University of Sydney's Folau Talbot has taken his Dental degree to the next level and earned himself 2018's NAIDOC Apprentice of the Year.
By
Grayson McCarthy-Grogan

13 Jul 2018 - 8:51 PM  UPDATED 13 Jul 2018 - 8:51 PM

29-year-old Kamilaroi man Folau Talbot graduated from his Dental Technician Cadetship in June 2017 and now works as a Dental Technician in rural and remote locations across northern NSW.

Folau works on the Poche mobile Denture Clinic, which screens, produces and fits Aboriginal people for dentures within a week.

"Growing up I always knew that I wanted to make something of myself and having the support of my family and my friends has really helped me, lifted me to pushed me to go on and complete this."

"Growing up I always knew that I wanted to make something of myself and having the support of my family and my friends has really helped me, lifted me to pushed me to go on and complete this."

 

Man With a Mission

Folau approached his studies as a means of giving back to his community.

Folau comes from an area near the border of NSW and Queensland which has been identified of one of disadvantage and unemployment. By studying Dental Technology, he has been able to give back in a very tangible way (dentures and mouthguards) but has also represented his community, providing inspiration for those from the community and those that associate with similar issues in other communities.

Folau was also awarded TAFE Western Sydney and OTEN’s Aboriginal Student of the Year in 2016 for his excellence in Dental Assisting and Oral Health Promotion qualifications. It has been via this award that Folau has been able to show that excelling in study and furthering your career pathway via many different avenues are all possible for Aboriginal youth.

Folau is looking into studying Dentistry in the coming years but has also identified that he would like to be Director of an Aboriginal Health Centre in the long run. The impact of such a transition would reach beyond his small community to further communities in rural and remote Australia, representing the possible trajectory for those who are determined.

 

The National NAIDOC Awards 2018 broadcasts live on NITV (Ch. 34), Friday 13 July at 7.30pm and will be available On Demand after broadcast.

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