Having graduated from the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Dental Science, Dr Roger Newbury worked as a locum dentist in the Tasmanian mining town of Rosebury before returning to Victoria to take up another locum job, this time in the eastern suburb of Croydon.
“The nuns from the local convent prayed for me,” he says, “and the patients tried to pay their dental bills with chickens, eggs and vegetables. It was a good place to work. Six months later, I was off to London, for almost four years. There, I undertook a post-graduate course at the Eastman Dental School. Several times we had to evacuate the hospital due to bomb scares. I loved life in London, and from there it was relatively easy to explore not only the rest of England but also Europe.
“I returned to Melbourne for a holiday, then ended up settling there. A fellow dentist approached me saying his practice was for sale. I decided to buy it, and this saw me practising in Collins Street.
“During this time, I developed an active interest in politics and dentistry at higher levels. In 1990, I became president of the Victorian Branch of the Australian Dental Association and was appointed to be the contract dentist for the royal tour of Prince Charles and Lady Diana. Lady Di even spoke to me. A truly beautiful lady.”
Then it was on to more politics, serving on government health committees and becoming a board member on the Phillip Island Nature Park board of management.
“In dentistry I really enjoy working with removable prosthodontics (dentures), as well as general practice,” says Dr Newbury.
“In 2018, I started as a demonstrator in removable prosthodontics at Melbourne University and I’m finding that I love dentistry as much today as when I first graduated.”