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Logo - Guide Dogs

Guide Dogs Victoria Annual report FY21-22.

Strengthening connections.

A yellow labrador Guide Dog, wearing a harness. The dog is looking up at its handler.
Iain Edwards, Interim CEO Guide Dogs Victoria, with Guide Dog Olympia thanking David and Shane Young and the Petspiration Team at a recent Roadshow
A yellow seven week old labrador puppy sitting outside looking at the camera.

Our vision and mission

Our purpose

Key messages.

A message from our Interim CEO.

Headshot of Guide Dogs Victoria's Board Chair, Iain Edwards. Iain is looking at the camera smiling.

A message from our Chair.

Headshot of GDV board member David Cochrane.

A message from our Patron.

Headshot of Governor of VIC.

Ezra smiling while wearing a Captain America outfit

Meet Ezra

Supporting Ezra's development.

Our Clients.

28,349 hours of Client Services delivered including 5,671 for regional Clients.

Our Clients are always at the heart of everything we do. With reduced lockdowns over the year we provided more face to face services. We continued to work through telepractice, allowing for flexible delivery of services.

1,285 Client lives positively impacted through delivery of services.

2,930 Client Programs delivered.

76 Net Promoter Score.

Our Clients have told us they would recommend or highly recommend Guide Dogs Victoria and we attained a Net Promotor Score of 76, placing us in the top category of excellence.

Guide Dogs has continued to support us with everything and are always checking up on Ezra and us to see what support we need.

Laura Mum to Ezra (GDV Client)
Quote by Laura

Services breakdown by type.

The way we deliver our Services continues to evolve.

Many Clients have found that various technology tools have enabled them to achieve their goals and aspirations.

Guide Dogs Victoria provides services which match people and their goals to suitable technology solutions. This is done predominantly through our Assistive Technology, a community-based service which has grown as new solutions emerge and people embrace new ways of accessing information and completing tasks.  

Of 28,349 hours of Services Delivered:

  • Adult Mobility Services — 25%
  • Children's Mobility Services — 10%
  • Occupational Therapy — 13%
  • Orthoptists — 6%
  • Support Coordination — 10%
  • Group Programs — 5%
  • Early Childhood Services — 4%
  • Assistive Technology — 6%
  • Guide Dogs Services — 21%

We supported Clients to greater independence and connection with:

62 participants across 14 Early Childhood and Children’s Mobility Group Programs.

44 participants across 13 Young Adult Mobility Group Programs.

10 participants in our Adult Mobility Group Program.

11 Access Consulting services provided across 10 sites.

Our dogs.

6,070 hours of dog training sessions.

Dogs are our heritage and a significant part of our Client support. Approximately 21% of services provided to Clients was via our Dogs Team. Our Guide Dogs make a profound difference to the lives of their Handlers, families and support network. Our Therapy Dog Program has grown immensely this year, with Therapy Dogs now placed with a diverse range of individuals and facilities including schools. We are proud of the advances we’ve made with our Therapy Dog program.

145 puppies born at Cute HQ.

244 working Guide Dogs in the community.

We matched 81 dogs with their new Handlers including:


Qualified Guide Dogs.


Therapy Dogs.


Breeding Stock Dogs.


Ambassador Dog.


Companion Dogs.


Dogs for External Training.

A yellow labrador Guide Dog, wearing a harness. The dog is looking up at its handler.

A star is born.

The gorgeous dog Luka –Barkley has led a star-studded life after making a star appearance in our docuseries ‘Born to Lead’ Episode Two.

Now he is bringing his star presence to Carey Baptist Grammar School as a Therapy Dog whose job is to give unconditional affection and support to students visiting the Student Development Department. 

Each morning Luka-Barkely eagerly greets all visitors – students and staff alike – with a wagging tail and a big smile. At times, he also accompanies students in their one-on-one sessions with a psychologist, sitting at their feet and providing a calming presence. 

If a student arrives distressed, Luka-Barkley will sit with the student and gladly accept the pats and tears with calm, non-judgmental support. 

“Luka-Barkley is blissfully unaware of the broader impact he’s having in helping to destigmatise visits to Student Development,” staff at the school say. 

Barkley, a yellow Labrador, sits in front of a school building

Our people.

Work Readiness Program.

Towards the end of 2021 a philanthropic grant allowed Guide Dogs Victoria to hire two  Support Coordinator Trainees – Kate and Kimberley.

A person walking down stairs with a cane.

Guide Dogs Victoria operates with the support of:

A Guide Dogs staff member sits next to a Client and their Guide Dog

employees including 41 new starters.


volunteer hours.


volunteers, including over 150 Puppy Raisers.

Staff Service Recognition. Staff with over 25 years of service: 

  • Jenny Black – 33 years 
  • Ron Heal – 25 years 

Staff Service Recognition. Staff with over 20 years of service: 

  • Janice Aldred – 24 years 
  • Kerrie Matthews – 24 years 
  • Naomi Wallace – 21 years 

Thank you to these staff for their dedication and service.

Our reach.

51.6m impressions across all Guide Dogs Australia social media channels.

Since nationalising our social media channels in 2021 we have been able to share Guide Dogs stories from around Australia with our audience.

1.7m+ engagements across all Guide Dogs Australia social media channels.

150k+ followers across all Guide Dogs Australia social media channels.

279m media reach.


visits to the Guide Dogs Victoria website.

A young child using a laptop.

actions taken on Guide Dogs Victoria website.
↑ 17.06%
increase from FY20-21.

Guide Dogs Victoria continues to publish a Governance Commitment Statement to promote fairness, transparency and accountability. The statement describes our key governance obligations and describes our commitment to leading standards. Our broader governance web page contains our key Board policies and further information on those who govern our organisation. These structures articulate how decision making is guided to meet stakeholder expectations of sound corporate governance, meeting Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) Governance Standards and acknowledging our responsibilities to members, donors, Clients, staff, volunteers and the communities in which we operate. 

Guide Dog working in harness.

Our Board of Directors.

  • Headshot of GDV board member David Cochrane.
    Dr David Cochrane


  • Headshot of GDV board member.
    Nick Mescher

    Vice Chair

  • Headshot of GDV board member,
    Bruce Brook

    Board Member

  • Headshot of Guide Dogs Victoria's Board Director, Anthony Kearns. Anthony is looking at the camera smiling.
    Anthony Kearns

    Board member

  • Headshot of GDV board member.
    Lisa Tepper

    Board Member

  • Headshot of Charles Thompson
    Charles Thompson

    Board Member

  • Headshot of GDV Board Member.
    Jenna Watts

    Board Member

  • Headshot of GDV board member holding a labrador puppy.
    Harish Rao

    Board Member

a camera filming two puppies sleeping.

Born to Lead.

Guide Dogs launches docuseries

The Future is in Sight.

3D render of the new Guide Dogs Victoria campus.

Our Progress

Construction Package and Project Stage Time frame Percentage of Stage Complete
Package 1: May Construction

Stage 1: Sunken Carpark, Building 1-Workshop
March 2020-May 2020 (Completed January 2021) 100%
Package 2: 2Construct

Stage 2: Building 2 – Veterinary Clinic and Café
March 2021 (Completed June 22) 100%
Demolition: 2Construct

Demolition of Arnold Cook House, rear of Administration Building.

December 2021 (Completed February 22) 100%
Demolition of Telemarketing Building. November 2022 (Completed November 22)
Package 3: 2Construct
Building 3 – Administration and Education Centre April 2022 – March 2023 58%
Building 4 – Residential Client Services, Reception, Experiential Centre January 2023 – December 2023
Building 5 – Dog Training Plaza TBC pending B4 scope change
Building 6. February 2023 – June 2023 (to be confirmed)
Civil Works – Completion and construction of all access roads and perimeter carparks August 2023 – December 2023
Package 4: Landscape Contractor

Landscaping including sensory gardens and integration of old and new footpaths

August 2023 – December 2023

For more detailed information, please download the PDF file.

Access and Advocacy.

At Guide Dogs Victoria, our Access and Advocacy Teams work tirelessly to remove barriers, ensuring people with low vision or blindness can experience the world with freedom and independence. In 2021/22 we:  

  • Completed five major Access Consulting appraisals aimed at increasing accessibility of playgrounds, skate parks and the CBD for people with differing abilities including low vision and blindness. Key stakeholders included Playce (Playground architects) and City of Melbourne (Braille Street signage project).
  • Completed six major Projects aimed at assisting ease of access through an environment. This involved roll out and maintenance of Beacon, TGSIs and secondary mobility aid technology. Key stakeholders included The Department of Transport – Metro trains and City of Moreland recreational centres and the Department of Transport.

Peer Support.

A group of girls sitting and chatting.


Mockup of CatchUp on mobile.

Connected Together Project

The 'Connected Together' Project supported social connections throughout all Guide Dogs Australia states and territories. 

Project Leader
Quote by Project Leader

Born to Lead.

a camera filming two puppies sleeping.

International Guide Dog Day 2022

A survey conducted by Guide Dogs in the lead-up to International Guide Dog Day (IGDD) 2022 found that over a third of Guide Dog Handlers had been denied access to a public venue or form of transport in the past year because of their Guide Dog.

In response, we launched our ‘Rethink Refusal’ campaign; educating businesses, industries and the community on how a Guide Dog refusal – illegal in the first place – can have further implications for the immediate safety of a person with low vision or blindness. The campaign shared a video and other resources that highlighted the importance of educating people within service industries about their legal obligations to Guide Dog Handlers.

International White Cane Day 2021

Highlighting the importance of inclusion and acceptance.

On International Day of People with Disability (IDoPwD) 2021, we gifted 1000 inclusive dolls with white canes or Guide Dogs to young Australians with low vision or blindness. The initiative, conducted in collaboration with both Kmart Australia and Guide Dogs Ambassador/Paralympic medallist Jaryd Clifford, sought to normalise disability and highlight the importance of inclusion and acceptance.

Key financials.


Income $'000
Fundraising and gift in wills 11,296
Fundraising for capital purposes 4,957
Revenue from the provision of dogs and orientation and mobility services 5,205
Rental revenue 48
Finance and investment (losses)/gains (2)
Other income 4
Total Revenue 21,508

Percentage of Income

  • Fundraising and gifts in wills — 52%
  • Fundraising for capital purposes — 23%
  • Revenue from the provision of dogs and Orientation Mobility services — 24%
  • Rental revenue and other income — 1%


Expenditure $'000
Fundraising gifts in Wills 2,837
Cost of provision of dogs and orientation and mobility Services 13,897
Community information and public education 959
Corporate services 718
Other expenses 119
Total Expenditure 18,530

Percentage of Expenditure

  • Fundraising gift in wills — 15%
  • Cost of provision of dogs and mobility services — 75%
  • Community information and public education — 5%
  • Corporate services — 4%
  • Other expenses — 1%

Gifts in Wills.

An older adult sitting in a chair smiling at the camera.

Our supporters.

$16.5m+ raised from over 27,000 donors and lottery program supporters.

116 new Otus Fellowship members.

27,000+ donors.

Trusts and Foundations.

A yellow labrador Guide Dog in harness sniffing a large Guide Dogs collection dog.

We are so fortunate to have the support of a passionate group of National Corporate Partners who assist us through donations, products and services in kind, volunteering, and workplace giving. We are proud to partner with the following organisations:

  • Advance
  • Boehringer ingleheim
  • Coles logo
  • Dimple
  • Greenstone
  • IDEXX Laboratories
  • Kong
  • Paw by Blackmores
  • Petspiration Foundation
  • Ugly Fish logo
  • Woolworths

We thank all of our partners.

We thank all of our partners for their ongoing commitment to our important work and their passion for supporting Australians living with low vision or blindness to reach their full potential.

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