Posted in: Media Release
Guide Dogs Victoria (GDV) has marked the project commencement of the redevelopment of its Kew headquarters into the first fully accessible sensory campus in the world.
Celebrated with a turning of the sod event, in attendance was Mr Tim Pallas MP, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development and Minister for Industrial Relations, The Hon. Luke Donnellan MP, Minister for Child Protection and Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers, and GDV CEO Karen Hayes.
Through the ongoing fundraising efforts by the Victorian community, benefactors and government grants, GDV will deliver an inclusive space for those with low vision or blindness. All members of the GDV community and the public will be able to independently navigate the campus using a range of senses such as smell, sound and texture, supported by innovative technology.
The transformation of GDV’s Kew campus will also set the not-for-profit on its journey to independence by delivering vital new income streams via a commercial hub which includes a veterinary centre, dog day boarding facility and café.
“It’s an exciting and crucial moment for us as we look to revolutionise the way we provide support to Clients in the changing landscape of the National Disability Insurance Scheme,” said Guide Dogs Victoria CEO Karen Hayes.
“By incorporating a commercial hub in the sensory campus we will provide income and job opportunities for our Clients and introduce diversity and sustainability into our revenue streams, therefore future proofing the important work we do.
“Philanthropic funding will still continue to be vital for Guide Dogs Victoria, as our position is to always provide our clients with services whether or not they have a funding package through NDIS or otherwise.
“There is currently nothing like our sensory campus globally and we are very proud to be delivering a ‘world-first’ for our Clients here. Centred around promoting the ability of every person, we want the campus to be a beacon of hope for those with low vision or blindness where they can feel connected in their communities, as well as become equipped to achieve their life goals.”
The new sensory campus will be constructed in several phases and is expected to be completed by mid-2022. As funds are still required for the completion of the sensory campus, Victorians can still get involved by donating here.