Twin siblings John and Mariz Sidhom have both received first round offers to study a Bachelor of Health Sciences in Dentistry/Master of Dentistry at La Trobe University’s Bendigo campus.
John Sidhom said his original first preference was to study medicine but was convinced to switch to dentistry after attending an information evening.
“I was open to other career options because I know medicine can be difficult to get into and that you must have other options as well,” Mr Sidhom said.
“After going to a careers evening and listening to Dr Jeremy Graham speak about the shortage of dentists in the rural community, I was persuaded to make the change.”
“Our father is a pharmacist and we both have volunteered at the pharmacy, so we understand and see the need for local services.”
"I live in Bendigo, this community matters to me most than anywhere else.”
Mariz Sidhom said she is “very excited” to also receive an offer to study dentistry at La Trobe University.
"The fact I get to study what I wanted is very exciting for me, I was worried I wasn't going to get to do it, but I will be next year, it’s really exciting,” Ms Sidhom said.
Ms Sidhom said she also is grateful for the local community and can see the need for an increase in rural dentists.
"The community has done a lot for me so this is my opportunity to give something back,” Ms Sidhom said.
The twin’s mother Samia Sidhom said she is extremely happy and proud of both of her children.
“They’ve worked so hard throughout last year, I’m so excited for them,” she said.
“Their aim is to help people within the community.”
La Trobe University Bendigo head of campus Robert Stephenson said it’s exciting to see the next generation of new students and to be a part of the next chapter of students’ lives.
“We’re really proud of the dentistry course. It’s a high status course offering an opportunity to students from right across the country, and many will either stay in Bendigo or work in other rural parts of Australia,” Mr Stephenson said.
“One of the great opportunities people have when they study in our regional centres is the involvement they have with the local community.”
“In a lot of cases it helps them get those first graduate jobs because they have built the networks and they’ve had an opportunity for work integrated learning.”
Mr Stephenson welcomes the twins to the university and hopes they enjoy the university experience.
“University study is about doing well academically and working hard, but it’s also about building friendship networks and developing as a person,” Mr Stephenson said.