• By 1300SMILES Densits
  • February 1, 2021
After beginning his professional career in the RAAF as a dental officer, BGS Old Boy Daryl Holmes OBE ’81 went on to change the face of dentistry in Australia through his willingness to think big and innovate.
After buying into his first dental practices almost 30 years ago, his vision to offer affordable dental care on a large scale led to the creation of 1300SMILES – an ASX-listed dental services company. The company has today grown to 34 dental practices across Australia, but it was at BGS that he gained the confidence to one-day change dentistry in Australia.

A boarder at the School from 1997 to 1981, Holmes said the move away from home was difficult in the beginning, but he quickly grew to enjoy being part of the boarding community. “I loved the mateship in the boarding house and constantly being active and involved in everything from sport to camps at the Outdoor Education Centre at Moogerah,” he said.

Holmes said BGS played an important role in readying him for life beyond school. “I learned how to overcome challenges and benefited from the camaraderie and competitiveness at school and in boarding,” he said. “Students aimed to achieve excellence academically and in sport, but the connections and networking were equally important.”

In the early days of his dental practices, Holmes saw the opportunity to create a unique service model. “I always believed dentistry in a one or two-person practice was inefficient and fraught with overwork and risk,” he said. “The idea of leveraging a business into something that was bigger than one or two people was always appealing.”

1300SMILES provides dental surgeries, practice management, and all other services to self-employed dentists. The model has proved successful, becoming the first ASX-listed dental services company in 2005.

Outside of his business, Holmes has a passion for philanthropy. In October 2018, he received an OBE at Buckingham Palace for humanitarian aid services in Papua New Guinea with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) Ships.


Holmes is an advisor to the charity, which is active in 180 countries around the world. Each centre is autonomous and able to adapt to meet the specific needs of that community. In Townsville, where Holmes lives, YWAM has been operating for more than 20 years and concentrates on training, youth initiatives and providing medical services in Papua New Guinea.

This charity uses specially equipped ships with on-board dental surgeries and operating theatres, as well as significant on-shore outreaches, to address some of the serious health challenges faced in Papua New Guinea.

“I’ve always been a believer in giving back or paying it forward,” he said. “Volunteering through Youth With a Mission is humbling and rewarding; it reminds us of how fortunate we are in Australia and the importance of family.”

Holmes has five children, and his eldest son has joined him on an outreach in remote Papua New Guinea.

“We are a major supporter of YWAM by providing supplies and equipment for use on the medical ships, and our staff and dentists volunteer to support this worthy cause,” he said. “When I reflect on the villages I’ve visited and the patients I’ve treated, it really is nothing short of a privilege and an honour.”

Holmes is also a supporter of BGS, contributing to the Bursary Fund.


Courtsey of Brisbane Grammar School.

Article: HERE