Posted in: Client Stories
Guide Dogs SA/NT has awarded Honorary Life Membership to long-time volunteers Neil Cundy and Bruce Ind in recognition of their outstanding support and valued service to the organisation.
At a celebratory lunch for volunteers on Tuesday 4 December at the Arkaba Hotel, Chief Executive Officer of Guide Dogs SA/NT, Aaron Chia, said Neil and Bruce have both made extraordinary contributions to the community.
‘As volunteers and proud advocates of Guide Dogs, Neil and Bruce work tirelessly to support our mission of enabling independence, participation, inclusion and wellbeing for our clients,’ Mr Chia said.
Neil has been a volunteer with Guide Dogs SA/NT since 2000 and, in that time, he has supported the organisation in a number of meaningful ways. Neil has sponsored naming rights for puppies and has been a valued donor for many years. In 2017, he pledged $15,000 towards an appeal to help match Arron Lyall with Guide Dog, Helix, creating a significantly positive impact on our donor contributions.
As a representative of Guide Dogs, Neil regularly speaks at workplaces and community groups to share his experiences and collect donations. He is also a proud bequestor and has played a central role in developing Buddy’s Garden, an enjoyable place for our dogs to play and train, named in honour of his Guide Dog, Buddy.
Mr Chia said, ‘As both a volunteer and a client, Neil understands the positive impact that a Guide Dog makes to the life of a person with vision impairment. His work with Guide Dogs demonstrates the extent of his passion for providing a service to our clients that is unequalled.’
Like Neil, Bruce is also a Guide Dog user and a committed advocate for people living with vision impairment or blindness.
Bruce has been a client of Guide Dogs since 2003 and has received Orientation and Mobility Training with a cane and his two Guide Dogs: Keely from 2003 until 2011, and his current Guide Dog, Wallace, since 2011.
‘Bruce’s experience of living with vision impairment informs his positive approach towards everything he does,’ Mr Chia said. ‘Bruce strives for perfection with the partnership between himself and his Guide Dog, Wallace, and always places the welfare of his dog above all else.’
Prior to his appointment to the Board in 2004, Bruce served on the Client Advisory Committee as Chair for four years. In this role, he worked closely with our Dog Services team to develop clear lines of communication between Dog Services and the Board, encouraging and supporting them in their valuable work. Bruce was appointed Deputy Chair of Guide Dogs SA/NT in 2013.
In addition to these volunteer roles, Bruce is a passionate advocate and a leading contributor to the Community Talks program, providing opportunities for school students and community groups to learn about the impact Guide Dogs creates in the community.
‘We thank Bruce for his dedication to supporting Guide Dogs and his enthusiastic advocacy for our cause,’ Mr Chia said.
Congratulations to Neil, Bruce and the many dedicated volunteers who have recently been recognised for their years of service to Guide Dogs. We are grateful to the people who generously give their time and expertise to make our programs and services possible. With their support, Guide Dogs will continue enabling our clients to achieve their goals at every stage of life.