Planning is continuing for this project with a view to commencing regular visits in the first half of 2017.

Following the recent visit in July 2016, the first few patients for braces have been identified, and another 10 placed on review for future orthodontic management. There are many more patients who are yet to be seen, and who may potentially need orthodontic work.

A schedule of visits for 2017 has been drawn up, and we have just received a response from Dili, stating that these dates are OK.

At this stage we have planned 3 day visits (Thursday to Saturday).

The dates are:
30 March—1 April
18—20 May
6—8 July
24—26 August
12—14 October
30 November—2 December

Please let me know if you wish to do any of the trips (excludingthe March visit), and I will arrange to send you the details. I am keen to hear from practitioners who may be interested in being on the roster to visit. Dili is only about one hour from Darwin, and there are flights every day. There are also direct flights to Bali from Dili on a regular basis.

The flight to Dili from Darwin is at 0545 on a Thursday, and leaving at 0800 on the Saturday morning, returning to Darwin. This will provide 2 full days of work (Thursday and Friday), with the option of extending if needed in the future. Of course people may wish to go earlier and stay later to experience more of East Timor in their own time.

Please email me at if you are interested.

The Australian Defence Force has tentatively agreed to donate two dental chairs to the Clinic in Dili. Formal approval is yet to be received, and this will be a great improvement to the facilities if it is agreed. I am optimistic about this happening in the next few months.

TP Orthodontics has also agreed to donate orthodontic supplies to get us started.

Establishing the project and treating the first few patients will be challenging, as there is no experience of orthodontics, and dental care in any case is limited. However there is great support from the Lions/Rotary team, and enthusiasm at the local level for the project to commence. I have been liaising with the Plastic Surgery Team and the Surgery Co-ordinator at Dili Hospital to identify patients who may benefit from orthodontic treatment.

Mark Leedham


AuthorShane Keane