an additional role as the WA State Coordinator for the Australian Dental Health Foundation back in 2017, assisted by Volunteerism Coordinator Sandra Wood, who works in the office one day a week. Andrea says she loves the role. 

“My role is to deliver pro-bono dental treatment and support to the disadvantaged in the community, via dental practices and dental teams,” she explains. “I also help coordinate the dental service at Homeless Connect events, in collaboration with Dental Health Services.  These events rely on a large number of volunteers working as a team, within the limits of the DHS dental vans.  Salvation Army Rockingham host one event during Homelessness Week in August, which coincides with Dental Health Week.  The second event is held at Russell Square in Northbridge in November.  Both events are received extremely well by the local community, and the volunteers tend to love the experience.” Andrea is also involved in the recruitment of dentists for St Pat’s to ensure the clinic is running smoothy. 

Andrea says the opportunities to volunteer are of great benefit for ADAWA members, who value the chance to give back. “Our dentists find volunteering so inspiring and fulfilling that they often become regular volunteers,” she says.  “It is an empowering feeling when you can impact a life by just one dental visit”   

“I have been very fortunate to have met so many very generous and inspiring dental professionals. It’s like a community all coming together to give back.” 

For members wanting to volunteer, she says she can take a lot of the organisation off their hands by providing appointments and the patient – and sponsors provide lab support. “If someone hosts a Dental Rescue Day or Adopts a patient, their out-of-pocket expenses are minimal, but the reward is immense” she says. 

Contact Andrea P by emailing cpd@adawa.com.au

Not to forget, the communications and media team (that’s us) 

Amie Mason, Lisa Shearon and Brooke Evans-Butler look after ADAWA’s media and communications. The beautiful aesthetics of the Western Articulator are down to our talented graphic designer, Amie, who is also responsible for creating all the graphics associated with ADAWA. (Those cute Facebook graphics and stylish email templates? That’s her handiwork.) 

Brooke is our chief content creator. An experienced journalist, Brooke has an uncanny knack of always finding the story. If you’ve ever been captivated by a story in the Western Articulator, chances are that Brooke wrote it.  

Lisa, meanwhile, oversees all the communications going out of the association – via email, social media and the Western Articulator. She makes sure members are kept up-to-date with current news and issues, plus the inner workings of ADAWA.  

Contact the media team by emailing media@adawa.com.au