Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AO QC, Governor of New South Wales, visited the Guide Dog Centre, at Glossodia in Sydney’s west, in her role as the new Patron of Guide Dogs NSW/ACT.
Her Excellency toured the centre’s world class breeding and training facilities, where Guide Dogs NSW/ACT has run its own specialised Guider Dog breeding program since 2011. It takes two years and costs $50,000 to raise breed, raise and train each Guide Dog.
“As the state’s leading provider of services that enable people with blindness and low vision to lead safe and independent lives, and stay connected to their communities, Guide Dogs NSW/ACT has a longstanding relationship with the office of the Governor of NSW, said Dale Cleaver, CEO of Guide Dogs NSW/ACT.
“Previous Governors have generously acted as Patrons during their tenures. We are delighted that Her Excellency accepted this patronage, jointly with her husband Mr Dennis Wilson, continuing this tradition,” Mr Cleaver added.
The Governor said: “Dennis and I are delighted to be Joint Patrons of Guide Dogs NSW/ACT, supporting the excellent work they do to assist people with vision impairment. Guide Dogs transform playful puppies into responsible working dogs who go on to make a life changing contribution to the day to day experience of their handlers.”
To mark the special occasion, Her Excellency was presented to a yellow, male, eight-week-old Guide Dog puppy, named ‘Beazley’ in her honour.
“Beazley is a happy, energetic, and outgoing puppy who loves to explore in the puppy enrichment area. This bodes well for a future Guide Dog as it shows the enthusiasm, confidence and drive that a Guide Dog needs to safely guide their handler,” Mr Cleaver said.
Beazley will soon be placed with his Puppy Raising family, based in the Newcastle area who will provide him with a warm, loving home during his first year.
In the last year, Guide Dogs NSW/ACT expanded its Puppy Raising program outside the Sydney metropolitan area to Canberra, Wollongong and Newcastle.
With more than half a million Australians living with low vision by 2020*, this expansion will help meet the increasing demand for Guide Dogs NSW/ACT’s Orientation and Mobility services, including Guide Dogs, which are provided to the people of NSW at no cost.
Click here to find out how you can become a volunteer Puppy Raiser, or phone (02) 4579 7555.
*Centre for Eye Health report 2019