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Department of Premier and Cabinet

Young achiever has reason to smile

Being named as a Tasmanian Young Achiever was an honour for a young dentist striving to improve oral health.  With nominations now open for the Tasmanian Young Achiever Awards, it’s time to nominate other young achievers.

When dentist Dr Jessica Manuela was awarded the Premier’s Tasmanian Young Achiever Award 2017 and the St LukesHealth Healthier Communities Award it was a proud moment for the young, community-minded professional.

In 2014, at the age of 26, Jessica opened her own clinic, Dental South.  Now, Jessica has two dental clinics, employs 12 people, and cares for over 4,000 patients.

Jessica is proud of her indigenous heritage and has developed a scheme with the Royal Flying Doctors Service and the South Eastern Tasmanian Aboriginal Corporation to treat indigenous adults in her private practice.

A passion for preventative dental care motivates Jessica in her professional and community work. Jessica’s passion for dental health extends beyond her practice by providing oral health education to over seven schools.

“Poor dental health affects overall health and can make you really sick,” Jessica said. “Dental infections are the number one reason why children are hospitalized for general anaesthetic. More than 50 per cent of all six-year-olds experience tooth decay. This is unacceptable.”

A desire to improve dental health statewide inspired Jessica to develop a cartoon infomercial to try and ensure Tasmanians have equal access to some basic information on oral health.

Watch video cartoon about possums, Brushy and Flossy's dental tips. (22MB)

Recognising young achievers

A colleague, who recognised Jessica’s business achievements and community work, nominated her for the St LukesHealth Healthier Communities Award in the Tasmanian Young Achiever Awards 2017.  The nomination was successful and resulted in Jessica also being named the Premier’s Tasmanian Young Achiever 2017.

For Jessica, being nominated for the Tasmanian Young Achiever Awards was a humbling experience and she enjoyed learning about young Tasmanians who are contributing in their community in areas such as the disability sector, indigenous achievers, community and volunteering, art and fashion, leadership, teaching excellence, and sport.

With nominations now open for the Tasmanian Young Achiever Awards 2018, Jessica encourages people to nominate young people who are making a positive difference in the community.

“For young people to be recognised for hard work is one of the greatest motivators out there.  Everyone deserves a pat on the back for their hard work. By nominating a young person for these Awards, you will give them immense satisfaction, pride and confidence in what they are doing.” Jessica said.

Information about the Tasmanian Young Achiever Awards can be found on the Awards Australia website.

Information about the Awards can be found online and through Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram and on this promotional video.

The Tasmanian Young Achievers Award gala presentation will be held on 21 April 2017.