Dogged friends at WA Centre for Rural Health paws for thought in Geraldton

Headshot of Lisa Favazzo
Lisa FavazzoGeraldton Guardian
WA Centre for Rural Health administrative officer Leanne Tucker with mixed breed Tilly, director Professor Sandra Thompson with labrador Ziggy, finance officer Rowena Chant with bullmastiff Zondra, and lecturer Emma Taylor with cavoodle Charlie.
Camera IconWA Centre for Rural Health administrative officer Leanne Tucker with mixed breed Tilly, director Professor Sandra Thompson with labrador Ziggy, finance officer Rowena Chant with bullmastiff Zondra, and lecturer Emma Taylor with cavoodle Charlie. Credit: Lisa Favazzo/The Geraldton Guardian, Lisa Favazzo

The four newest members of WA Centre for Rural Health’s hardworking team don’t have a single degree between them, but each of the budding academics is worthy of an honorary PhD in four-legged cuteness.

Director Professor Sandra Thompson — dog mum to puppy labrador Ziggy — says allowing staff to bring dogs to the office is part of what makes her workplace “family-friendly”, with benefits for physical and social health.

“Dogs are an important part of the family,” Professor Thompson, a public health specialist, said.

Finance officer Rowena Chant, administrative officer Leanne Tucker, and lecturer Emma Taylor also bring their dogs to work.

Ms Taylor said: “(Her cavoodle puppy) is getting to socialise with other puppies which is good for him. It’s great knowing he is safe in his little play pen and I can still be productive.”

According to Ms Chant, her bull mastiff puppy Zondra is helping her make friends in the office, encouraging people to come and chat.

“I think we’ve had more smiles than ever before,” she said.

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