First Assistance Animal Relief Areas at Perth’s largest event

For the first time ever, Perth’s largest community event will have two pop-up Animal Assistance Relief Areas at this year’s Australia Day celebrations (link opens in new window).

The Australia Day festivities attracts about 250,000 people to the banks of the Swan River.

The Assistance Animal Relief Facilities will be at either end of Langley Park. This area will accommodate a host of entertainment from 3pm onwards.

The two temporary Assistance Animal Relief Facilities provide privacy and space for an Assistance Animal, such as a Guide Dog to relieve itself.

David Vosnacos, Eric Seery with Guide Dog Sundae stand alongside Perth Mayor Basil Zemplas holding a sign
Assistance Animal Relief Areas are a first for the Australia Day celebrations

Access specialist provides guidance

They’ve come about thanks to VisAbility Access Specialist and Occupational Therapist David Vosnacos who sits on the City of Perth Access and Inclusion Advisory Group Panel (link opens in new window).

“This comes off the back of the success with our new Assistance Animal Relief Areas at Perth Airport terminals 1 and 4. The design came with input from VisAbility and Guide Dogs WA (link opens in new window). They are safe, designated environments that offer both comfort and dignity.”

A white picket face will contain a grassed area where the dog is able to relieve itself. The areas will be accessible and contain a dog water bowl, waste bag dispenser, large bin and hand sanitizer stand. It will also have Braille signage.

The pop-up facilities have been welcomed by Guide Dog user Eric Seery. He was matched with Guide Dog Sundae five years ago. He became vision impaired as a child following a diagnosis of Stargardt’s disease.

“It just makes sense and – no pun intended – is convenient for Guide Dog users. It’s a very busy event. With these facilities, I know that I have somewhere to take my dog. She won’t toilet in an area where a family might want to sit down and take a picnic.”

Eric Seery stands alongside his dog
The relief facilities may well become a permanent fixture at events

Australia Day Assistance Animal Relief Areas

Perth Mayor Basil Zempilas says the pop-up facilities are part of a long-term plan to make Perth the most inclusive city in Australia.

“We are building a city that is for everyone – so making our events accessible to all is key. We want the widest possible audience to enjoy our events,” he explains.

“Furthermore, it’s a safe space for Assistance Animals to attend to their needs and takes the pressure off Assistance Animal users.”

Australia Day is a time for everyone to come together to celebrate everything to do with this country. Since its conception in 1997, Perth’s Australia Day festivities has become the largest national Australia Day celebration.

At Langley Park there will be amusement rides, obstacle courses and a BMX stunt show. In addition it will be home to a temporary water playground, mini golf and food market.

Perth Mayor Basil Zempilas stands holding a sign
The Perth Mayor is welcoming the initiative

There will also be an accessible viewing area to watch the Birak Concert. It’s a concert celebrating Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander cultures and communities staged at the nearby Supreme Court Garden. Furthermore, the performance will be Auslan interpreted and audio described.

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