Volunteers Sue Greaves and Lesley Cusworth were bestowed Honorary Life Members’ awards at the recent Guide Dogs SA/NT Annual General Meeting on 22 November, in recognition of their outstanding and valued service.

Honorary Life Membership is given to people who have performed valued service to or for the Association. The Chief Executive Officer of Guide Dogs SA/NT, Aaron Chia, said Sue and Lesley are both outstanding members of the Guide Dogs family.

Sue has been a Guide Dog Puppy Raiser for 10 years and throughout this time has always had one of our dogs in her care.

“Sue’s dedication to the Guide Dog program has been invaluable. She is the ideal puppy raiser – calm and attentive to her dogs, helpful and sociable with other Puppy Raisers, and has a great skill set for training a dog,” Mr Chia said.

“Sue’s attitude and selflessness is what makes her a wonderful Puppy Raiser and a delight to work with. Her outstanding contribution to the puppy program is admirable and greatly appreciated.”

Some of Sue’s notable puppy raising successes have been prominent in the community. Blake was one of our first Autism Assistance Dogs, Danzi was the star of a very successful Direct Mail campaign, Lenny is the current Ambassadog and Jinx is a brood mother.

Sue has even raised more than one dog at the one time! She never loses sight of the reason she is puppy raising – she is always thinking of the clients and knows that she is contributing to changing a life of a person living with a disability.

“It’s been a wonderful 10 years – it’s very rewarding to do something that’s genuinely useful and at the same time such a joy,” said Sue.

“The puppies I’ve cared for and loved over the years have been just adorable and have all grown up into devoted adult dogs who have positively changed people’s lives.”

Lesley Cusworth has been a Guide Dogs volunteer for seven years and has filled most volunteer roles in the organisation.

“Lesley’s dedication to our organisation is incredibly valuable, and shows just how much passion she has for providing a service to our clients. She is always willing to undertake any role in order to help our cause” Mr Chia said.

“She has filled almost every single volunteer role there is at Guide Dogs SA/NT – including short term boarder, brood guardian, Public Access Certification test scrutineer, Puppy Development Centre volunteer, traffic driver for Guide Dog training, Discovery Centre guide, and collection dog maintenance.”

“Lesley’s passion and contribution illustrate just how versatile and valuable she is as a volunteer.”

In the Puppy Development Centre Lesley gets to know each litter so well that she keeps notes on them all and follows them through their formal training and client placement to see the impact that her contribution has made.

She has even undergone further dog training skills in order to help care for dogs with more complex behavioural needs.

“It’s an absolute joy to be a part of Guide Dogs, meeting and working with all the other volunteers, staff and clients. It’s such a happy and passionate family,” said Lesley.

Guide Dogs SA/NT is indebted to our hardworking volunteers who generously support us with their time, efforts, skills and knowledge.

Congratulations and sincere thanks to Sue and Lesley!