Fran completed her traineeship with Integrated Smiles in Bendigo, helping her land the position at Bendigo Health in October 2021.
Part of Fran’s traineeship involved undertaking a Certificate III in Dental Assisting at Bendigo TAFE, which she completed remotely. Through hard work, COVID lockdowns, working weekends, treating emergency patients and facing the challenge of adapting to old-school dental technology, Fran was able to complete the course well ahead of time. It was this determination that led Fran on the path to winning the Bendigo TAFE Trainee of the Year, and now, the Victorian Trainee of the Year.
Fran’s passion for dentistry first emerged in 2017. After migrating to Australia from the Philippines, she found employment with a small dental practice in New South Wales. Though Fran knew she wanted to progress her career, circumstances didn’t allow her to undertake formal study.
Five years later, Fran is now the Senior Dental Assistant for the Smile Squad and Outreach Program – a position she takes great pride in.
“I encourage everyone to work in allied health. It’s a cornerstone of the health system,” she said.
Fran hopes to continue her work in allied health and patient care, with her sights set on oral health therapy and paediatric dentistry. Thanks to the traineeship, Fran feels she has the right knowledge and skills to progress her professional journey.
For Fran, the path has been nothing but rewarding. Her advice to others thinking of starting their career through TAFE is simple: don’t be afraid to pursue a traineeship.