Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation

May 23rd
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Feature Stories

Transforming Smiles, Changing Lives: Tzu Chi's Free Dental Clinic Journey

Transforming Smiles, Changing Lives: Tzu Chi's Free Dental Clinic Journey

Welcome to the heart-warming world of Tzu Chi's Free Dental Clinic, a beacon of compassion and care that has been transforming lives since its inception in Australia in 2002.

A Compassionate Beginning

In the early years, Tzu Chi collaborated with the Queensland government, initially receiving support for medical and dental insurance. Despite facing a funding setback, our volunteers, driven by unwavering compassion, persisted. The journey began with the fifth mission to Tara Town in Queensland in 2007, and the Brisbane office of Tzu Chi Australia Foundation took charge, ensuring every detail was meticulously handled.

Sydney's Pioneer Spirit

Fast forward to 2012, when retired ICU nurse Ms. Kim Lee, alongside Dr. Cecelia So, orchestrated the formation of TIMA Sydney 7 Chairs dental clinic. This marked the beginning of a remarkable chapter, with 25 dental professionals and 30 dental students joining forces to make a meaningful impact on the community.

Community Collaboration

Ms. Kim Lee's collaboration with the Minister of the Uniting Church of Bidwill proved pivotal in identifying low-income patients, while the generous principal of Blacktown Town Youth College opened the doors of the school's auditorium for our impactful events.

Dedication Beyond Boundaries

In the initial years, Dr. Jerry from TIMA Brisbane played a crucial role, providing medical equipment and personal assistance for large-scale Free Dental Clinic events. Today, Dr. Alice Lu, the head of TIMA Australia, spearheads the coordination of all dental equipment, ensuring a seamless clinic experience.

Crucial Impact for the Disadvantaged

For low-income families and those receiving Australian government assistance, the Free Dental Clinic is a lifeline. The annual mobilization of over a hundred volunteers, including dental professionals and healthcare personnel, is essential to making each event a success, bringing back smiles to those in need.

Key Contributors

Dr. Stephen Pak, Orthodontist, and Bobby Yang, Oral Maxillofacial Surgeon, have been instrumental since 2012. Dr. Pak not only lends his services but generously provides a mobile X-ray machine at no cost. Dr. Yang brings reassurance and surgical expertise to the dental team.

Adapting to Challenges: Post-COVID Outreach

In response to the post-COVID era, Tzu Chi Australia organized a triumphant two-day Free Dental Clinic event, supported by volunteers and medical professionals from various regions. Dr. Alice Lu's leadership and guidance, alongside Dr. Elizabeth C Hsu, ensured a successful clinic.

Voices of Appreciation

Patients express heartfelt gratitude for the polite and courteous service provided by Tzu Chi volunteers. Dr. Stephen Pak, the dental coordinator, commends the excellent coordination and preparation by our volunteers. Ms. Bec Reidy, Manager of Uniting Church Bidwill, highlights the efficient setup and service provided, praising the collaboration with Tzu Chi.

Holistic Healthcare Approach

Dr. Aurora Yu, Dr. Shiny Huang, and Michael Tsai, a third-generation Tzu Chi volunteer and RN San Ho Lok, play pivotal roles in understanding patient health conditions. The Free Dental Clinic also offers a popular Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) service by Dr. Ken Kiang.

Years of Impact

From 2012 to 2023, Tzu Chi has held the Free Dental Clinic event each year, except for the challenging 3 years of the COVID pandemic. Over 225 dentists, 270 healthcare personnel, and 600 volunteers have participated, serving more than 950 patients in the Sydney area.

Join Our Compassionate Group and Make a Difference

Tzu Chi Australia warmly welcomes experienced dentists, dental assistants (including dental science students), TCM practitioners, and general volunteers to support future Free Dental Clinic events. If you are interested in making a difference, please contact Ms. Kim Lee, the head of Tzu Chi TIMA in Sydney, via email at Sydney@tzuchi.org.au. Your compassion can help us continue our mission of transforming smiles and changing


2023 Buddha’s Day, Mother’s Day and Tzu Chi Day Celebration Invitation

Dear Friends,
To celebrate Mother’s Day, Buddha’s Day, and Tzu Chi’s 57rd anniversary, we will be holding a combined commemorative event on Sunday, May 14th under the theme
May we do good with compassion and bring blessings to all.
May we conduct ourselves with wisdom and pass on virtue.
We would be delighted if you can join us that day.
With religious solemnities and gracefulness in full display and s...

2023 Tzu Chi Australia New Year Blessing Ceremony

Dear Tzu Chi Family,
Happy New Year!
In the last three years, COVID-19 has disrupted our lives and many of Tzu Chi activities had to be cancelled. Post the pandemic, Tzu Chi Australia has gradually resumed its activities. On behalf of all Tzu Chi members in Australia, I would like to express our heartiest gratitude for your support during these times.
We sincerely invite you and your family/friends t...

Donate to Queensland & NSW Floods Appeal

In addition to the current support that we’re providing at the evacuation centres in Brisbane, we will also be joining the clean-up efforts, and distribute aid to the most heavily impacted suburbs in Queensland and NSW. Volunteering through participating in the disaster relief operations is one way to offer assistance. Another way would be to invite friends and families to support through donation...

Delivering Christmas Warmth and Joy to Residents of Social Housings

Link Wentworth Community Housing, which is responsible for the management of social housing, have had collaborated with Tzu Chi previously to prepare food distributions. They acknowledge Tzu Chi’s management approach, and volunteers’ commitment and efficiency, so they initiated another collaboration with Tzu Chi Foundation. On the morning of December 21, 22 Tzu Chi volunteers prepared 100 Christm...
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