Guide Dogs Blog

Guide Dogs recognises dedicated volunteers at annual end of year celebration

December 5th, 2019

Guide Dogs SA/NT has celebrated the outstanding and generous support of its dedicated volunteers at its annual end of year celebration.

The volunteer Christmas lunch, held at the Arkaba Hotel on Tuesday 3 December, saw Chief Executive Officer of Guide Dogs SA/NT, Aaron Chia present Kate Hallam with Honorary Life Membership for her valuable contributions to Guide Dogs over the years.

Kate began volunteering in 2013 and, over the past six years has invested a significant amount of time and passion in supporting our Fundraising and Dog Services programs. From nurturing puppies in the Puppy Development Centre to caring for our dogs-in-training, Kate is also a proud Puppy Sponsor for our G and I Litters.

“Thank you, Kate, for your dedication to supporting Guide Dogs and enthusiastic advocacy for our cause,” Mr Chia said.

Mr Chia also presented Certificates of Appreciation to volunteers reaching five, ten, fifteen and twenty-year milestones of service and recognised the important role each volunteer plays in the success of Guide Dogs SA/NT.

“You represent the dedication, passion and drive it takes to build a community like ours,” he explained.

“With every phone call you make, every community group you speak to, each Collection Dog you distribute and every puppy you nurture, you are supporting our mission to enable independence, participation, inclusion and wellbeing for people living with disability.”

Chairman of Guide Dogs SA/NT, John Oliver thanked long-time volunteer Beverly Dreschler, who over the past nine and a half years has handmade more than 500 blankets for Guide Dog puppies-in-training, plus a further 50 for guests of Beau’s Pet Hotel.

“The blankets are made especially for each puppy and go with them as they embark on their journey to become Guide Dogs, Autism Assistance Dogs and Therapy Dogs,” Mr Oliver explained.

“Thank you, Bev, for your hard work and outstanding contribution to Guide Dogs.”

Mr Oliver also shared highlights of the year, crediting Guide Dogs’ volunteers, donors and corporate partners to the ongoing viability of the organisation.

Guide Dogs client and Community Talks volunteer, Judy Masters shared how Autism Assistance Dog, Zeke has supported her young son, Lachlan on his journey to independence, participation and inclusion, and why she chooses to volunteer for Guide Dogs.

Puppy Raising Advisors, Kirsty and Sharon Milne also presented Certificates of Appreciation to the volunteers who nurture our next generation of Guide Dogs, Autism Assistance Dogs and Therapy Dogs.

The special celebration was dedicated to Claire Donovan OAM, a beloved Guide Dogs volunteer, Honorary Life Member and generous donor who recently passed away.

Claire was well-known across the organisation and in her 17 years of service as a Puppy Raiser and Home Boarder, cared for more than 60 puppies and working dogs.

The end of year celebration provided an opportunity to reflect on our achievements over the last 12 months and we congratulate Kate and the more than 200 dedicated volunteers who generously donate their time and skills to make our work possible. 

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