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March 2023

Chairman's Message

Hello Everyone,

The whole Integra Service Dogs Australia Team have the current Report from the Royal Commission in Defence and Veteran Suicide and the extremely challenging information contained within it, firmly in our minds when we develop our dogs and support to veterans with Integra’s high-quality adjunct therapy of Psychiatric Assistance Dog program. What is also clear to us is that the same personal drivers to serve our community, sometimes to breaking point, are common amongst our First Responder clients as well.

So we know there is a lot to do, and its only March, and we need your help in spreading the word that the power of a high quality Assistance Dog can save lives, and in your giving of a donation to Integra.
We have hit the ground running in 2023, continuing our momentum from last year as we continue to build on our great service delivery and support to our veteran and first responder clients.

Integra has achieved several key outcomes already this year, which include:
  • Appointing Richard Lord as our National Relationship Manager,
  • Appointing Tiffany Penney as a Canberra based trainer,
  • Increasing our capacity in Queensland, and,
  • Building an important partnership with Pet Culture.
More on these changes are addressed in the newsletter. It is a testament to our small yet hard working team as they keep achieving, delivering, and expanding.

We are proud to supply assistance dogs for the Psychiatric Assistance Dog Program (The Program) under contractual arrangements with DVA. The Program has demonstrated its success through lived experiences and anecdotally in the reduction in medication, hospitalisation, and personal costs.

We still have strong demand for our assistance dogs from other sectors of the community, especially our First Responders and many veterans who are not eligible for support from DVA. Integra, through its not-for-profit charity work, provides support for these First Responders and veterans. Our clients tell us and we have witnessed improvement in quality of life, mental health, and wellbeing in First Responders.

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 First Responder, veterans and their families lead a better quality of life. We can
only continue to provide this service with your generous ongoing donations and financial support.
Mark Holmes
Brigadier Mark Holmes AM MVO (Ret'd)
Chairman, Integra Service Dogs Australia

Welcome Richard Lord!

Integra welcomes Richard Lord to the Integra Team as its National Relationship Manager.

Prior to joining Integra Richard had been at the helm of Assistance Dogs Australia (ADA) for over 17
years. During this time he has achieved a high standard of excellence and awareness for the charity. For his work at ADA Richard received the NSW Premiers Achievement award.

Richard holds a Master of Business Administration from the Australian Graduate School of
Management, a Master of Education from the University of Technology Sydney and a Graduate
Diploma in Special Education from Sydney University. He was one of the members of the inaugural
Sydney Leadership program.

Richard is the Past President of Assistance Dogs International (ADI) where he was on the board for
16 years, the last 9 as chair. He was also the founder and chair of Assistance Dogs International
Oceania Region.

Richard also sits on the boards Teachers TV and My First School, a charity established to promote
education to young women in Northern Pakistan. Richard has previously sat on the boards of
Indigenous Festivals Australia, the NSW Government Ministerial Aged Care Advisory Board, the NSW Ecumenical Churches Housing Board, and the Sydney Archdiocese Welfare Committee.

Welcome Tiffany Penney!

Integra is excited to announce that Tiffany Penney has joined our team in March 2023 as a full time
Assistance Dog Trainer based in Canberra. Tiffany brings great sector experience to Integra and will help us to develop additional quality dogs in advanced training for our Handler clients across
Australia. Welcome on-board Tiffany!

New Four-Legged Members of the Integra Family

During the last quarter, due to the ongoing extraordinary financial support of our generous donors and partners, Integra was able to develop, match and place into training the following Labrador assistance dogs:

Violet, Oran, Rubble and Tatum
Violet - certified image (1)
Rubble - Intake (1)

Queensland Service Presence

Integra has been focused on building our service capability in south-east Queensland over the past
quarter to ensure that we are strongly positioned to support increasing demand for our services
from Veteran and First Responder handler clients in the Greater Brisbane and South East
Queensland Regions. As part of this shift and expansion in geographic service, coverage and client focus, Integra Chief Operations Officer (Alberto) has also relocated from Sydney to be permanently based in Brisbane. We are currently building new partnerships with other sponsors and corporate partners in Queensland. We expect to be recruiting new Trainers and Instructors to support our expanded operations in Queensland over the next 12 to 24 months in response to strong demand for our assistance dog programs.

War Animals Service

On Sunday 26 February the Shrine of Remembrance conducted a dedicated Last Post Service
commemorating the role of animals in defence to reflect National Day for War Animals on February

A special thanks to our Integra handlers and their assistance dogs who represented Integra and were involved in the special service.
Photo: Susan Gordon Brown

Contract with RAAF WWD Program

Integra is pleased to announce that it has signed a new multi-year Welfare Working Dog agreement with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) to supply and train Labrador dogs to work with, and support, chaplains in their day-to-day role supporting RAAF members.

Both Integra and the RAAF are excited to continue facilitating the valuable contribution that the dogs make to RAAF life, as it has been observed that they have a natural tendency to improve morale.

The Labradors are socialised and trained to work in office settings and urban environments and stay with their partnered chaplain, travelling with them to base each day and engaging with RAAF members.
Workplace Welfare Dog: Sydney


Integra is proud to announce a partnership with Aussie brand and provider of all things pets,

PetCulture are working alongside us to support our existing and future handlers and their service
dogs. With a panel of experts, PetCulture provides the highest value and quality products and services for all things pet related. Including food, toys as well as professional vet advice.
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)

Rod and Kustom Krooze

The Australia Day long weekend highlighted the 33rd annual Canberra Rod and Kustom Krooze. One of the most popular rod runs on the east coast, the CRAKK run this year attracted nearly two
hundred of the country's best hot rods, customs and ‘chrome bumper” vehicles to Canberra.

On Saturday the 28th, the cars cruised to the Show’n’Shine display at Queanbeyan Park, Queanbeyan, NSW where entry was by donation with all money raised going to Integra Service Dogs Australia.

According to this year's coordinator, Danny Fort, “The purpose of the Show’n’Shine is to display our cars for the public; they can talk to the owners and have a look at the huge variety of individual body styling and creative paint. The show this year covers three classifications under the Australian Street Rod Federation umbrella – Pre-1948, Pre-1966, and the newest classification, Pre-1978”.
Media 5-33B1E247-A18E-43FB-BDF6-CC05B8F3EB0E

The Canberra Day Appeal

The Canberra Day Appeal is the capital region’s largest fundraising drive, hosted by Hands Across Canberra. The Appeal supports over 300 local charities and community organisations and the tens of thousands of people they work with. This year Integra was part of over 100 local charities involved. The aim of the Appeal was to raise $1million for our community members who need it most.

The Canberra Day Appeal culminated in the Hands Up for Canberra Giving Day on March 8, where the entire Canberra community was asked to give generously in a 48-hour donation drive.

The Campaign matched funding meant our first $5,000 raised was matched making contributions go further! Overall Integra raised over $12,000 which included the matched first $5,000 by Hands Across Canberra.

Bundeena RSL Sub Branch

A special thanks to Bundeena RSL Sub Branch that recently donated $9,999.

Bundeena is the idyllic suburb bounded by the Royal National Park and the Port Hacking River south of Sydney.

Hunter Veterans News

Integra was showcased in the latest edition of the Hunter Valley News.

Any Veterans who would like to receive the Hunter Veterans News directly please email your email
address to the editor Ian Bell at

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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