Late last year, and as part of CommBank’s activities to celebrate International Day of People with Disability, we raised $35,000 to support and train a guide dog from Guide Dogs Australia.
Our puppy is now 6 months old and has settled into life with his volunteer puppy raiser family which includes Grace, Andrew and their children. The family has described him as “goofy, loveable, excitable, attention loving and clumsy”.
He has quickly made himself feel at home with the family. His days are spent exploring their back garden and playing games of tug-o-war with the kids. At night he can be found asleep with his favourite toy (a teddy bear) under his bed instead of on it.
The family regularly take him for walks to so he can begin to encounter all the sights, sounds and smells of the world. His favourite place to visit is the nearby dog park where he can run and explore.
He has also started attending Puppy Preschool at the Guide Dog Centre where he is beginning to learn some basic commands. He is proving to be a fast learner and has already mastered ‘sit’, ‘wait’ and ‘lie down.’
In the coming months, he will continue to participate in pre-training activities in the community preparing him for his final graduation exams. Upon graduation a Guide Dog will be able to respond to 25 different core commands which helps a Guide Dog provide safety, freedom and independence to a person who are blind or vision impaired.
Every hour of every day, an Australian learns that they will lose their sight. Nine of these people will eventually go blind. By 2020, more than 1.1million people will be blind or vision impaired. Guide Dogs Australia provide services to children, teenagers and adults who are blind and vision impaired. With minimal government funding, Guide Dogs Australia is reliant on funding from organisations and their employees like Commonwealth Bank. Visit www.guidedogsaustralia.com.au.
Diversity and Inclusion at CommBank
CommBank’s approach to diversity and inclusion is an integral part of our culture, values and the way we do business. The aim of our strategy is to leverage the unique backgrounds, perspectives and experiences of our people, by providing everyone with the opportunity for development in an inclusive workplace. At CommBank, each diversity area is sponsored and actively supported by Executive Committee members, who play a hands on role in championing our employee networks.
Enable − our Disability Employee Network – is committed to creating an inclusive workplace for everyone, especially those with a disability. The 700+ members raise awareness of our disability strategy and promote disability confidence across the Group; activities include the annual AccessAbility Expo and awareness and fundraising events during International Day for People with Disability.
For more information, read our Accessibility & Inclusion Plan, which outlines our commitment to creating a more inclusive organisation.