26 April 2019
On Wednesday 24 April, Guide Dogs SA/NT clients and supporters celebrated International Guide Dog Day with our annual Paws Parade to honour the life-changing work of Guide Dogs, Autism Assistance Dogs and Therapy Dogs for people living with disability.
Led by the SA Police Band, the colourful parade of around 300 volunteers, staff, clients and dogs departed from Guide Dogs SA on Morphett Street, travelling along Franklin and King William Streets to Government House. We were delighted to see plenty of supporters alongside the parade route, waving and cheering on our beautiful dogs!
The Paws Parade was attended by Guide Dogs SA/NT Patron and Governor of South Australia, His Excellency the Honourable Hieu Van Le AC; Shadow Minister for Human Services, Ms Nat Cook MP; Guide Dogs SA/NT Chairman, Mr John Oliver; and Chief Executive Officer of Guide Dogs SA/NT, Mr Aaron Chia.
The stars of the day were our graduating and retiring Guide Dogs, Autism Assistance Dogs and Therapy Dogs, who were honoured at a ceremony in the Governor’s Gardens following the parade. Mr Chia co-presented the awards with our General Manager of Client and Dog Services, Ms Simone Thrippleton.
In reflecting on the purpose of the day, Mr Chia said, “International Guide Dog Day is a chance to pay special tribute to our Guide Dogs, Autism Assistance Dogs and Therapy Dogs and to reflect on the everyday victories our clients can achieve with their best friend by their side.”
With the Friends of Guide Dogs Awards, we also acknowledged local businesses that have consistently demonstrated a commitment to access and inclusion by providing exceptional service to our clients, volunteers and staff with their dogs. This year, we received a record number of nominations from our client and volunteer community, leading to a diverse range of businesses being represented.
Friends of Guide Dogs Award winners included Aldi Morphett Vale, Ban Ban Bar and Chicken, The Bush Inn Hotel, Cheap as Chips Colonnades, Harbourside Vet Care, Hello Sarnie caf, Peter Papapetros Taxi Service, Priceline Colonnades, Rising Sun Inn, Rossdale Homes, Willshire Motor Trimmers, and the Willunga Business & Tourism Association. Also recognised but unable to attend the ceremony were Adelaide Mail Centre, BTS Caf, Franco’s Fruit and Veg, Physio Solutions SA, and Premier Stateliner.
The Friends of Guide Dogs awards were introduced by Mr Oliver and presented by The Right Honourable The Lord Mayor of Adelaide, Sandy Verschoor, who commended our award recipients for “making our city a more accessible and inclusive place for everyone.”
Thanks to everyone who attended our International Guide Dog Day celebration to honour the Guide Dogs, Autism Assistance Dogs and Therapy Dogs who enable people living with disability to achieve their goals throughout life. We hope you enjoy these highlights of the day!