By Lauren Mitchell
For accounting student Emma Ashworth, choosing a charity to fundraise for as part of her course was one of this year’s easiest uni tasks. It had to be Righteous Pups. The Bendigo-based not-for-profit group trains assistance dogs for at-risk teens and children with autism.
“I have a sibling who was diagnosed with autism at a young age and if he had had access to one of these dogs then it would have made a huge difference in his life,” Emma says. “I am honoured to be able to raise funds for a charity that is doing fantastic work.”
Emma is one of a group of accounting students to join their Bundoora counterparts in the fundraising challenge. The La Trobe Business School will kick in an extra $500 for the group that raises the most for its chosen charity.
“We’re hoping we can win against the Bundoora groups for the prize money to increase our donation to Righteous Pups,” says fellow student Elysia Young. “They’re much more than a cute puppy charity. They do really meaningful work training autism assistance dogs, as well as dogs for medical alert and therapy.”
The students took their efforts off campus this week for an event at the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank headquarters. As well as chocolate and raffle ticket sales, the students helped host tours of the bank building with Righteous Pups Labradors. The dogs provided some much-loved puppy therapy for bank staff, plus prompted plenty of loose change donations.
Accounting lecturer Kate Ashman was also on hand to help. “This group of accounting majors have demonstrated a level of commitment and passion to a voluntary program which has been a credit to themselves,” Kate says.
“I have watched the growth of these students, from when they were hesitant about the project through to being aware of the professional skills they now possess and can take with them into long-term careers.”
Kate says the project has connected students to many local businesses, including RSD Chartered Accounting, which gave them some professional advice to help the cause.
“The support from our local community has been fantastic. So many businesses have donated goods to raffle and assisted our students to achieve their goal of assisting Righteous Pups.”
Student Michael Martin says he can already see how taking part in the project will have benefits for life post-uni. “It’s been a fantastic opportunity to develop my work-ready attributes and philanthropic desires at a critical point of my degree,” he says. “We’d also like to say thank you to the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank for supporting us and this wonderful cause.”
This article was originally published on the La Trobe University Bendigo Blog.