Volunteer Week 2024 - Celebrating the heart of See Differently

Trainers & Therapists

Trainers & Therapists

There was plenty to celebrate at See Differently’s Volunteer Celebration Day where one special volunteer was awarded for 20 years of giving back.

Image: David, smiling, holding a small cream Labrador puppy ‘Buffy’ who is kissing his face.


More than 150 people joined in the fun at See Differently’s Gilles Plains campus, with a pizza lunch, live music, raffles and an award presentation for individuals who have achieved service milestones. See Differently’s first-ever puppy volunteer, David Heaney, was a standout award recipient, acknowledged for 20 years of volunteer service with the Guide and Assistance Dog program.

David started volunteering with See Differently when he retired from work and was seeking a new, rewarding, pursuit. Now aged 83, he’s raised five See Differently puppies full-time, as well as taking care of many more puppies for short-term stays, each one he notes, “with a completely different in personality!”.

The best part about volunteering according to David;

“It’s so fulfilling and is a great way to stay busy and active; I’m always walking”.

“The bond you have with the dog is amazing, but when you see them graduating with their handler, it’s just so wonderful”. David said.

David is a regular at puppy training sessions, participating in dog distraction classes and transport training sessions with the See Differently puppy team and other volunteers. For David, the dogs are also a great motivator to get out and about and exercise more too.

Being part of the See Differently community is a rewarding aspect of volunteering for David, and he’s looking forward to helping raise more future life-changers!

Image: David holding a black Labrador puppy ‘Yardley’, the first puppy he raised as a See Differently volunteer.


Volunteers, like David are at the heart of See Differently – our successful dogs’ program has gone from strength to strength because of the large community of hardworking and caring volunteers who work with us.

This incredible cohort of volunteers care for, raise, and train our dogs to highest quality, producing guide and assistance dogs for South Australians who are blind or vision impaired, or veterans with PTSD.

If you’d like to join a community of amazing and welcoming volunteers, get in touch with our friendly team on 1300 944 306 or click here to register your interest.