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September 2022

Chairman's Message

On behalf of Integra Service Dogs Australia I paid tribute to The Queen’s remarkable life of service by signing a condolence book at Government House Canberra. Her Majesty’s example of service, compassion and devotion is an enduring legacy and gift to us all. The Queen was Patron to over 600 charities and organisations over her lifetime.
Integra remains extremely grateful for our own Joint Patrons His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret'd) and Mrs Hurley as they continue to provide Integra with their patronage.

Integra commenced its operations in 2016 with the objective of establishing one of the highest quality Assistance Dog programs in Australia for Veterans and First Responders
and their families. I’m proud that Integra has successfully developed a strong, quality assured and high-profile brand and program, valued by Commonwealth agencies such as the Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA) and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as well as hundreds of individual Handlers and their families who give testimony to the extraordinary value of well-bred and trained assistance dogs in managing Post-Traumatic Stress Injury (PTSI).
Our goal over the next 3 years is to build on the solid foundation of our Program, building scalability and repeatable rigour into all facets of our operations to meet the significant and growing demand for our Assistance Dog services across Australia, without compromising on the quality of Integra’s service.
To ensure we continue to build on our great service delivery Integra has achieved a number of key outcomes over the last quarter, which include:
  • The appointment of Alberto Alvarez-Campos as Integra’s Chief Operating Officer. (there is more about Alberto in the newsletter)
  • Implementation of what we believe to be an industry-leading digital platform which allows Integra to manage point-in-time records, projects, and tasks to streamline reporting and administrative functions relevant to an Assistance Dog service practice.
  • Integra's application as a Candidate member of Assistance Dogs International (ADI) is currently being considered by the ADI Oceania Committee. Once supported, this membership will provide Integra with support and access to ADI’s global IP, Online Learning Centre, Training and Development resources, mentoring and membership support.
Once again, I thank all who have been involved in helping Integra. As a small organisation we rely on the community and are grateful for all donations that assist us to train an Assistance Dog that will go on to help a Veteran or First Responder and their families lead a better quality of life.
Mark Holmes
Brigadier Mark Holmes AM MVO (Ret'd)
Chairman, Integra Service Dogs Australia

Welcome Alberto Alvarez-Campos!

Integra welcomes Alberto Alvarez-Campos to the Integra Team as its Chief Operating Officer.
Alberto brings vast experience to Integra with more than 30 years of Instructor training and
leadership in the national and international guide and assistance dog community. He has joined
the team to lead our national operations and support for veterans and first responders. Alberto’s
experience will assist in future-proofing Integra’s operations.

New Four-Legged Members of the Integra Family

Meet the new members of our Integra family. These Assistance Dogs have all been placed with First Responder and Veteran handlers in the past three months after completing their training. We welcome them and thank them for the amazing job Nando, Watson and Miley are all doing!
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Watson (pictured with Handler's son)

Grant Edward's World Record Attempt for FearLess

In conjunction with National PTSD Awareness Day on 27 June 2022, formerly Australia’s
strongest man, Integra and FearLess Ambassador, Grant Edwards attempted to break the
Guinness World Record for fastest time to pull a 10 tonne fire engine 50m in order to raise
awareness for PTSD as well as funds for FearLess Australia & New Zealand. Dozens gathered
at Government House, on Tuesday 28 June, a cold Canberra morning in support including
some Integra Assistance Dogs and their Veteran and First Responder handlers.

Before the formalities, the road was surveyed and the fire engine was weighed. And then His
Excellency The Governor General David John Hurley AC DSC (Ret’d), and FearLess CEO Alex Gerrick all spoke before the crowd walked down to the gates
of Government House to watch Grant.

Despite not achieving the record, it was an inspiring attempt and Grant showed great strength
and determination. Raising both awareness and funds for FearLess Australia & New Zealand
which will go towards assisting the growing number of those suffering with the consequences of
living with PTSD.

Thank you to everyone involved and for the tremendous amount of support during this
Grant Edward's during his World Record Attempt


We welcome opportunities to partner with government organisations, business, and the
community sectors to support Integra to expand our services to those who will benefit
from an Integra Assistance Dog.

Reach out today to discuss how you can show your support.

Phone: 1800-003-647 (1800-00DOGS)

Integra Joins Assistance Dogs International Candidacy Program in September 2022

Integra has been working with Assistance Dogs International (ADI) to develop and submit an application for entry to the ADI Candidacy Program. The ADI Candidacy Program will provide Integra with access to professional guidance, resources and international best practice and standards to help Integra to continue to review and strengthen the design and quality of our programs and support service for Veterans and First Responder Handlers. The Candidacy Program enables applicants to develop their assistance dog programs to meet ADI Standards over a 2-5 year period and then apply for independent assessment to become a fully accredited member of ADI.

Integra attends Assistance Dogs International 2022 Conference

Integra was invited to attend the recent ADI Conference in San Francisco from the 18th to the 21st of September 2022. The Conference presented international best practice approaches to assistance dog program delivery and service support for Handlers and provided Integra with the opportunity to see firsthand the standards and program delivery of some of the outstanding assistance dog programs operating in the United States and Canada. This exposure and experience will contribute to the further development of Integra's PTSD assistance dog program.

Ian Schumacher rides the Hunt 1000 for Integra

You will know Ian from his previous fundraising ride for Integra when, in 2021, he and his brother Brian crossed Australia from Fremantle to Sydney over 6 weeks totalling over 4,600 kms. Between them they raised over $130,000 for Integra.

This year Ian is challenging himself to ride the Hunt 1000.

Ian will journey 1,000kms through the rooftop of Australia along backcountry trails, across exposed high plains, through snow gum woodlands and among tall native forests. Ian along with the other riders will be pedalling from Melbourne to Canberra and aiming for a grand finish, rather than a grand depart, on Saturday the 3rd of December 2022 in Canberra.

An unsupported ride where the trail conditions and the elevation profile are about as varied as the alpine weather can be. While Ian challenges his endurance and inner strength, he challenges everyone to donate to Integra.

“This year I’m riding for our dedicated first responders, to build awareness in the vital work of Integra Service Dogs Australia and raise much needed funds” – Ian Schumacher.

Ian works in the health industry in the Hunter Valley and has family members who are first responders. He knows firsthand the toll on our First Responders and sees this as a way to give back and say thank you.

Ian is seeking to raise funds, through Corporate Sponsorship and public donations for Integra Service Dogs Australia and raise awareness of the role of quality assistance dogs working alongside those who serve our community and country.

“Integra’s work is important and a logical long-term investment in mental health and support. I am quietly confident that over time the evidence will accumulate that these wonderful animals do save lives” – Ian Schumacher.

Ian hopes to raise $35,000. $35,000 will allow Integra to provide a highly trained Labrador assistance dog to a First Responder suffering from PTSD.
Ian 2

Scan the QR code below to sponsor Ian's ride!

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Government House Open Day - November 12th

The Government House Open Day is on Saturday, November 12th. The day goes from 10am-2pm and entry is free. There will be an Integra tent set up and some of our Assistance Dogs and their handlers will be attending. We hope to see you there!

Click here for more information.
gg open day

Thank you to all our supporters

A special thanks to Dingo, KPMG Canberra and QinetiQ for hosting and participating in the
following events.

Dingo Partnership and RUOk Day – Thursday 8th of September 2022 Integra Ambassador
Grant Edwards and his partner, Lordy and Integra CEO, Ben Johnson attended Dingo’s
Brisbane Offices for a presentation to Integra as part of Integra’s ongoing partnership with
Dingo. The event was a highly effective discussion with Dingo’s team and culminated in a
$10,000 cheque presentation from Dingo as part of its ongoing financial commitment to and
support for Integra.
Dingo presents a cheque to Integra
KPMG Canberra Trivia Night – KPMG Canberra hosted a trivia night to raise funds for Integra.
Integra CEO Ben Johnson speaks at KPMG Trivia Night
QinetiQ City to Surf – On Sunday 14 August a team from QinetiQ participated in the 2022 City
to Surf raising over $5,000 for Integra.
Team from QinetiQ before and after the City2Surf

Thank you to all our supporters.

You can make donations to Integra Service Dogs Australia with confidence knowing that Integra is a registered charity, approved by the Australian Charities & Not For Profit Commission.

Donations to Integra are tax deductible as approved by the Australian Taxation Office. We direct all of our resourcing into providing the best possible service dogs to veterans and first responders in need.

Scan the QR code to donate!

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