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Queen’s Birthday Honours for guide dog champion

Glengowrie resident Claire Donovan has been awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

RetireAustralia Glengowrie Retirement Village Claire Donovan OAM
Claire Donovan and Hero

The 84 year-old has earned the accolade for service to people who are vision-impaired, after an astonishing 16-year stint working with Guide Dogs SA/NT in which she has raised or trained 78 guide dogs and counting.

“I feel very humbled that I’ve been given this award for something I love doing,” Claire said.

“During the time I have them, I teach them various things – walking up and down the stairs, going on escalators, walking down the street, and going to sporting events.”

While Claire’s focus is on improving the lives of people with vision impairments, as a devoted animal lover, she also has a soft spot for all the dogs she has worked with.

“To do what I do with them, and to see them giving somebody else a better life, is worth it for me,” she said.

“When you’re raising guide dogs, you know it’s not your dog, but they’ve all come into my home and my heart, and I love them.”

“I feel very privileged that I’m trusted to look after the dogs.”

Claire moved to Glengowrie Retirement Village 16 months ago, having previously lived just four streets away.

“Being here and having opportunities to do all the things that we can do means nobody here could be lonely,” she said.

“It’s wonderful here and I love the life.”

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