We are delighted to share that two members of our community have been recognised in recent Australia Day honours.
Vice president of DeafBlind Australia’s national board Dr David Squirrell has been recognised with an OAM in recognition of his service to people with disabilities in the community. With 13 degrees and an extensive career in medicine, including obstetrics, surgery, trauma and regional health, Dr Squirrell’s broad medical career was shortened by a genetic vision loss condition.
Always an advocate and fighter against injustice, Dr Squirrell, has spent the past 15 years advocating for equal access for people with disabilities, working with government departments and representing the blind and deaf blind community on many boards. Some highlights include 10 years as President of Blind Citizens Australia, working with the SA Electoral Commission on disability accessibility and voting, working with the state government on web design and accessibility and working with Adelaide Airport on accessibility standards for people with a disability.
Dr Squirrell said he would not have been able to achieve as much in his advocacy work without having See Differently guide dog Viking by his side.
“Being a fighter is in my DNA. It’s been very rewarding to have a guide dog and it’s given me the independence to live life and go places. I really believe in standing up for the most vulnerable in society and doing what you can to make this world a better place.”
A passion for helping veterans
We were also extremely happy to see Bill Bates and the team at Operation Unity acknowledged with a Service to Community Award at the City of Port Adelaide Enfield 2024 Australia Day Awards. Operation Unity is a group of veterans who support other veterans focused on wellbeing.
The Operation Unity team has been a long and generous supporter of our OPK9 Program, which provides veterans with PTSD with highly trained assistance dogs. They are a fantastic part of our community.
Congratulations to Dr David Squirrell and Operation Unity on these incredible achievements.