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2011 Paws Parade Celebrating International Guide Dog Day



Message from our Chief Executive Officer At the start of the year, I anticipated that 2011 promised to be our biggest year yet in the history of the organisation and so far it has certainly lived up to that expectation. For nearly 60 years, Guide Dogs SA.NT has been an iconic and trusted organisation providing services to people with a vision impairment.

With 1 in 150 children diagnosed with autism, there is a growing demand for Guide Dogs SA.NT’s Autism Assistance Dog Program.

And we are now proudly becoming a leader in the broader disability sector using our expertise with dogs and in sensory service provision to also support people who are deaf and/ or hearing impaired and children living with autism and their families.

So we celebrated the birth of our most recent litter – the W Litter on page 3 - here at the Puppy Development Centre in Morphett Street.

On page 12 you will read the truly inspirational story of Isaiah and his family and their experience with one of our Autism Assistance Dogs, Pepper.

“She has turned our life around. We’re not just surviving anymore – we’re actually living.” Tara-Jade Brown, mother of Isaiah

We also urged all South Australians to take part in Guide Dogs SA.NT’s Paws Parade to mark International Guide Dog Day pages 8 and 9. The success of this event was testament to the incredible support of the wider community. We rely on your generous support to continue our journey providing services to those in need. I hope they serve as a reminder to why you support the organisation and the importance of the work that we do. Thank you for your support.

Contents The new boys on the block

PG 4

What your support has made possible

PG 6

Paws for celebration

PG 8

Braille signs a step forward in the city

PG 10

Gulliver’s Travels

PG 11

A boy’s best friend

PG 12


PG 14

Kate Thiele CEO, Guide Dogs SA.NT

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Kate Thiele, CEO, with Jarvis


The new boys on the block The team at Guide Dog Services has certainly been busy in recent months with not only arrivals from interstate but the birth of the W Litter. Mum Yandi gave birth to six beautiful boys, four yellow and two black Labradors – Walker, Winston, Wallace, Wembley, Windsor and Winter. Tracey Jones, Group Manager Guide Dog Services, says the puppies have had the very best start on their journey to becoming future Guide Dogs or Autism Assistance Dogs. “They spent the first eight weeks in the Puppy Development Centre getting round-the-clock care with volunteers and staff taking shifts for feeding, cleaning, basic check-ups, and play-time.

“And they’re now settled with their puppy raisers finding their feet in the outside world. “The next year with their puppy raisers is an absolutely vital part of their training getting them used to outdoor environments and socialisation. “We thank all of our puppy raisers for their commitment to the dogs and the program.”

Wanted: Loving homes for puppies “We feel like we are giving something back to the community and impacting peoples’ lives for the better.” Anne Hainke, Guide Dogs SA.NT Puppy Raiser since 2005.

We need puppy raisers who: š Work part-time or less š Have a secure yard š Preferably have children of school age š Can spend time training and socialising the puppy

Our special Guide Dog puppies are “fostered” by puppy raising families at about eight weeks of age and can spend up to 14 months in the care of their “foster” family.

To find out more visit or call Karen Devenport P: (08) 8203 8372 E:


Everything they are exposed to in these first few weeks is aimed at building confident dogs with the potential to become Guide Dogs and Autism Assistance Dogs.

The W Litter


What your support has made possible It is thanks to your extraordinary generosity that the puppies will soon get to play in the Puppy Development Centre. The third and final stage of our Puppy Development Centre will soon be a reality with it set to be completed by Christmas this year – just in time for an anticipated new litter. Extensive research and planning has gone into the design of this area to maximise puppy development from a young age – so that our pups have the best possible chance of changing lives. “Teaching puppies to become Guide Dogs or Autism Assistance Dogs requires boundless energy, care and experience – not to mention a lot of space,” says Tracey Jones, Group Manager Guide Dog Services. “All the experiences we provide for our puppies are about the end result – a working dog that will provide independence, safety and support.

Happy 1st Birthday N Litter The first litter born at our Morphett Street Puppy Development Centre – Nabu, Neesha, Nitro, Norton, Nugget, Nero, Nacho, Ninja, Nelson, Nano, Nimble and Nemo. Thank you to all our Puppy Sponsors who help change lives with their regular donation that helps with the raising and training of future Guide Dogs or Autism Assistance Dogs. Contact Andrew Sabatino for more information. P: (08)8203 8337 E:


“The development facility will be a place to learn and, of course, a place for the puppies to play and rest. We can’t wait to have the area finished and see the puppies benefit from the best early development we can provide.” If you would like to contribute to the puppy training program or attend the opening once the Puppy Development Centre is complete - please contact Andrew Sabatino P: (08) 8203 8337 E:

Final plans for the Puppy Development Centre

Puppies spend their first eight weeks at the Development Centre in Morphett Street being conditioned to sights, sounds and textures. The Development Centre features mirrors, overhead mobiles and other objects to get them used to their reflection and potential overhead hazards. They also learn to walk on different textures with the aid of a wobble board, bridge, other equipment and toys.


Paws for celebration Guide Dogs SA.NT literally stopped traffic when we urged all South Australians to take part in celebrations to mark International Guide Dog Day during the month of April. Hundreds of supporters, staff, volunteers, clients and dogs wore orange and marched down King William Street from Elder Park to Victoria Square on April 19.

Celebrity Chef Simon Bryant and Radio Personality Amanda Blair joined the march – participating in an experiential walk with one of our Guide Dogs.

The event recognised the tireless efforts and dedication of our working Guide Dogs in the community.

A celebratory barbecue was then held in Victoria Square where the Lord Mayor Stephen Yarwood honoured recent Guide Dog graduates and retirees and presented the 2011 Open Access Awards acknowledging local businesses.

“Not many people realise the extent of their journey to become a working Guide Dog – and it’s a tough job – no pay, no holidays – but they get the ultimate reward and gratitude - improving a person’s quality of life,” says Chief Executive Officer Kate Thiele. “International Guide Dog Day is a day to honour the vital role that Guide Dogs play in helping people who are blind or vision impaired.”

Did you know? It costs more than $25,000 to raise and train a Guide Dog. For more information or to contribute, contact Lucie Reichstein P: (08) 8203 8323 E:


Guide Dogs SA.NT’s Paws Parade


Braille signs a step forward in the city A joint project now means braille pedestrian signs are being trialled at key city intersections in Adelaide. Adelaide City Council installed the signs which consist of both large letters and braille located on traffic signal poles at each corner of the intersection. Guide Dogs SA.NT’s Orientation and Mobility Instructor Peter Skjott says the new signs are a welcome addition in the city for people living with a vision impairment.

“These signs are an effective tool which will provide not only assistance as a clear location indicator but will also hopefully increase personal confidence in what can often be a confronting environment.” Guide Dogs SA.NT will be involved in monitoring the effectiveness of the signs and after a six-month trial, a report will be presented back to Council. If you would like to contribute any feedback contact Guide Dogs SA.NT P: (08) 8203 8333.


Orientation and Mobility Instructor Peter Skjott at the Currie Street braille pedestrian sign

Gulliver’s Travels The world’s biggest Guide Dog heading to South Australia. Guide Dogs NSW/ACT will hand over Gulliver’s lead to Guide Dogs SA.NT in Broken Hill at the end of September. The giant model dog will then visit several regional centres over the next few months to raise awareness of the services provided by Guide Dogs SA.NT. These services include programs within Guide Dog Services, Vision Services, Hearing Services, and our work in the prevention arena with our award-winning Discovery Centre. Made of foam and coated in fibreglass, Gulliver sits 4.3 metres tall on his trailer and weighs 690 kilograms. The biggest of his kind in the world, he was unveiled in Sydney in March 2010. Following a public competition he was named Gulliver in recognition of the fact that Guide Dogs have legal access rights and can travel on all forms of public transport. Gulliver will be touring key areas that Guide Dogs SA.NT services, including the Riverland, South East and Iron Triangle. To follow Gulliver’s SA travels go to Guide Dogs SA.NT’s Facebook page.

The world’s biggest Guide Dog Gulliver on the road


A boy’s best friend “We’re not just surviving anymore, we’re actually living.” Tara-Jade Brown, mother of Isaiah. Guide Dogs SA.NT’s Autism Assistance Dog Program has made a life-changing difference to one family in need. Six-year-old Isaiah has moderate-severe autism and was recently partnered with Autism Assistance Dog Pepper. His mum Tara says having Pepper in the family has really decreased anxiety levels and has been one of the best forms of therapy for him.

“The first time we walked around the block with her, I cried! “I couldn’t believe that we were actually doing something as simple as going for a walk, because something like that had always been fraught with danger and tension.” Guide Dogs Autism Assistance Dog Program changes the lives of families in three main ways. Safety to stop the child from bolting and getting into dangerous situations; comfort, when the dog intervenes during meltdowns; and also inclusion, allowing families to participate in social and leisure activities they would never have attempted without a Guide Dogs Autism Assistance Dog by their child’s side.


“We’ve often both come out of one of Isaiah’s meltdowns covered in scratches and bruises, so Pepper’s role during a meltdown is to run up to Isaiah and rest her head on his lap. “If that doesn’t distract him enough, she’ll basically get up and lie over him. Quite often he’ll stroke his fingers through her fur and calm down.

“And they’re so gorgeous when they play together. It makes my spirit soar to see Isaiah interacting with another like that.” With more than 50 children reported as being diagnosed in South Australia alone each month, there is a growing demand for this program. If you would like to know more about the program or to help make a difference to a family’s life, contact Lucie Reichstein P: (08) 8203 8323 E:

Autism Assistance Dog, Pepper


Pupparazzi Volunteers Morning Tea


Pupparazzi 2011 Paws Parade

Hearing Clinic Trial given the green light Guide Dogs SA.NT’s Hearing Services Hearing Clinic Trial saw 66 clients over a six-month period. Feedback and evaluation has been extremely positive and confirmed that the service offered has been valuable. Thank you to everyone who contributed. Currently we are in negotiations with Flinders University for them to develop a further research project in conjunction with the clinic to focus on the quality of life outcomes for clients. Stay tuned for more information on the extension of the Hearing Clinic and our partnership with Flinders University. We will be looking for more volunteers very soon!

Diary Dates Discovery Centre School Holiday Open Days 5 October & 7 October World Sight Day 13 October International White Cane Day 15 October Gulliver in the Riverland 30 September – 3 October Gulliver in the South-East 18 October – 22 October Gulliver in the Iron Triangle 14 November – 18 November SPRING 2011 PAWPRINTS PAGE 15

Thank you for supporting us National Partners

Patrons SA: His Excellency, Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce AC CSC RANR, Governor of South Australia. NT: His Honour, Mr Tom Pauling AO QC, Administrator of the Northern Territory.

Ambassadors Keith Conlon, Chad and Kane Cornes, Troy Gray, Daniel Mullen, Tim Noonan, Bianca Reddy, Brenton Ragless.

Sponsors and supporters

Major Partners

Visit our website

- Bank SA and Staff Charitable Fund - Bridgehead Australia Pty Ltd - National Foods Australia Pty Ltd - SlingShot Studios - Taxi Council SA - Tony Milhinhos and Family - Torbreck Vintners - Mt Gambier Ladies’ Auxillary - Burnside Symphony Orchestra - Metropolitan Male Choir - A Touch of Beauty - James Gibbs Investments - Brendan Murray - Bridge Office National - Australian Army Band (Adelaide) - Wigg and Son

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Toll Free 1800 GUIDE DOGS or visit

SOUTH AUSTRALIA 251 Morphett Street Adelaide SA 5000 Tel (08) 8203 8333 Fax (08) 8203 8332

NORTHERN TERRITORY 4/5 Keith Lane Fannie Bay NT 0820 Tel (08) 8995 2222 Fax (08) 8995 2223


Paw Prints is available, upon request, in other formats: Audio CD or large text. PDF and Word versions are posted on our website. If you do not wish to receive any further mail from Guide Dogs SA.NT please contact us on 1800 GUIDE DOGS (free call).

Paw Prints - Newsletter Spring 2011  

The Official Newsletter of Guide Dogs Association of SA and NT Inc.

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