Aboriginal Dental Grants : Unlocking Assistance from Special Grant Groups and the Australian Government
Many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people sadly experience poor oral health such as tooth decay, untreated dental disease, and missing teeth. Often, they are also less likely to have received preventive dental care or to have direct access to local emergency dental care. Having access to a quality public dental clinic or experienced private dentist is essential for maintaining good oral health and overall well-being.
Recognising the unique needs and challenges faced by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia, special grant groups and the State & National Governments have established various funding opportunities to supply oral health services among the various regional Aboriginal communities, such as those located in Northern Western Australia.
Some of the dental grants and fund assistance available to Australian First Nation individuals and communities include:
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Dental Program (ATSIDP)
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Dental Program (ATSIDP) is a key initiative by the Australian government aimed at improving access to comprehensive dental services for Indigenous Australians. Under this program, eligible Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals can access a range of dental treatments, including examinations, fillings, extractions, and dentures. The program is administered through Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) across the country.
Indigenous Australians’ Oral Health Program (IAOHP)
The Indigenous Australians’ Oral Health Program (IAOHP) is another significant initiative focusing on preventing dental diseases among Indigenous communities. The program aims to promote good oral health practices, provide preventive services, and address oral health issues at an early stage. It supports community-based initiatives, including oral health promotion activities and preventive treatments, such as fluoride varnishes and fissure sealants.
Special Aboriginal Dental Grants – Groups and Foundations
Several special grant groups and foundations in Australia are dedicated to supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in various aspects, including dental care. These organisations offer grants and funding opportunities that can be used by individuals, communities, and healthcare organisations working towards improving oral health outcomes. Please note: eligibility criteria does apply.
Some notable grant groups include:
- Gumala Aboriginal Corporation (GAC): is one of Australia’s largest Aboriginal corporations, serving the Banjima, Yinhawangka and Nyiyaparli people of the Pilbara region in Western Australia. Gumala’s unique and transformational approach to poverty alleviation in a socially complex environment is enabling economic, social and community developmental solutions for Traditional Owners. They have a grant program which assists people gain access to dental clinics and health services, including complex dental surgery, while removing any out-of-pocket costs. Learn more here.
- IBN Corporation (IBN): is Trustee of the IBN Charitable Foundation. They deliver programs and services to improve the lives of their members, the Yinhawangka, Banyjima and Nyiyaparli people. IBN is recognised as one of the strongest Aboriginal organisations in Western Australia – their health program aims to assist IBN families and legal carers of IBN children, with financial support for their family medical and dental health care. Learn more here.
- The Aboriginals Benefit Account (ABA) Grants: The ABA Grants program aims to address disadvantage faced by Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory. While not specifically focused on dental services, these grants can support projects that promote access to dental and oral health education. Learn more here.
- The Indigenous Advancement Strategy (IAS) Grants: The IAS provides funding opportunities to support projects that focus on improving health outcomes for Indigenous communities, including dental clinics or health initiatives. These grants can be accessed by community organisations, Aboriginal medical services, and other relevant entities. Learn more here.
- Mutual Trust: in circumstances where indigenous communities have negotiated benefit payments from resources companies, careful planning and management can protect and enhance this pool of financial wealth for generations to come. By working closely with these communities, Mutual Trust has developed a detailed understanding of families, the community, trustees and a range of complexities. This means we can ensure the priorities and needs of the beneficiaries are respected whilst providing strong stewardship of the assets. Learn more here.
- The Abbott Native Title Trustees (Abbotts) : specialises in providing tailored trustee services, who either work as trustees or alternatively provide services to organisations in their role as trustee. They are based in Perth WA we work with clients Australia wide. Through Paperbark Corporation Services they can also provide a range of services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Companies (ASIC) and corporations (ORIC). Learn more here.
Derbark Yerrigan Clinic in East Perth
Derbarl Yerrigan has for a number of years provided a free basic dental service to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The Dental clinic at DYHSAC East Perth clinic does amazing work and strives to provide high quality dental treatment in a safe and culturally appropriate environment. Visit their website for more details.
State and Territory Government Initiatives for Aboriginal Dental Funding
In addition to these First Nation’s national programs and Aboriginal foundation dental grants, various state and territory governments in Australia also have their own initiatives to support Aboriginal dental health. These programs may include additional funding opportunities, covering long distance travel & accommodation to dental clinics, community outreach projects, and culturally appropriate dental care services.
It is advisable to explore the respective government websites, contact Centrelink or your local First Nations healthcare organisation for more information on other state-specific support and assistance. Through programs like education and IAOHP, as well as grants provided by special grant groups and foundations, substantial efforts are being made to improve access to dental care, promote oral health education, and address oral health disparities in regional, remote communities.
First Nation Dental Services at Aria Dental
Aria Dental recognises the importance of dental services and oral health among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. We have developed a respectful, working relationship with both The Gumala and the IBN Group, and have supported a number of people regain their oral health under the Aboriginal dental scheme WA, using dental implants.
Working together towards improving Aboriginal dental health, Aria can assist suitable applicants explore these funding opportunities, collaborate with relevant stakeholders, and provide treatment plans that align with the grant requirements. By leveraging all available assistance, we collectively strive towards equitable and improved dental health outcomes for the Australian Aboriginal people.