Anne Clements: Vision Australia: Westfield Local Heroes 2019
Taking pride in helping people gain independence
Caring. Committed. Passionate
Thanks to Anne Clement, most people in Brisbane have come across Vision Australia’s coin-collection dogs for the seeing eye dog program.
The dedicated volunteer builds warm relationships with the businesses across the city that are home to the plastic dogs and takes care of the coins when they are full.
Anne has a vision-impaired son and immersed herself in charity work when it was time for him to gain his independence after high school.
“With my children grown up, it was time for me to give back to ensure clients achieve their goals of independent lifestyles,” says Anne.
“I am extremely aware of the challenges those in the blind and low-vision community face every day and the need for volunteers to assist.”
Anne is genuinely surprised at being voted a Westfield Local Hero but says it feels great to know that other people appreciate her work. “It is nice to have something that says you are a valued member of the community and the organisation.”
Anne is also an enthusiastic member of the Friends of Vision Australia Coorparoo volunteer group, which raises funds for seeing eye dogs and promotes Vision Australia at various events.
Something that gives her great satisfaction is her work with the client services team, which involves accompanying clients on outings and helping to teach life skills.
“I take great pride in seeing our clients learn how to prepare and cook a meal for ongoing independence,” she says.
Westfield Local Heroes are nominated and voted for by their communities, with the three top finalists per Westfield centre each awarded a $10,000 grant for their affiliated organisation.
Vision Australia will put its grant towards providing a seeing eye dog to someone who is either waiting for a replacement dog or is waiting for their first dog.
“I know what people are able to achieve by having a seeing eye dog to help them get out and about. The $10,000 will go a long way to towards funding a dog for someone,” says Anne.
For further information on the Westfield Local Heroes program, click here.