See Differently OPK9 Graduation – 10 Years of impact for unique Assistance Dog Program. 

Trainers & Therapists

Trainers & Therapists

See Differently OPK9 Graduation – 10 Years of impact for unique Assistance Dog Program. 


Ten years ago, with expertise in running a successful guide dog program, See Differently with the Royal Society for the Blind piloted an assistance dog program for veterans, and there’s been no looking back! 


a close up of a yellow dog


At today’s moving See Differently OPK9 Graduation Ceremony, 7 veterans will be celebrated after successfully graduating from the See Differently Program in the last year. In the graduating class are veterans who have been in the program for many years, as well as veterans just starting their journey with an assistance dog.  


In its 10 years, OPK9 has partnered 62 veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder with an assistance dog, expertly trained to respond to the cues and needs of each individual.  


See Differently OPK9 was a pioneer program in the assistance dog space when it launched in 2014 and remains a leader in the industry, with international accreditation and evidence-based outcomes for veterans. 

More than just a ‘companion’ dog – See Differently OPK9 assistance dogs are highly trained to alleviate physical and mental symptoms experienced by veterans with PTSD who have paid a heavy price for their service. 


Working with MESHA and the University of Adelaide, the research is clear – the OPK9 program is working, with participants demonstrating significant health and wellbeing benefits. These benefits include an increase in social and family functioning, and decreases in alcohol use, depression and anxiety and decrease in meeting the criteria for PTSD. 


Joining the graduates at the Repat Health District by their family, friends, volunteers who helped raise the dogs, and invited guests, including family and friends of the graduates and corporate supporters. 

See Differently Executive Director, Damian Papps said, “OPK9 is all about quality individual outcomes, and through a dedicated team of See Differently volunteers and expert trainers, we’re preparing the highest quality dogs for service as life-changing assistance dogs”. Mr Papps said. 


“As we celebrate this 10-year milestone, we’re very much looking to the future – to expanding our internationally accredited program, to raise and train more dogs and change the lives of more veterans’ and communities.” Mr Papps said. 


See Differently OPK9 is funded by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, as well as corporate partners, including Masonic Charities, Daronmont and the Defence Teaming Centre, community and individual donors.