QinetiQ helps unite a veteran and assistance dog through Integra Service Dogs Australia
Through QinetiQ’s employee-led Corporate and Social Responsibility (CSR) committee, funds were raised in support of Integra Service Dogs Australia (ISDA) to match an assistance dog with one of our nation’s ex-serving Defence personnel.
Over a 3-month period, a range of fundraising activities were organised around the country to raise awareness of the important work that ISDA conduct, as well as to contribute towards purchasing a reclassified dog from Guide Dogs Victoria, and the training required for her to become an assistance dog for a veteran in need.
CEO of ISDA, Ben Johnson said that support from companies like QinetiQ allows ISDA to help veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) by enriching their lives through highly trained canine guardians.
“Our mission is to support people suffering from PTSD and other mental health-related illnesses, as a result of trauma during service and we do this by providing highly trained Service Dogs that provide security, assistance and friendship.
“QinetiQ’s CSR Committee, and the generosity of QinetiQ employees from around Australia, has helped to unite Navy Veteran, Donna with highly-trained assistance dog, Ebony.”
Donna joined the Navy as an apprentice in 1986 at age 17. She served primarily at HMAS Albatross on various squadrons including 723 SQN and mostly 816 SQN working on Seahawk helicopters. Donna also served on HMAS Sydney for two years and then on various projects in Canberra and Melbourne. Following an accident in 2003, Donna was discharged. She then worked for six years for Civil Aviation Safety Authority as an airworthiness inspector until she could no longer continue due to her medical condition.
Early in 2018, Donna made contact with ISDA and was accepted into their program. In July, ISDA introduced Donna to Ebony, a beautiful black female Labrador, who is being trained as her assistance dog. Ebony has settled easily into Donna’s home and routine and has been making excellent progress through her formal training over recent months and is on track to undertake a Public Access Test (PAT) shortly.
QinetiQ Australia Managing Director, Greg Barsby said that it is rewarding to see the company’s CSR activities have such a direct and meaningful impact on a Veteran’s life.
“ISDA is an organisation that assists Veterans who are struggling to adjust after their years of service, maximising the benefit gained from a ‘best friend’ like Ebony.
“As a Defence business, QinetiQ actively supports Veterans and we channel much of our CSR Committee fundraising efforts to charities and non-profits that support veterans. It’s great to hear the real and tangible results coming out of our company’s enormous fundraising efforts.”
QinetiQ is committed to being a socially responsible corporate citizen and to having a meaningful and positive impact on the lives of its people, customers and local communities. QinetiQ has long-standing corporate partnerships with Legacy Australia and the Australian War Memorial and regularly gives back to service members and their families through corporate contributions, employee volunteer efforts and fundraising activities.
Read more of Donna and Ebony’s story here.
For further information, please contact: Sally Maconochie, Marketing & Communications Manager, QinetiQ in Australia: +61 (0) 478 149 412, sdmaconochie@QinetiQ.com.au
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