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September 2023

A Message From Our Chair

For me and my fellow board members our motivation is driven by our pride in Integra
Service Dogs Australia as an organisation and what, together with our staff, volunteers,
partners, and supporters, have accomplished in supporting our Veteran and First Responder

The emotional and truly inspirational audition by Veteran Chris Hodder and his Integra
assistance dog Bella on The Voice reinforced the life changing work Integra does. The
strength and courage displayed by Chris, with the support of Bella, to audition should not be
underestimated. The response of the judges and the live audience to Chris’ story and the
work of Integra was heart-warming and wonderful.
It was also heartwarming to meet with the Prime Minister of Australia, The Hon Anthony
Albanese MP, Minister for Veteran Affairs, The Hon Matt Keogh MP, and nearly 30 other
Parliamentarians who met with our Integra handlers and their Integra dogs in recognition of
International Assistance Dog Week and the important work of our assistance dogs.

Whether you’re the Prime Minister of Australia or one of our valued partners or someone
motivated to raise funds by undertaking challenges like running the Run Melbourne 23
event or trekking the Kokoda Trail we appreciate you and the awareness you raise for
Integra. We appreciate your generous support and financial contributions. Not only do you
motivate us to do more you allow us to continue to support our Veteran and First
Responder community.

I extend my deepest gratitude to every individual and organisation who shares our vision.
Your commitment really does make an enormous difference to the lives and families of
Veterans and First Responders that we support.

I hope you enjoy this edition of our newsletter.
Mark Holmes
Brigadier Mark Holmes AM MVO (Ret'd)
Chairman, Integra Service Dogs Australia

Invictus Games

Integra acknowledges the commitment, courage, and passion of all the international competitors at
the 2023 Invictus Games in Dusseldorf, Germany. We congratulate Integra Handler Karney
Armstrong competing as part of the Australian team. Karney competed in archery, athletics, and
table tennis.
Screen Shot 2023-09-18 at 8.23.18 pm
Karney Armstrong and her gold medal from the 100m final on day one of the Invictus Games. Image: Defence Website

Department of Defence Warrior Games

The 2023 Warrior games hosted by The United States Army Training and Doctrine Command took
place at the Naval Air Station North Island, in San Diego, California in June. First held in 2010,
Warrior Games celebrates the resiliency and dedication of wounded, ill, and injured active duty and
veteran US military service members. We applaud Scott Reynolds on his participation at the games.

Assistance Dogs International (ADI) Conference 2023

Integra is privileged to have taken part in the 2023 ADI Conference, where we are Candidate Member participants and presenters. Our goal is to exchange invaluable insights and best practice
about assistance dog development.
The conference was held on the 10th to 13th of September in Zagreb, Croatia. Alberto Alvarez Campos and Dr Mel Baker both members on the Integra Team addressed the conference on Empowering Paths to Healing: Evaluating PTSD Applicants for Assistance Dogs with an Integrated Risk analysis approach.

International Assistance Dog Week

This International Assistance Dog week we honoured and recognised the incredible assistance dogs that work towards changing the lives of those suffering with mental illness or disability through their unwavering support.

A number of Integra Handlers met with Members of Parliament in Canberra on Thursday 13 August
to shine a spotlight on the incredible support that Integra assistance dogs provide to our Veterans
and First Responders.
Integra handler, Terry Greaves and assistance dog, Nelson, meeting with Members of Parliament including Prime Minister of Australia, The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Voice – Chris Hodder & Bella

Retired Army Veteran Chris Hodder and assistance dog Bella won our hearts at the blind auditions of The Voice Australia singing competition. It was an emotional and inspirational performance. As Chris said, “every cent it takes to train, raise, and place these amazing dogs is worth it if it saves just one Veteran.” While he didn’t progress to the next round Chris raised awareness of the plight of Veterans and the fantastic and life saving work of Integra.

If you missed his audition, it is in episode three of season 12 of The Voice Australia. The full episode can be viewed on 7plus.
Image: The Voice Australia on Seven Network

Foster a Future Assistance Dog

How would you like to foster a future assistance dog?

While these incredible assistance dogs undergo training and await their match with a Veteran or
First Responder battling with PTSD, they need to be cared for in a loving environment.

We’re on the lookout for compassionate foster carers who can provide a temporary home in the ACT Region. Ideally, you will be available to drop off and pick up the dogs from our Phillip Office,
Canberra, Monday to Friday.

If you or someone you know is interested, please email for more
Three black labradors

New Four-Legged Members of the Integra Family

With the extraordinary generosity of your donations and support from our wonderful corporate
partners, Integra has been able to bring the following new dogs into our Advanced Training Program for development as new assistance dogs for veterans and first responders:

Partnerships & Supporters

We appreciate the ongoing support from our partners and supporters.
CEA Technologies
Integra representatives met with representatives from CEA Technologies to say thank you. CEA
Technologies ( is an internationally recognised, world-leading radar and
communication systems supplier based in Canberra and have been supporting Integra’s work for a
number of years.
Quentin & Oran at morning tea hosted by CEA
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)

Fundraisers & Donations

Thank you to the following generous sponsors and donors who through their donations and
fundraising efforts for Integra will assist our Veterans and First Responders suffering from PTSD.
Run Melbourne 2023 – 16 July
A big thank you to the team of runners who entered Run Melbourne 2023 to raise much needed
funds for and awareness of Integra. The team successfully ran 21 km and raised over $2,000 for
Team Integra after completing the Run Melbourne marathon
ClubGRANTS – Club Engadine & Panthers Penrith
ClubGRANTS is one of Australia’s largest grant programs, providing more than $100 million in cash
each year to a variety of worthy causes across NSW.

This quarter Integra has received funding from Club Engadine and Panthers Penrith to help support
our service dog handlers in the Sutherland Shire and Penrith.

Club Engadine presented Integra with a NSW Clubs Grant which will be used to support our
assistance dog handlers in the Sutherland Shire.
Pictured is Integra Volunteer, Erika and ambassadog Bentley who accepted the grant on Integra’s behalf.
Belconnen Soccer Club
The Belconnen Soccer Club, Canberra recently presented Integra with a donation. Thank you for
these much needed funds and your ongoing support.

Upcoming Fundraisers

Kokoda Trek Fundraiser
Simon Smith and his son Anton are taking on the Kokoda trek. A journey of endurance, resilience,
and compassion. Simon and Anton have chosen to embark on this journey to raise money and
awareness for Integra, Support Simon and help make a life-changing difference by donating today.

Scholarships for Children and Grandchildren of Veterans
Applications are now open.

AVCAT scholarships, including the Long Tan Bursary, are tertiary scholarships for the children and grandchildren of Australian ex-serving veterans. Scholarships are $4000–$6000 per year, for up to
three years.

Apply 18 August 2023, Vietnam Veterans Day, and close at midnight AEDT on 31 October 2023.

Applicants must be:
• Enrolled or planning to enrol in a full-time course for one or more academic year’s duration at a university, TAFE, or RTO in 2024
• The child, stepchild, foster child, or grandchild of an Australian ex-serving veteran
• An Australian citizen or permanent resident
• In receipt of, or eligible to receive, a means-tested Commonwealth educational payment – Youth Allowance, ABSTUDY, Austudy or Veterans, Children Education Scheme (VCES) in 2024

The Long Tan Bursary is sponsored by the Australian Government Department of Veterans’ Affairs. View the complete list of AVCAT Scholarship sponsors here.

Find information about scholarships, the application process or scholarship eligibility at

Thank you to all our supporters.

Donations to Integra are tax deductible as approved by the Australian Taxation Office. We direct all
our resourcing into providing the best possible Assistance Dogs to Veterans and First Responders in need.

Your giving is making a difference.

Scan the QR code to donate!

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