Our audience reach so far

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We have done some audience reach reviews and so far we have reached in excess of 200,000 people!

This number includes the followers of our sponsors that have shared our event with their own networks.  It also includes our own networks on social media and through our website/blog.  We also included the radio interview that we had a couple of weeks ago on 6PR.

Considering we were aiming for a reach audience of 1,000,000 for our event in total and we are still 59 days from the start of the event with more media coverage expected prior to our departure, we may exceed a reach of 2,000,000 – 3,000,000 people!

This is great news for our event and highlights that what we are doing is actually reaching out into the Australian community.  Our event is also reaching the USA, UK, China, Japan, Singapore, Ireland, Thailand, India and Russia.

 This is also fantastic news for our Sponsors.  By sponsoring us, they are getting international recognition!

Businesses need to know the law

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Today was a tough day for Paul, and was proof that there are still people and organisations who deal with the public every day that don’t know the law relating to Assistance Dogs (Service Dogs).

Paul finally tried to go into a cafe by himself for the first time with Luna.  Unfortunately due to a lack of training for their staff, Paul was refused entry with Luna.  This is a breach of the Federal Disability Discrimination Act 1992. Paul tried to explain to the staff that it was his legal right to enter the cafe with Luna, but they still refused entry.

Luna was wearing her yellow mindDog Assistance Dog vest, an embroidered Service Dog collar and she was on an embroidered service dog lead (wearing the same gear as pictured in this article).

Unfortunately Paul couldn’t handle the situation any more, so he had to leave the cafe.  He is now feeling sick from anxiety.

This situation showed how important Driving Oz with the Black Dog is, and that we have a lot of work ahead of us! Every organisation that deals with the public needs to train their staff in the law relating to Assistance/Service Dogs.

Where are MHADs allowed to go?
Assistance Dogs, also known as Service Dogs are allowed access to spaces open to the public, including but not limited to: restaurants, cafes, hospitals, airplanes, doctor’s offices, cabs, zoos, stores, etc.

Where may MHADs be lawfully excluded?
MHADs may be lawfully excluded from private spaces including but not limited to private homes, private clubs, etc. They may also be excluded from spaces where their presence constitutes a safety risk, (e.g., operating rooms, radioactive laboratories, heavy construction sites, commercial kitchen).

Please follow our Blog, share and like us on Facebook to help spread the word about what we are doing.

Please encourage any media outlets within your area to join us on our journey to raise awareness of Assistance Dogs and Lifeline by tagging them on Facebook and other social media sites.  Hopefully some of them will get involved so that we can try to educate the general public about Assistance Dogs and Mental Health in general.  To date, only one radio station and no TV networks have contacted us.  We want to get the word out before it happens to someone else.  Paul has been on 24/7 watch since this event occurred as it has really upset him.  Businesses don’t realise that refusing a legitimate Assistance Dog, in this case a Mental Health Assistance Dog, can have such an impact on a handler that they may consider self harm.

Public Relations Support

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Today has been a huge day for organisations contacting us, wanting to sponsor us.  Sue from Vittori Communications has generously offered to support us by providing the following;

  • Drafting a media release and media backgrounder
  • Linking us up with media outlets
  • Interviewing us
  • Coaching us in how to handle media interviews
  • Assisting us with identifying fundraising ideas.

Sue has even offered to provide us with a day or two of home-style accommodation in Melbourne!

Thanks heaps Sue and we look forward to working with you!

Lightforce is adding light to our event

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We are excited to announce that Lightforce Australia has joined our growing list of Sponsors, providing us with a pair of their 50w Genesis HID driving lights. They are also supplying us with some combo filters and a wiring harness. This equipment will definitely help us whilst travelling at night and in low light so that we can get to our destination as safely as possible.

Once we get to our campsite, we will also be able to see where things are and what we are eating thanks to the flexible LED camping light that Lightforce is also supplying us.

Checkout their full range at http://lightforce.com/products/

Thank you Lightforce Australia for your fantastic support of our event!

If you need talk, call Lifeline 13 11 14

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We are aware of a tragic plane crash that claimed the lives of two people when it crashed into the Swan River in Perth in front of thousands of families waiting to see the Perth Skyworks later tonight (which has now been cancelled).  We are also aware of the tragic incident in Melbourne with innocent lives lost and many more injured.

If any of these events have affected you, or your family/friends in any way, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14.  This is a free service that will listen to you and provide you with information to assist you.  Lifeline is available 24/7.

A Short Hello Video

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We thought that we would make a short video to say hello from our family to you and to thank our current sponsors and those who are working hard in the background to try to organise more sponsors.

Please click here to watch the video.  Please note that we have not received video editing software or video equipment except for a TomTom Bandit,  so what you are seeing is raw footage.  If we receive software prior to making our next video, the next one could be much prettier! ;P

Dexil – Friendly Dog Collars Keeps Giving

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Jenny from Dexil – Friendly Dog Collars (one of our fantastic Sponsors) has announced that they will donate 10% of their sales when purchased through a special Driving Oz with the Black Dog link.  Make sure you use this specific link or the 10% will not come to our cause!

Friendly Dog Collars WON Australian Canine Product of the Year in 2014 and has featured on The Project and voted HOT by Bondi Vet Dr Chris Brown! 

Let others know if your dog is approachable or needs space with our unique range of colour coded temperament awareness collars, leads, harnesses and coats. Based on the simple Traffic Light System this product has been helping desperate dog owners all over the world to prevent incidents BEFORE they occur.

With 10 ranges to choose from there is something for everyone.

What kind of dog do you have?

Friendly, Nervous, No Dogs, Caution, Training, Deaf Dog, Blind Dog, Do Not Feed, Service Dog or Adopt Me?

Don’t forget to follow Dexil – Friendly Dog Collars on their social media sites to keep up to date with all of their great specials and announcements!