Sadia had almost completed her Master of Dental Science in Malaysia when the Taliban gained control of her home country Afghanistan. After returning home to protect her children, Sadia and her family were forced to flee to Australia for safety in November 2021.

With more than six years practising dentistry in a clinic, and seven years lecturing at a dental faculty, Sadia was determined to continue her career in Australia. But she has faced a maze of barriers to achieving her goal.

Sadia undertook the complex and expensive process of having her overseas qualifications recognised. Her efforts came to a standstill after she was unable to attain one of the government documents from her country of origin that is required to sit the Australian Dental Association (ADA) exam. 

“I applied for dental assistant jobs in the meantime but was declined because I did not have Australian experience,” Sadia said. 

To resolve this, Sadia asked to sit in on a local clinic two days a week as an ‘observer’ while she completed her English language courses at TAFE. 

After several months of hard work and frustration, Sadia’s situation took a positive turn. In December 2022, she was offered a part-time role at Auburn Road Dental Surgery, and she was able to track down alternative documentation to sit her dental exam.

Sadia is now working at the clinic two days a week while working towards refining her professional English language skills. She plans to sit her ADA exam in early 2024. 

“I have dedicated almost 20 years of my life to my profession – I cannot leave it behind. I dream of working again as a dentist, but it’s incredibly difficult,” Sadia said.

Meet Dentist Sadia
Master of Dental Science

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