Savannah keen to light the way for Indigenous Dentistry students

31 August 2020

She may be ensconced in Brisbane and scoring top marks in The University of Queensland Dentistry program but Savannah Kanters has not forgotten her family links with the Woorabinda Aboriginal Community or her proud Kybal and Goongarrie heritage.

Savannah is determined to show the potential for other Woorabinda residents to succeed at university, particularly in health courses. 

She is also advocating for the UQ Dentistry program to introduce the concepts of Indigenous cultural knowledge in first year, rather than third year.

UQ Dentistry student Savannah Kanters.

“Many of the international students in Dentistry seemed to lack Indigenous cultural knowledge and were asking me lots of questions,” Savannah says.

“I’m also encouraging consideration of Indigenous shirt designs for our Student Club for Dentistry to promote awareness and respect for Indigenous people who come to our clinics.

“I completed school at Yeppoon but spent many weekends on family trips to Woorabinda, so I hope to show a university pathway is feasible for other people from that community, so they won’t shy away from opportunities.”

While Savannah has earned consistently high GPAs, it has not all been plain sailing, thanks to COVID-19.

Clinical lessons started well (with comprehensive diagnosis, teeth scaling and fillings) but had to be postponed in Semester 1 of 2020. Students are now in catch-up mode with their clinical sessions.