NAIDOC Week 2023: ‘Name a Seeing Eye Dogs pup’ names revealed

Seeing Eye Dogs are delighted to announce the selected names for NAIDOC Week 2023 as part of our ‘name a Seeing Eye Dogs pup’ initiative.

To celebrate the NAIDOC Week 2023 theme of, 'For Our Elders', Vision Australia extended an invitation to all clients, their families, friends, Vision Australia partners and stakeholders, and community, who identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander to submit a special name for consideration to name a Seeing Eye Dogs pup.

Excitingly, four names were chosen demonstrating a strong connection to country and recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and heritage. This also supports our learnings and relationship building via the Vision Australia Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).

The pups are just a few weeks old and super cute while they enjoy some bonding time with their dog family in the Seeing Eye Dogs puppy centre.

Two black and two yellow Labrador puppies sit in a row on blankets with plush toys
(L to R) black female Ngawan, yellow male Kirrip, black male Nikeri and yellow male Mirring

Here are the selected names and what they signify:

Pup name: ‘Nikeri’, submitted by the NIKERI institute at Deakin University

This name was submitted on behalf of Deakin University, NIKERI which stands for National Indigenous Knowledges Education Research Innovation Institute. Mark Rose who is Pro-Vice Chancellor for Indigenous Strategy and Innovation and Gabby Fletcher who is a director at NIKERI supported the initiative. Kim, a Seeing Eye Dog handler who works with Seeing Eye Dog Raya is a lecturer at Deakin University in Indigenous studies too.

Pup name ‘Mirring’, submitted by Carleen and Natalie

This name means 'eyes' in several languages of the Kulin Nation: Taungurung, Woi Wurrung and Dja Dja Wurrung and is an Aboriginal word recognised by many Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people. It connects directly to what the pups are trained to do. It relates directly to the work Vision Australia do and it also reflects and strengthens Eye & Ear and Vision Australia partnership.

Pup names: ‘Ngawan’ and ‘Kirrip’, submitted by Bela and Levi.

The name ‘Ngawan’ means Sun and the name ‘Kirrip’ means best friend which has significance as the Seeing Eye Dog and client become lifelong friends.

Two Labrador puppies, one yellow and one black, sleep cuddled together beside a hamburger plush toy
Yellow male Kirrip and black female Ngawan

Bela and Levi are brother and sister and are the grandchildren of Aunty Julieanne. Bela submitted the name ‘Ngawan’ and Levi submitted the name ‘Kirrip’.

Congratulations to all who submitted names.