Meet the RDOC Committee

Get to know your 2019/20 Management Committee.

Name – Ruth Harrison

How long have you been with the club? – For about 3 years

What do you do? – I am currently the club president, an obedience instructor for the foundation course and class 3, as well as a general dog’s body!

Tell us a little more about yourself – I am a relative newcomer to the dog world, having only had one dog in my life, my 3.5 year old Koolie Cross, Biscuit. 

I have had a bit of a baptism of fire, having to learn quickly how to not only train a dog but also how to manage reactive, nervous and easily aroused dogs. I have amazing people supporting me on my learning journey and have learnt the most modern training methods from the great team we have at the club and through my own drive to extend my learning.

That support and learning has helped Biscuit and I achieve our Rally Novice title, and re-start our agility training, as that is what we hope to get more involved in, in the future.

I am passionate about creating great relationships both for people and their dogs but also people and their community. As a community, volunteer-run club, I strive to see those volunteers supported and empowered.

I may be a relative newcomer to the dog world, but not to clubs and volunteer organisations, having run a number of clubs since I was at university. I see the best in people and what they can become with a little support and encouragement.

It is my goal to create an inclusive and supported club that is as self-sufficient as possible, so that our volunteers can do what they love, whatever that may be.


Name – Julia Fenton

How long have you been with the club? – On & Off since 1984

What do you do? – I am the OIC (Officer in Charge of Instruction), as well as an instructor (mostly class 4) and the clubs Vice President.

Tell us a little more about yourself – As OIC, it is my job to look after the instructors at the club, provide them with knowledge and training of new methods being taught in the training world. Provide training manuals and innovative courses for members of the club, inspire new members to become instructors, and bring exciting guest speakers to the club to share their knowledge. It is also my responsibility to provide a training night for our triallers and help them reach their goals in the competition ring, which led me to studying and becoming an obedience judge.  Lastly, my role is to test each dog’s skill levels and promote them onto the higher levels.

As an instructor, I try to inspire my class to grow their relationship with their dog to a level above and beyond one they thought they would ever have. This may include trialling or a dog sport, or it may just be having their dream companion. 

I have successfully trained 6 dogs to various levels in obedience. My current dog ‘Annie’ is my heart dog and we have had a lot of fun dabbling in many sports from obedience, agility, flyball, non-slip retrieving, tracking and scent works. She is a DELTA therapy dog visiting nursing homes, hospitals and corporate events. Our most exciting venture was her playing a role in a stage musical.  


Name – Jennie Day

How long have you been with the club? – For about 4 years

What do you do? – I am the Club Secretary and one of the agility instructors. Currently I am involved in helping us to create a more modern club for our members including grant writing, co-ordinating a strategic plan and getting our constitution up to date.

Tell us a little more about yourself – From a young age I loved animals, art and children. Did teaching (geography), youth work and human services policy. Retired, with 5 grandchildren. Now I’m doing animals, namely dog sports with my Australian Shepherd Alfie, my second dog. I joined the Club specifically to do agility and we now compete in Obedience, Rally-O and Agility (which is my favourite dog sport).

Maybe I’ll take up art later in life!


Name – Jan Dixon

How long have you been with the club? – For about 15 years.

What do you do? – I am currently the trial secretary for Obedience and RallyO (Rally Obedience) as well as the Instructor for RallyO

Tell us a little more about yourself – I have been on the committee for about half the time I have been with the club in various roles including the role of treasurer.

I have titled 8 Golden Retrievers to various levels of obedience. The most successful being Obedience Grand Champion & Rally Champion Euraidd One Night Stand UDX RAE NRA (Yogi).

My current Golden is Euraidd Stand Beside Me RN (Herbie)


Name – Sonia Austin

How long have you been with the club? – On & Off for nearly 20 years.

What do you do? – I am currently a member of the management committee and one of the agility instructors.

Tell us a little more about yourself – I currently compete in Obedience, RallyO and agility with my two Labradors, Winston and Jedda.

I work full time as a Dental Technician in Manly and I am a Mum to two gorgeous young boys. I love hiking when I can, running and all things Outdoors and as far away from housework as possible!

In my spare time I like to…. Oh, hang on!


Name – Vicki Hogan

How long have you been with the club? – For about 5 years

What do you do? – I am currently a member of the management committee and also one of the agility instructors.

Tell us a little more about yourself – I joined for help with my mischievous beagle, Elsa. With a lot of assistance from both the obedience and agility instructors at the club, we now compete in both agility and tricks competitions. I am also now part of the agility instructor team and am really enjoying my time introducing new people to the sport.

I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and currently work as the financial manager in my family business, Hogan’s Wellington Point Hotel.


Name – Karin Burns

How long have you been with the club? – For about 5 years

What do you do? – I am currently a member of the management committee and also one of the obedience instructors, I also produce the clubs newsletter.

Tell us a little more about yourself – I joined RDOC when my Golden Retriever was a pup about 5 years ago to teach him to socialise, to learn basic obedience, as well as to just spend time with him and have fun. Since then we have discovered there is a whole new world out there involving dogs.

We have learnt some more advanced Obedience, Rally O, some fun tricks, basic agility, scent work and been part of the Obedience display team.

Along the way I have made some great friendships with other like-minded dog lovers. Having their support has been extremely valuable, whether it be providing me with training advice or being there for me when my dog had health issues.

I have been a committee member for approximately 18 months and have found the team to have the vision to enable the club to be in a good position to thrive in the future.

For the last 2 ½ years I have been a part of a team of Obedience instructors. Although instructing is not my natural habitat, I find it rewarding and have discovered, as Albert once said, “The more I learn, the more I realise how much I don’t know.”


Name – Nicky Wright

How long have you been with the club? – For about 3 years

What do you do? – I am currently a member of the management committee and also one of the obedience instructors.

Tell us a little more about yourself – I originally hail from the Northern Suburbs of Sydney. I moved to Queensland several years ago to work at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital, as an experienced veterinary nurse with birds, reptiles and exotic animals.

I am currently working for Defence Community Dogs, teaching prisoners to train rescue dogs for defence force veterans with PTSD. I have German Shepherd Dogs, one of which is a certified wildlife detection dog, trained on koala and spotted tail quoll.

I have a Certificate lll in dog training and behaviour (NDTF), have studied under Dr Susan Friedman, completing the Living and Learning with Animals professionals course, I am studying a Bachelors of Zoology degree, and I have completed a Pro Dog Trainer course in concept training for behaviour modification.


Name – Kate Hutchinson

How long have you been with the club? – For about 3 years

What do you do? – I am currently a member of the management committee and I also compete in agility.

Tell us a little more about yourself – I started training with the club in 2017 with my Kelpie pup ‘Charli’. I compete in Agility and Jumping which are my favourite events. I work for All Horses Veterinary Services and prior to that I have been a small animal nurse around Brisbane and at various clinics in N.Z.

Currently I am working on Obedience with my Jack Russel pup ‘Ralph’ who can concentrate for the first 5 minutes of each lesson!

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