Vote now for the NZOHA People's Choice Award 2024

The People’s choice award is part of our annual practitioners awards, with the winner for this award chosen by NZOHA members.
The awards will be presented at the NZOHA conference on Friday 5th July.

Voting closes 8pm Wednesday 26th June. 

Read about the nominees and vote below

Anne Turnock

Dental Therapist

Anne Turnock is nominated as an outstanding asset for Waikato Oral Health Services. The term superlative means surpassing all others in quality or order, and Anne exemplifies this definition. A member of the class of 1970, Anne has had a successful professional career and earned respect from the community and colleagues. Her contributions go beyond the expectations of a Dental Therapist of the Year, showing her true leadership in the community.

At 73, Anne tirelessly advocates for oral health in the Waikato region, Northland, and Australia. Her dedication to working with vulnerable communities in New Zealand and aboriginal communities in Norseman, Western Australia, is unwavering. With over 22 years of experience in the Waikato, she is a respected mentor and advisor.

Anne consistently exceeds expectations in fostering a collaborative team atmosphere, whether in a clinic or community setting. Her vibrant personality lights up any space, spreading joy and laughter to all who have the privilege of interacting with her. Despite numerous chances to retire, Anne's unwavering dedication to the health and wellness of New Zealand's children fuels her ongoing commitment to serving the community.

Bridget Ranger

Dental Hygienist

Bridget's dedication to dental hygiene, outstanding clinical abilities, and patient management are truly admirable. She upholds exceptional standards of care, inspiring the team to strive for excellence. As a senior hygienist, she serves as a role model and offers support to colleagues. Bridget is highly regarded in the dental hygiene community, embodying core values. In her current roles, Bridget seamlessly transitioned into the senior hygienist leadership position, providing mentorship and guidance to large teams. Working with her is a privilege, as she is highly respected in the field. Bridget's expertise and passion for the industry are truly inspiring, empowering me to elevate my skills.

Bridget has established and executed robust dental hygiene programs, training staff to consistently deliver exceptional care. She has created a structure that promotes outstanding treatment and services, collaborating with dentists, periodontal specialists, and hygienists. Bridget has also mentored new graduate hygienists, offering one-on-one clinical support for their professional development. She is dedicated to ongoing education, organizing team-building events, and collaborating with specialists to ensure her practice remains at the forefront of the industry.

Dr Deanna Beckett

Dental Therapist

Dr Deanna Beckett has tirelessly worked   both as Associate Editor for the ANZ Journal of Dental and Oral Health Therapy (ANZJDOHT) and on the executive committee of the College of Oral Health Academics (COHA). Deanna is a passionate teacher and 'behind the scenes' leader who works hard to develop and promote the discipline through research, education and academic leadership. She has had a significant impact on many OHTs in NZ as a teacher and a researcher. 

With a strong background as a dental therapist, Deanna serves as a dedicated mentor in oral health therapy education, leveraging her pursuit of knowledge to enhance the discipline. Her groundbreaking PhD research, recognized as Exceptional by the University of Otago, is set to influence policy changes in diagnosing enamel defects in children. Through her leadership at COHA, she facilitates collaboration among professionals in BOH programs across New Zealand, Australia, and Fiji, making a substantial contribution to the field. Deanna comes highly recommended for her remarkable contributions to the field of oral health professions in both New Zealand and Australia. Her influence has been significant, and her expertise has positively impacted the industry.

Linda Graham

Dental Therapist

Linda Graham has dedicated over forty years to the School Dental Service, working in regions such as Palmerston North, Gisborne, East Coast, Wairoa, Hawkes Bay, Christchurch, West Auckland, and now South Auckland. She has focused on areas with high needs, contributing to significant transformations throughout her career in various roles.

Linda, a founding member of Te Mangai Hau, ARDS Māori support Roopu, shows unwavering dedication to supporting the Māori community. She serves as a Health and Safety representative and is a key member of the Oral Health co-design team in Manukau. With experience as the Auckland representative on the Dental Council and as a team auditor, Linda is proud to be affiliated with Pacifica Nifo and Teo Mārama NZ Dental Association. Her commitment to the values of "Everyone Matters" and "Connected" earned her a finalist spot for the Waitemata Health Excellence award in 2021. Throughout her career, Linda has mentored numerous graduates and students, served as a clinical team leader, and obtained a level 5 NZ Health Promotion Certification. She is also a PSA delegate and represents the Regional Runanga Manga, receiving the Marlene Pittman PSA award for her outstanding contributions to the Māori community.

In her current role, Linda is part of the ARDS Outreach Hauora Preschool Programme in South Auckland and volunteers for Community projects. She recently obtained her NZ Covid Immunisation Certificate and serves as a Victim Support worker in NZ, Samoa, and House of Hope. Linda also assists with care packages during emergencies and is training to become a JP and foster Nana to 2 siblings.

Nikki Marasigan

Dental Therapist

Nikki Marasigan, a former Otago University OH/DT Lecturer, showcases her passion through her dedication to providing education and clinical support to her staff and OH/DT students. As an exceptional mentor, she consistently exemplifies best practices. Nikki is a strong advocate for ensuring equitable access for Te iwi Māori and emphasizes the significance of Tikangi Māori in the dental field. Through her collaboration with Te Ao Mārama - Aotearoa Māori Dental Association, she successfully facilitated the placement of a Māori student in our region for the first time.

Nikki is part of our extended Population Health team. She collaborates closely with the Public Health Nurses, who frequently work with the same group of children. Recently, she provided an update to this nursing team to improve their "Lift the Lip" program. This educational session will soon be implemented across our area. She has recently found a new pathway for our tamariki to have their dental treatment, under sedation, in Christchurch giving parents an additional choice for the management of their children’s oral health.

Nikki has brought our Community Dental Service into the 21st century.  Through her commitment to oral health, and with the support from visiting locums, she has had a profound impact of the rate of dental caries in children on the West Coast.

Rachel Holden

Dental Hygienist

Rachel is an experienced dental hygienist who has devoted the last 26 of her career to the dental industry, and she takes great pride in the extensive client base she has built. Many of her patients are willing to travel long distances just to receive her exceptional care. Rachel's passion lies in enhancing and maintaining the periodontal health of all her patients through comprehensive clinical treatments and valuable oral hygiene advice. In addition to her clinical expertise, she values teamwork and actively supports the broader oral health community.

Rachel dedicated a decade of her career (1998-2018) to working both as a dental assistant and hygienist within the New Zealand Defence Force, fulfilling roles as both a soldier and a civilian employee. In recognition of her service, she was awarded a defence force service medal in 2015.

Between 2022 and 2024, Rachel served as a research assistant in a comprehensive interdisciplinary study called AWESSoM. This study focused on promoting healthy aging through various aspects such as nutrition, sleep, social interaction, and mobility. Rachel's specific responsibility within the study was to gather clinical oral health data from both the staff and residents. However, she went above and beyond her assigned role by providing additional support to the elderly residents in her personal time and addressing their oral health needs. This exceptional effort was highly praised by the entire research team and the residential facilities involved.

Sarah Majeed

Oral Health Therapist

Sarah Majeed stands out as a leading figure in the realm of Oral Health Therapy. Her enthusiasm for her profession has motivated her to pursue advanced studies, with a goal of addressing the wide-ranging disparities within the healthcare system.

Sarah excelled in her final year at the BOH program, receiving the NZDHA 300 level prize. She then received awards from Hutt Valley DHB to support her research in 2020, 2021, and 2022. Sarah's outstanding contributions were recognized with the Te Whatu Ora Mauri Ora Māori award in 2022 and the Public Service Commissioners Commendation for Excellence award in 2023.

Sarah takes on the responsibilities of a student supervisor and mentor for new graduates and she actively engages in various health promotional activities, including being part of the workforce taskforce steering group in 2022.

Sarah is dedicated to improving access to oral health services for tamariki with disabilities and has contributed to projects in this area. She as a research technician in a comprehensive interdisciplinary study called AWESSoM. where she went over and above her call of duty to support the aged care residents and their oral health needs, a trait that was applauded by the whole research team and the facilities involved. Within the short span of her career, she has also achieved publication in reputed scientific journals.

Vote now for the People's Choice Award

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