Helen Ward

Administrative Support

After an idyllic childhood on the Central Coast surrounded by greenspace and dogs, I moved to the big smoke for study and work. Life as a film gypsy (working on movies) led me far and wide and I never seemed to stay in one place for too long but I was always hoping that I could settle down enough to own my own dog again.


After meeting my partner Ricky and  choosing to settle in the Southern Highlands with our young family it became a priority to add a four legged addition to our family.


The stars aligned and I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to rehome Oscar who became a much loved member of the family very quickly.


Watching Oscar interact with people was, and still is, a joy. There is something so special about a dog who can connect with people, who can change the course of the day with a friendly pat and a chat. The idea of him working as a therapy dog was sparked.


My PAWS  journey began in 2019 as a volunteer after looking into pet therapy more broadly. Finding an organisation close to home which is committed to supporting its volunteers, and who strives to maintain a high level of integrity in everything that they do, was wonderful.


I have volunteered in many settings from Aged care to the Southern Highlands Cancer Centre, from Adolescent mental health to Paws ‘n Tales at my local primary school. Meeting people from all walks of life and connecting through my furry friend is such a wonderful way to share stories which is what I love about what I do. I have a strong interest in helping children develop a positive relationship with reading. As an avid book reader, nothing brings me more joy than finding the right book for a little human, which helps them along their literacy journey. Having Oscar as my sidekick (or is it the other way around?) makes this all the more wonderful.


I love all that Pet assisted Therapy brings to the community. It is such a great way for people to connect, to build friendships that might never have happened outside this framework. 


When I was invited to join Sharon and Lisa, and the Paws team, earlier this year to help out in the role of Administrative support, I was thrilled. What a great opportunity to further extend my interest and passion for helping those in local communities through Pet Assisted Therapy. How lucky am I?