Guide Dogs 2014 Travel Awards now open


“The Unseen Experience Travel Awards give people who are blind or vision impaired the opportunity to do something they otherwise might only dream of doing.” Jonathan Goerlach, 2013 award winner and Rio Paralympics hopeful.

Following the successful launch of its travel awards for people who are blind or vision impaired last year, Guide Dogs NSW/ACT is calling for applications for this inspirational competition set to run again in 2014.

Designed to promote independent travel for people who have trouble getting around because of a vision condition, the ‘Experience Unseen Travel Awards’ offer five $1,000 travel bursaries. 

“While vision loss is on the rise, we’re hoping our awards will encourage people affected to realise that it doesn’t have to stop them from enjoying a full and active life,” said Frances Tinsley, Client Services Executive Manager for Guide Dogs NSW/ACT.

“You don’t have to see to be able to experience doing things most of us take for granted, including travelling.”

By 2020, the number of NSW and ACT residents with a vision condition that can’t be corrected is expected to rise 20% to 120,000 including 40,000 who are blind[1].

The public will be able to follow each winner’s experiences and what independent travel means to them through their dedicated travel blog or diary. 

As the following blogs and applications from the 2013 winners describe, the awards enabled them to experience travelling to places they’d never been to:

  • Jonathan Goerlach from Nowra travelled to the Great Barrier Reef to help him conquer a fear of swimming ahead of hoping to secure a spot in the para-triathlon team for the 2016 Rio Paralympics (external link)

  • Edna Kuehne from Taren Point enjoyed a cultural tour of Canberra (external link)

  • Susan Coates from Tamworth treated her children to a holiday in Sydney for the first time (external link)

  • Margrette McCann from Newcastle embarked on a cruise around Queensland’s Whitsunday Islands (external link)

  • Kimberlee Brooker from Wollongong travelled to Germany with her school (external link)

Guide Dogs NSW/ACT is the leading provider of free services that enable people with vision impairment to travel independently.

To apply for the Experience Unseen Travel Awards, please visit or call 9412 9300 for an application form. Applications close on Friday 21 March 2014 and winners will be announced on Friday 4 April 2014. 


Media Contact

Sally Edgar, +61 413 753 241,<

About Guide Dogs NSW/ACT

Guide Dogs NSW/ACT is the leading provider of guide dogs and orientation and mobility services to enable people with impaired vision to get around their communities independently. Services include providing training and aids including long canes, guide dogs and electronic travel devices such as talking GPS technology. Visit, call 1800 804 805, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.