Conferences

On this page you will find information on upcoming and recordings of past Dog Guide Handlers conferences.

DGHA 2016 National Conference

ON the weekend of 22 and 23 October 2016 Dog Guide Handlers Australia held its second national conference at the Sage hotel in Adelaide.

For the full info including audio of all sessions, please visit our DGHA 2016 National Conference page

First Dog Guide Handlers Australia Conference

A first in Australia! In 2014 on the weekend of 6th and 7th September, Dog Guide Handlers Australia held its first ever conference. Held in Adelaide at the Grand Chifley, the conference was a fantastic success bringing Dog Guide Handlers, their dog guides, instructors and speakers from around Australia together, to participate in a range of workshops and engage in some great networking and peer support activity.


DGHA Conference Group Adelaide 2014
DGHA 2014 Conference Group


During the conference dinner, the inaugural Dog Guide Handlers Australia Judith Killen Golden Harness Award was presented. This award is presented to a person for their outstanding efforts in fostering, representing, promoting, enhancing and protecting the interests of Australians who are blind or vision impaired and who use a dog guide.


Dog Guide Handlers Australia would like to congratulate Rowena Dowling, the first ever recipient of the Judith Killen Golden Harness Award.

Peter Greco from the RPH Adelaide radio show “Focal Point” interviewed Rowena on her receiving the award. Rowena’s interview is about 10 minutes in. To listen go to Focal Point

DGHA Golden Harness Award
DGHA Golden Harness Award

Episode 366 of the Blind Citizens Australia radio show, New Horizons, featured Joyce Jones, an attendee at the DGHA 2014 conference, and Rowena Dowling, speaking on recieving her Golden Harness Award.

to listen go to New Horizons episode 366

Dog Guide Handlers Australia would like to thank Guide Dogs Australia, Seeing Eye dogs Australia, the Royal Society for the Blind, Naturopaws, Blue Print Studios and BM PetSnax (supplying dog treats) for their support of the 2014 Dog Guide Handlers Australia conference.

2014 Conference Recordings

Recordings of the DGHA 2014 Conference are availible. Please use the links below to access the audio. Some files are quite large and might take a few minutes to start.

Day 1 – Saturday 6 September 2014.

  • Workshop 1 After a rollcall we hear from David Foran on Dog Guides and the National Disability Insurance Scheme. Audio length around 110 minutes in MP3 format.
  • Workshop 2 We hear From Paul Adrian, Manager Guide Dog Services – Victoria Guide Dogs, about the history of dog guide training up to the latest Clicker Training methods. Audio length around 75 minutes in MP3 format.
  • Workshop 3 We hear from Harry Van Der Jagt, National Manager Client Services – Seeing Eye Dogs Australia, and some experienced dog guide handlers about the range of equipment used with dog guides. Audio length around 50 minutes in MP3 format.
  • Workshop 4 Dorothy Docherty, Consumer Advisory Representative – Guide Dogs Victoria, and Nadia Mattiazzo – Consumer Advisory Representative – Seeing Eye Dogs Australia, speak about dog guide handlers and schools working together. Audio length around 55 minutes in MP3 format.
  • DGHA 2014 AGM Dog Guide Handlers Australia 2014 Annual General Meeting. Audio length around 30 minutes in MP3 format.

Day 2 – Sunday 7 September 2014.

  • Workshop 5 Beth Critchley, Certified canine natural therapist from Naturopaws, speaks about caring for your dog guide. Audio length around 40 minutes in MP3 format.
  • Workshop 6 Harry van der Jagt, National Manager Client Services SEDA, speaks about the New SEDA kennels and Recent discussions with Melbourne Zoo on Dog Guide Access. Audio length around 50 minutes in MP3 format.
  • Workshop 7 Daisy Holt, cadet Guide Dog Mobility Instructor – Royal Society for the Blind South Australia, speaks about training with other breeds for use as dog guides. Audio length around 30 minutes in MP3 format.
  • Workshop 8 Dog Guide Handlers Australia members, Nadia Mattiazzo, Nicole Damarra and Tracey Cross discuss various issues including – traveling with your dog guide, dog distraction, pet insurance, retiring a dog guide and starting with a new dog guide and tips and tricks. Audio length around 45 minutes in MP3 format.