Audrey Suherlan hopes volunteering at Vision Australia Seeing Eye Dogs could lead to similar dog guides being more widespread in her home country of Indonesia.
Audrey is 19 years-old and is studying veterinary nursing at university, which is how she ended joining Seeing Eye Dogs as a volunteer earlier this year.
“I’ve always been interested in Seeing Eye Dogs,” Audrey said.
“One of my teachers was asking the students if anyone was interested in helping the vet at Seeing Eye Dogs. I jumped on the opportunity right away. I applied and luckily I got the position,” she said.
As a vet support volunteer with Seeing Eye Dogs, Audrey provides assistance in a number of different ways.
“I help the vet whenever she needs any documents or vaccination records filed or she needs help with taking care of the dogs before or after surgery.”
Audrey said that working as part of the Seeing Eye Dogs team is a really enjoyable experience.
“Everyone is super nice. When I’m lost there’s always someone to help me. There’s always someone to answer my questions.
“People are really supportive and comfortable telling their stories which has helped me fit right in.”
Audrey’s volunteer work has helped her to see how much of a difference Seeing Eye Dogs make in the lives of people who are blind or have low vision.
She is hoping to use her experience to raise awareness of the need for Seeing Eye Dogs in her home country of Indonesia.
“I think Seeing Eye Dogs are so important. I see how beneficial they are for everyone. Where I come from in Indonesia, we don’t have Seeing Eye Dogs.
“It’s something that I’m really interested in. Hopefully one day I can use my volunteer experience to push for Seeing Eye Dogs to be used in Indonesia.”
Her time at Seeing Eye Dogs has also helped Audrey to learn a lot about people who are blind or have low vision.
“It’s really important that people who are blind and have low vision are supported to find work, use public transport and experience all the same things that people with sight experience.”
Click here to find out about volunteer opportunities with Seeing Eye Dogs Australia.