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Who we are.

Learn more about Guide Dogs SA/NT and meet the people taking the lead.
Three people sitting and smiling at the camera.

Our reason for being.

“We use our expertise in dogs and vision to promote independence, participation, inclusion and wellbeing for people with low vision, blindness or specialised support needs.”

Our history

For more than 65 years, Guide Dogs SA/NT has enabled a lifetime of independence, participation, inclusion and wellbeing for people with low vision or blindness or specialised support needs.

The Guide Dogs SA Association was started by the Adelaide and Unley Apex Groups in 1957. Five years later, South Australia partnered with Northern Territory to become Guide Dogs SA/NT. The first qualified Guide Dog in South Australia was ‘Faye’, who was placed in Brighton in 1957.

From being the first provider of Guide Dogs in South Australia, we have a long history of innovation and finding solutions that will have the biggest, most positive impact for people. This pursuit has taken us far beyond our iconic Guide Dogs.

We were the first Guide Dogs team to be trained in using ‘sonic spectacles’. Guide Dogs SA/NT was involved in creating a revolutionary mobile educational display unit, as well as Australia’s first interactive vision and hearing education centre. In 2010, we pioneered the provision of Autism Assistance Dogs.

We have a strong and long-standing reputation for doing what’s right. That’s why Guide Dogs has been voted Australia’s Most Trusted Charity on seven occasions.

Close up of a Yellow labrador in harness.

Our patrons

Her Excellency the Honourable Frances Adamson AC, Governor of South Australia, and His Honour Professor the Honourable Hugh Heggie PSM, Administrator of the Northern Territory, graciously accepted the roles of Patron, Guide Dogs SA and Patron, Guide Dogs NT.

Her Excellency the Honourable Frances Adamson AC was sworn in as Governor of South Australia in October, 2021. Her Excellency was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) in June, 2021, for eminent service to public administration through the advancement of Australia’s diplomatic, trade and cultural interests.

His Honour Professor the Honourable Hugh Heggie PSM was sworn in as the 23rd Administrator of the Northern Territory in February 2023. His Honour was the Chief Health Officer and Executive Director of Public Health and Clinical Excellence in the Northern Territory, and an Executive Member of the Northern Territory Health Leadership Committee, as well as serving on numerous Boards, Committees and Councils in the Northern Territory and nationally. His Honour was awarded the Public Service Medal (PSM) in January 2021 for outstanding public service to community health in the Northern Territory, and the Australian Humanitarian Overseas Medal in 2021.

Our memberships

Guide Dogs SA/NT operates at all times according to the rules and regulations of the relevant quality and accreditation bodies, with certification including:

  • International Guide Dog Federation accreditation
  • Registered NDIS and My Aged Care provider
  • ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System certification
  • Assistance Dogs International accreditation
A yellow labrador dog walking outside on grass with its handler. The handler is holding the lead while the dog is looking up at the handler.

Governance

This talented team brings a broad range of knowledge and experience to Guide Dogs.

A close up of a black labrador dogs face who is looking straight at the camera.

Dig deep for Guide Dogs on 24 April

Don't miss the chance to double your generosity this Guide Dog Day