On Sunday 24 January 2021, Hon Mark McGowan MLA, Premier and Minister for Public Sector Management, State Development, Jobs and Trade visited Guide Dogs WA. This allowed us to demonstrate the incredibly important role Guide Dogs WA plays in the Western Australian community and additionally provide an extra special interaction with some of the very cute and cuddly puppies currently in our training program.
The Premier then took the opportunity to announce a welcomed $5 million funding package for Guide Dogs WA.
If re-elected in the March 2021 state election, the McGowan Government’s promise will allow Guide Dogs WA to set up a world class breeding facility and cadet training program.
The funding will assist Guide Dogs WA to meet the growing demand for not only Guide Dogs, but Autism Assistance Dogs and Therapy Dogs, Dementia Dogs, Court Dogs, and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) Dogs who we know, make life- changing differences to Western Australians living with low vision, disability and illness. The McGowan Government announcement will also enable Guide Dogs WA’s vision of resuming a Cadet training program to become a reality – ensuring there are locally trained and highly qualified dog Trainers and Mobility Instructors to train the pups, and match and place them with individuals and facilities in need.
This very exciting announcement has come about after Hon Alison Xamon MLC and Member for North Metropolitan Region [Greens (WA)] recognised that Guide Dogs WA is currently unable to meet the growing need for Guide and Assistance Dogs in the community. This is due in part to issues with accessing puppies from interstate breeding programs and also due to the difficulties in recruiting training staff from interstate and overseas, as there are no specialised training programs on offer in Western Australia.
In a speech to parliament on 21 October 2020 Ms Xamon championed the Government and opposition parties for the support needed for Guide Dogs WA.
Guide Dogs WA has been providing support for Westerns Australians for 70 years, ensuring that people are given the opportunity to live their lives with hope, independence and freedom. We sincerely acknowledge Hon Alison Xamon MLC and the McGowan Government for supporting Guide Dogs WA on this new journey of establishing a world class dog breeding program right here in Perth.
As a not for profit organisation, Guide Dogs WA is reliant on the community to help support the training program, and we look forward to sharing with the community the developments of the breeding and training programs in the not too distant future.
You can read more about the McGowan Government announcement here: (link opens in a new window).
The speech made by the Hon Alison Xamon on 21 October 2020 can be read in full here; https://parliament.wa.gov.au/Hansard/hansard.nsf/0/f0d35bc6670c61314825860a002914f9/$FILE/C40+S1+20201021+p7103b-7104a.pdf