I am perhaps a little prone to sentimentality and I am a lifelong animal lover. I believe that if we can live happy, healthy lives without hurting others, why wouldn’t we!
I am truly proud to be part of the Smart Pups team, a team that shows so much compassionate and dedicated in helping children with special needs and their families. I couldn’t think of a more rewarding job.
I changed breeds and bought my first Golden Retriever in 1980 and have bred, showed and trialled Golden Retrievers for the past 30 years. From my first Golden, I went on to raise Show Champions and Obedience winners as well as many litters of pups.
In 2000, I set up my own business as a Dog Behaviourist, doing ‘in home’ training for problem dogs, as well as running a successful puppy preschool and adolescence dog group training class. My clients mainly came from recommendations from local veterinarians and dog training schools.
I was asked by a client to help train a dog for a child in a wheelchair with various disabilities. Seeing the difference an assistance dog made to the independence of this child, I was on a mission to train more assistance dogs!
To learn as much as I could about training assistance dogs for children, I went to the USA to join 4Paws4Ability and worked a 6 month internship. Seeing for myself the amazing success of dogs helping children with disabilities, I was convinced the internship was well worth it to have this knowledge and train these dogs back in Australia.
Smart Pups was launched in 2011.
After completing a Diploma in Business Administration, I have worked in Office Administration for over 25 years. I was fortunate to join Smartpups in 2015 as Office Manager, and have never worked in such a rewarding job as Smart Pups.
These adorable, puppies arrive to commence our training programme at 8 weeks of age, and then go on the be the most amazing support, and loving companion in part of a very special child’s life, it’s indescribable and life changing!
It’s an honour to be part of these family’s inspirational journey, and to work with such a wonderful, passionate team at Smartpups is not a job, it’s a privilege!
I have over 18 years of experience managing a not-for-profit community based Outside School Hours Care (O.S.H.C) in Townsville (North QLD), I have a comprehensive skill set and hands-on understanding of children and families diverse needs. My passion and experience have been working with primary school-aged children with additional needs such as ASD, ADHD, physical disabilities, down syndrome, and hearing impairment. Over the last few years, I incorporated my love of animals into the O.S.H.C philosophy so that dogs were embedded in innovative programs for children. At the end of 2020 I resigned from my O.S.H.C role to embark on a new adventure into the animal industry. I finished my Certificate II in Animal Studies and completed my practical placement as a wildlife carer at the Billabong Sanctuary. I also enjoyed volunteering at the Townsville Canine Obedience Club and loved watching and assisting the instructors during classes; this prompted me to enrol in NDTF Certificate III in Dog Behaviour and Training.
Smart Pups had been on my list of dream jobs since I decided to embark on my new journey into the animal industry. Smart Pups offer a profound effect on children’s everyday lives with special needs and their families, and I am grateful and excited for this new opportunity as a Cadet Trainer on the beautiful Sunshine Coast.
After years of working in the corporate sector and raising a family, I decided I needed a change. I heard ‘follow your passion’ and ‘do what you love’ which meant two things for me – yoga and dogs. I was a qualified yoga teacher so I followed that path, while volunteering at animal shelters and offering a dog walking service. During this time, the Smart Pups vans seemed to always be passing by. Smart Pups puppies were visiting the local shopping centres and I often passed by the local Charity shop. I felt I was being told something……
So I applied for a kennel hand position. Six months and several emails later, I started as a casual in the kennels. I still remember how excited I was to get that phone call! And I have never looked back. From casual to fulltime kennel staff and now Kennel Supervisor in January 2022, my Smart Pups experience has grown enormously. My role has included Trainer Assist, Puppy enrichment as well as fostering numerous Smart Pups in my home.
I can honestly say this is the most rewarding and fulfilling job I have ever had. Working with a great team of compassionate, professional people with so much knowledge is an honour. Spending my days with these loveable, talented and wonderful dogs is a privilege. My heart is full as each Smart Pup is placed with his person to do what they love to do. I am very grateful and proud to be part of the Smart Pups organisation.
As I am often told “you have the best job in the world”!!
My previous experiences and qualifications have helped prepare me for the role of training dogs for kids with special needs. With a degree in Social Work, Leadership & Global Understanding, and a diploma in Canine Behaviour Science and Technology, I have learned theory and progressive knowledge to continue training our pups with the most up to date research.
My previous employment with The Lost Dogs Home as a Behaviour Trainer in Melbourne, VIC and at Animal Wellness Centre in Minnesota, USA have given me practical experience that shapes the way I train today, and I am so thankful for every opportunity I have had along the way.
I have many years experience in admin roles and office management within both private and public sectors – always with a love of dogs and their nature.
I’ve not had a job with a purpose previously and when I saw an office admin role advertised as Smartpups, I jumped at the chance!
I am honoured to be apart of this life changing organisation and to see the difference in which our dogs change the lives of not only the people they are trained for but for their families too. The success stories never fail to bring a tear to my eye
After almost 20 years working as a secondary school teacher, I decided I needed a career change. My passion was working with children and families with special needs, so after relocating to Queensland from Melbourne, I was very excited to be given the opportunity to join Smart Pups.
I grew up surrounded by dogs and now have two beautiful puppies of my own. They bring so much joy to my life and I couldn’t imagine life without them. Now that my children are getting older, they are my babies.
I’m extremely fortunate to work alongside such inspirational people who are extremely passionate about working with dogs and enriching the lives of our clients and their families. Our Smart Pups are truly amazing. I am constantly amazed by what they do and difference they make to peoples’ lives