The Voice of our Clients.

Improving our services by building stronger connections with our clients.
A person using their white cane at the train station while being guided by a train station attendant.

History of the Regional Client Advisory Committee

Improving service and building connections.

To help improve our services and build a stronger connection with the blindness and low vision community, we launched the new Regional Advisory Committee initiative in 2019.

Two groups formed—with eight clients from regional areas and nine clients from metropolitan areas—to meet each month for consultation.

The meetings supported our goal of giving the people who access our services a voice, to inform what we do here at Guide Dogs and ensure we create positive outcomes for people with low vision and blindness. Common agenda items included:

  • communication
  • Guide Dogs’ purpose statement and how we “bring it to life”
  • ideas for future services
  • technology
  • and many more.

The initiative was under review from September until December, with an external consultant completing individual interviews, surveys and group discussions.

A report outlining a list of recommendations was provided to the Executive and Board for final decision making on the future of the Committees.

We would like to thank the members who participated in the initial pilot phase of the Regional Advisory Committee: Bronwyn Drew, Mark Scofield, Carol Thorndike, Scott Grimley, Harrison Kirkwood, Neil McKay, Bruce McCallister, Bernadette Packer, Steve Fox, Elizabeth Wheeler, Annmaree Yee, Gabrielle Ringger, Janine Evans, Alan Hall, Jatin Dhanji, James Bevan and Naomi Bolter.

Our new Customer Advisory Panel (CAP)

Established by our Client Services team.

Our new Customer Advisory Panel (CAP) has now been formed with 10 members who have met to establish this service in August 2020.

These members are:

  • Neil Mackay (Chair),
  • Steve Fox,
  • Bruce McCallister,
  • Melinda Savvides,
  • Patrick Slattery,
  • Sarah Hirst,
  • Mark Scofield,
  • Harrison Kirkwood,
  • James Bevan and
  • Janine Evans.

The purpose of the CAP is to ensure Guide Dogs NSW/ACT have meaningful client input into strategic and operational plans as well as to build strong connections with local communities.

Two people on either side of a black Autism Assistance Dog. The people are kneeling down next to the dog and the photo is taken outside on grass. The dog is wearing an Autism Assistance Dog coat and everyone is looking at the camera.

The Panel will bring important client perspectives to our planning and continuous improvement work, playing a key role in reviewing existing services, and advising on the co-design of potential new services.

The CAP has been established following a review of the previous Regional Advisory Committees, undertaken late last year. The review led to 14 recommendations including combining existing country and metropolitan Regional Advisory Committees to better facilitate the exchange of views across regions and streamline operational processes and costs.

Members of the CAP come from a range of backgrounds, age groups and locations, and bring a variety of experiences and perspectives. The Panel members have experience with a range of approaches to orientation and mobility, including Guide Dogs, White Canes and Assistive Technology use. They bring a range of experiences with different sources of funding such as NDIS, My Aged Care and donor funding.

One of the first tasks of the Panel is to develop a program for the next twelve months. A key priority will be to find creative ways for staff to engage with Panel members and build mutual understanding of how each contributes to our organisation’s continuous improvement.

Please contact Linzi Coyle (Customer Service Manager) for more information on 02 9195 6121.

How to provide feedback

Your feedback is important.

We collate feedback throughout the year in various ways as well as conducting our monthly Customer Advisory Panel meetings. If you would like to provide feedback you can do so by:

  • Completing our Monthly NPS Survey after you have received services from Guide Dogs NSW/ACT. If you have not received this survey, you can call our Customer Service team to update your details to receive the survey.
  • Reach out to our Feedback Officer via email or call 0466306827
  • Be a part of Client Consultations which are scheduled for mid 2021.
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