22.9 C

Four-legged friend to change life of Newcastle resident


Newcastle resident Margaret Watt is set to enjoy a new lease on life, courtesy of an adorable four-legged friend.

The hard-of-hearing local received a fully-trained Australian Lions Hearing Dog this week, named Kalli, which will give her independence, security and confidence.

The playful pooch also replaces her much-loved former canine companion, who passed away.

It’s all thanks to Hunter Business Lions Club, which sponsored Kalli’s training and placement – a cost close to $40,000.

Margaret Watt with her new Hearing Dog Kalli and local Hunter Business Lions volunteers. Photo: Jamie Gilmore – Little Green Frog 

President Jenny Barrie expressed her gratitude to the region’s generosity.

“One in six Australians are suffering from some form of hearing loss,” she said.

“And, unfortunately, this number is on the rise, which is why Lions Hearing Dogs is such an important cause to support.

“Hunter Business Lions Club is proud to help a Newcastle resident with the delivery of a trained Australian Lions Hearing Dog that will completely transform her life.

“One hundred per cent of every cent donated by people to your local Lions Club gets used in great causes like this.

“So, we really appreciate each and every donation.”

Kalli was originally sourced from Adelaide and had more than 200 hours training with Australian Lions Hearing Dogs before being welcomed to her new home in the region.

“From a hard-of-hearing person who takes their aid off at night to a profoundly deaf person, many Australians can’t hear important sounds such as the knock at the door, a telephone or, most seriously, a smoke alarm,” Lions Australia CEO Rob Oerlemans said.

“Australian Lions Hearing Dog Foundation is the only accredited hearing dog training centre in our country.

“Since it was formed in the 1980s, the organisation has provided hundreds of hearing dogs to deaf or hearing-impaired Australians.”

The cost of fully training a Lions Hearing Dog is $37,000.

And, each year, Australian Lions Hearing Dogs train and provide anywhere from 25-30 assistance dogs around the country.

“It’s the only Australian organisation accredited by Assistance Dogs International to carry out such work, each dog free of charge,” Mr Oerlemans said.

“We’re expanding to ensure it can provide much-needed assistance to more Australians.

“The redevelopment of the National Training Centre in Adelaide will soon have capacity to train up to 120 assistance dogs per year.

“The work of Australian Lions Hearing Dogs is not only helping many Australians live a safer, more secure and confident lifestyle but it’s also giving the animals a new home and purpose. 

“An Australian Lions Hearing Dog can be any shape or size and the majority of dogs are actually sourced from pounds, rescue organisations and shelters.” 

For further information and to find out how you can support Lions Australia and Lions Hearing Dogs, visit

For more community stories:

Get all the latest Newcastle news, sport, real estate, entertainment, lifestyle and more delivered straight to your inbox with the Newcastle Weekly Daily Newsletter. Sign up here.

More Stories

Newcastle Weekly

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe to Newcastle Weekly. News, Community, Lifestyle, Property delivered direct to your inbox! 100% Local, 100% Free.

You have Successfully Subscribed!