News & Events

Dogs Connect Program


We are excited to announce that we are continuing our work with the Dogs Connect Program in 2023.

We encourage families to view more information on the program if they would like to at

Our school dog Nala will be introduced to the Year 7 community early in 2023. Our Year 8s and 9s have worked alongside Nala during 2021 and 2022. Nala is a 3-year-old Groodle and has the most beautiful, gentle nature. As a Dogs Connect School Wellbeing Dog, Nala works to bring wellbeing benefits to all she encounters within the CMC community.

Dogs Connect was first set up in school communities throughout Victoria. Wellbeing dogs are now in over 100 schools Australia wide, and all of them have spoken of improved attendance, wellbeing self-awareness as well as an openness to learn since their dog joined the community. Students and staff are happier and they have noticed less anxiety among their community. There is increasing evidence about how a well-trained dog can help in a whole range of settings. Scientific evidence shows that being near a dog can reduce stress and anxiety and decrease the heart rate.

For children, animals can help with emotional regulation, social connection and communication. They can help engage students in many curriculum areas by supporting children in feeling less self-conscious than they may feel around teachers and peers.

In adults, dogs can help with trauma, anxiety, the escalation cycle, leadership and communication. They can build empathy, awareness of others and self, increase social regulation and decrease reactivity.

As part of our preparation for the 2023 school year, we invite you to click below and read the Considerations Checklist. If you need to fill in the checklist and provide us with any relevant information regarding your child, please do so in this Google Form . The information you provide will then be considered prior to Nala being introduced to new students at Catherine McAuley College.

We are very excited about introducing Nala to the new Year 7 students and we look forward to sharing the journey with you all.

Mrs Sharna Frawley, CMC Dogs Connect Coordinator