Vision Australia Seeing Eye Dogs are thrilled to finally be able to hold a graduation ceremony to celebrate the clients that have been matched with a Seeing Eye Dog in the past two years. What better day could there have been for this event to take place than international Guide Dog Day?
Seeing Eye Dog handlers from across Australia attended the event via Zoom, while those attending in-person at Kensington had the honour of having their certificate presented to them by Minister for Disability and Child Protection Luke Donnellan. Paralympian and Vision Australia Ambassador Jessica Gallagher was also there to help with proceedings and to talk about her own lived experience of vision loss.
Lester Chraim, Client Services Manager for Vision Australia Seeing Eye Dogs, has seen the impact that these dogs have first-hand. “The training of these dogs can take up to two years, with a cost of $50,000. However, seeing the client’s face light up when they can reclaim that independence that they have lost, that truly makes it a worthwhile endeavour”.
The ceremony saw 70-odd graduates receive certificates Australia-wide. The event was covering graduates from May 2019 through to the present. While we would have liked to have held a similar ceremony last year, worldwide events prohibited us from doing so.
Photos from the graduation ceremony can be found below.