Gold Coast Airport (GCA) in Australia plans to recruit five new therapy dogs and nine human volunteers in May and June 2023
This onboarding initiative will enable the airport to have one dog operating each day. The recruitment drive was announced at the airport’s volunteer celebration breakfast, where three airport ambassadors – Linda Cameron, Deborah Smith and Elizabeth Whitney – received service awards. The occasion also celebrated a milestone for long-time therapy dog Gary, who has been awarded a five-year service medal in recognition of his contribution at the airport. The six-year-old golden Labrador cross was GCA’s first AmbassaPAW when he joined the airport’s volunteer program in 2018. The airport now has two therapy dogs, with Labrador Quincy joining the team earlier in 2023. The five new therapy dogs will work alongside Gary and Quincy.
Marion Charlton, chief operating officer at Gold Coast Airport, said, “Thank you to the ambassadors for their commitment to the airport at GCA’s National Volunteer Week morning tea this morning. Our ambassadors are an extension of our team, and they’re an important part of our customers’ experience in our terminal. They’re friendly faces who leave a lasting positive impression on travelers whether they’re departing or arriving at Gold Coast Airport. Our AmbassaPAWS also play a crucial role, helping to ease the stress and anxiety that can be associated with traveling for some people.
“Some of our ambassadors have been here since we launched the program, and we are so appreciative of their time and commitment to Gold Coast Airport and its customers. This year Gold Coast Airport was voted the Best Regional Airport in Australia/Pacific at the Skytrax World Airport Awards for the fifth time, and we know our ambassadors and AmbassaPAWS are key contributors to earning that recognition.”
Shirley Shillington has been an airport ambassador at Gold Coast Airport since the program was launched in 2016. She said, “My role at the airport has given me a renewed sense of purpose since retiring. We know airports can be overwhelming and stressful for some people, so when we can help by pointing them in the right direction, we see that sense of relief and they’re really thankful and that is rewarding for us.”
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