A Yellow Labrador puppy laying down looking excitedly up towards the camera

Guide Dogs Australia has today been announced as Australia’s Most Trusted Charity Brand, maintaining our hold on the title for a sixth consecutive year! We received this honour as part of the annual Reader’s Digest’s Trusted Brands survey, which added us to their charity category in 2013.

Karen Hayes (Spokesperson for Guide Dogs Australia) said the achievement highlighted the importance of trust now more than ever between the public and brands, especially for those acting in the not-for-profit sector.

“At a time where many areas of society are being questioned for their transparency, it’s a reminder of the value of trust and reliability, especially in our industry. To be named Most Trusted Charity for the sixth year in a row is a testament to the work our team has done for the community on a consistent basis,” said Ms Hayes.

Chief Executive of Guide Dogs SA/NT, Aaron Chia, said the organisation’s sixth consecutive award was an outstanding achievement.

“This honour shows the tremendous faith the community has in our brand. Guide Dogs SA/NT would like to thank our many loyal supporters who once again voted for us as their Most Trusted Charity.

“Trust is at the heart of everything we do, so to be consistently recognised for this is something we’re very proud of. From the community’s confidence that we will use their donations wisely, to the trusted bond between a handler and their Guide Dog, we take our responsibility seriously,” said Mr Chia.

For Guide Dogs SA/NT client, Bob Pamment, trust is essential to the relationship between dog and handler. Bob began losing his vision at age 23 due to a rare hereditary condition.

While he maintained some mobility with the use of a white cane, beyond the boundaries of home and work Bob was largely dependent on his wife, Marie. One day, when walking a familiar route alone, Bob realised that traffic conditions had changed and he could no longer cross the road safely. At Marie’s insistence, Bob contacted Guide Dogs SA/NT.

“The first time my dog protected me from an obstacle on the path, I bent down to kiss him. Life started to change because I could walk by myself again,” Bob said.

Building this trust with his Guide Dog allowed Bob to participate in 9 City-Bay Fun Runs, and even gave him the confidence to volunteer as a board member of Guide Dogs SA/NT.  Wanting to give back the organisation that restored her husband’s independence, Marie also got involved, raising five Guide Dog puppies including Bob’s previous Guide Dog – fittingly named Hero.

Now in his late 70s, Bob says, “I’m aiming to be the world’s oldest Guide Dog user.” He was recently matched with his fifth dog, Ocker, who will continue the work of empowering Bob to move safely and independently through the world.