Member for Western Victoria
Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party

Court Dog Program

Mr GRIMLEY (Western Victoria) (11:00): I rise today to speak again about the court support dog program run by the Office of Public Prosecutions (OPP) in Victoria. This program, which began in 2017, provides vulnerable witnesses giving evidence in court with extra support by having a fur-iend by their side. Two beautiful labradors, Lucy and Kiki, have comforted hundreds of witnesses, about half of which are children. Lucy and Kiki do an amazing job in keeping many people calm and relaxed in an environment that can be a bit ruff sometimes. Labradors have a particularly keen sense of smell, and that helps when it comes to sniffing out when people are feeling a bit stressed and anxious. It is just pawsome that Lucy and Kiki are able to suppawt such people get through the difficult court process. Kudos also to their handler, Julie Morrison, who envisioned implementing the court support dog program in the OPP in Victoria. Before Julie no such program existed anywhere in Australia. Now, besides Victoria, there are programs in WA, the ACT and South Australia. Julie has embarked on a collaboration between jurisdictions in Australia to link up with similar programs in the UK and Canada. I have got so many more, but time is running out. Lucy and Kiki have a great tail to tell. You are both very good girls and deserve all the treats coming your way.


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