In a break away from our usual graduation format, Central Park was chosen to be the location for the graduation of seven Guide Dogs and their handlers. The venue was already host to our first Pup Art Exhibition and it seemed a fitting way to bring the display to an end.
Seven Guide Dogs and their handlers, together with more than 200 sponsors, puppy raisers, boarders, family, friends & guests joined us for a special night of celebration, with old friendships rekindled & new relationships made.
A reception and official photocall for each of the partnerships kicked off the ceremony, which was hosted by local musician Howie Morgan.
There were a number of speakers throughout the evening and some Guide Dog handlers spoke about the freedom, independence, companionship they have brought into their lives.
Guide Dog Mobility Instructor, Phil spoke at length about the path a dog follows on its way through the Guide Dog program, from puppyhood to becoming a fully-fledged working Guide Dog.
Long-term Guide Dog Puppy Raiser, Leanne spoke and gave an emotional and humorous insight into the journey of raising several past and present Guide Dog puppies.
Graduation certificates and clay pawprint plaques were awarded to each of the partnerships by Debbie Schaffer OAM, Chair of the VisAbility Board. Sponsors, puppy raisers and boarders were presented with framed photographs of the dog they had supported through its journey.
The Graduating partnerships were:
- Johan & Guide Dog Jesmond
- Danny & Guide Dog Landy
- Greg & Guide Dog Memphis
- Jeremy & Guide Dog Nina
- Glenn & Guide Dog Obie
- David & Guide Dog Olly
- Lee & Guide Dog Wattle
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