2018 saw the first ever instalment of the Dental Orientation, a soon-to-be annual event welcoming new Dental, Oral Health Therapy, and Dental Technology students to the Faculty. It was an exciting opportunity for our new students to get to know each other, and learn a bit more about what was in store for the year ahead.

The week started with the formal welcoming Mihi Whakatau as we welcome the new students and acknowledge the cultural diversity within the student body. This year sees the highest intake of Dental students from Maori, Pasifika, and rural backgrounds.

Tuesday saw the students get to know their NZDSA exec with tailored tips and tricks for the year ahead, a student quiz, and a fun sports afternoon at the Unipol Recreation Centre. A highlight for the students were their welcome packs, kindly put together by our sponsor MAS.

Despite the cyclone we preserved with our day trip to Karitane on Wednesday, featuring a lot of fun challenges, games, and hot food and drink!

We were lucky to have clinical psychologist Karen Nimmo come to speak to us on Thursday morning about mental wellbeing. Educating the students as to how to build mental resilience and overcome challenges that might be encountered throughout their university degrees, and later on as health professionals.

The end of the NZDSA-run events was a prize giving and private screening at Rialto Cinemas. We were hugely lucky to be able to provide competition and raffle prizes, kindly donated by Henry Schein, MAS, and our local sponsors – businesses who provide deals for our NZDSA members throughout the year.

All in all it was a busy yet rewarding week, seeing the beginnings of relationships that will see these students through not only their university degrees, but their professional careers. The NZDSA Exec wish our new cohorts all the best for the years ahead!