The Aboriginal Oral Health Program began in late 2005 in response to an identified need to improve oral health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in South Australia.
Since 2005 there has been an increase in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adult and children attending SA Dental each year.
Statement of Acknowledgement
"We acknowledge and respect the traditional custodians on whose ancestral lands we provide dental services.
We acknowledge the deep feeling of attachment and relationship of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to Country.
We pay our respects to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people attending our services.
We are committed to improving the oral health outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people."
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander - Cultural Context
As outlined in the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards, acknowledgement of the effect of colonial policies and racism on the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is important for providing culturally safe services that meet the specific needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
SA Dental respects the stories, traditions and living culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the important role this plays in the overall health and wellbeing of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.
SA Dental recognises the impact of social determinants on the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the significant barriers Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience in accessing services, including dental services.
SA Dental commits to providing a culturally respectful environment that enables Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to access safe and equitable oral health care.
PURRUNA TIA ‘Healthy Teeth’ artwork was designed in 2018 by accomplished Aboriginal South Australian artist Allan Sumner who is a descendant of the Ngarrindjeri, Kaurna and Yankunytjatjara Peoples.
This artwork is a reflection of SA Dental’s Aboriginal Oral Health Program (AOHP).
The AOHP works within the community, enabling South Australians to achieve better oral health and wellbeing through: health promotion, timely dental treatment with a focus on prevention, early intervention and support for education and research.
The artwork has three main themes which include elements that reflect oral health, water and land.
The artwork is also a reflection of the AOHP journey - working at grass roots with community people, providing dental information, programs and services.
Kaurna Language Translations
Purruna - to make (someone) whole or healthy, heal (someone)
Tia - Tooth or row of teeth
Tia-wirrkarriti - Toothbrush
Tiyangaru - Toothpaste
In 2021, Allan Sumner designed a second artwork which has been applied to multiple fleet vehicles across the state.
The artwork reflects AOHP providing education for communities to promote oral health.
Using the same colours, this second artwork is considered an extension of the original artwork.
SA Dental has permission to use the artwork in its entirety, or a range of approved elements, on promotional resources. The use of the artwork must be approved by the AOHP team.