Our evolution

Embracing the human-animal bond

Established by long-standing philanthropists and animal advocates, Stephen Sedgman OAM and Lynette Sedgman OAM, The Unconditional Love Foundation (previously Animal Welfare Foundation of Australia) exists to honour and share the fulfilment that happens when humans and animals connect.

Our mission might sound lofty, but it is about creating moments of real connection and joy.

To achieve our aim, we deliver our human-animal wellbeing program across classrooms and communities to support those in need, while equally championing the wellbeing of animals.

The reciprocal nature of this connection – the human-animal bond – underpins everything we do and sets our work apart.


Stephen and Lynette Sedgman establish Animal Welfare Foundation of Australia (AWFA) to support animal welfare and animal empathy education.


AWFA evolves to become The Unconditional Love Foundation (UCLF) focusing on sharing the wellbeing impacts of the human-animal bond.


UCLF delivers its first human-animal wellbeing program in schools and community groups in Victoria.


Stephen and Lynette Sedgman awarded Order of Australia Medals for their extensive philanthropic contribution to the community.

Our Mission

Helping those in need experience a more compassionate world through connection with animals.

Through the human-animal bond, we help young people and adults in need experience the world differently. Connecting with and developing empathy for animals creates bonds, boosts confidence and brings joy at a time when it is needed most.

Our values

We recognise and respect the strength of the human-animal bond. We believe nurturing positive connections between humans and animals has the power to benefit us all.


We are inclusive and aim to optimise engagement among those with whom we partner. We believe sharing our purpose drives positive, enduring change for human and animalkind.


We believe all beings are equal and deserve respect and kindness. We care for each other, our clients, our communities and animals, understanding empathy enhances our wellbeing.


We believe having the freedom to choose is a fundamental human and animal right. We advocate for and respect the choice to put one’s wellbeing first.


We are gracious and gentle in our approach, understanding it can help build trust and confidence often at a time when it is needed most.


Unconditional love and what it means to us

There has never been a time in humanity’s recent history where people have felt more disconnected and when emotional, social and mental health issues have been more keenly felt. 

A lack of joy and connection impacts some more than others – principally those who may not have the resources or capacity to get the help they need. They are the people who perhaps need unconditional love the most. 

By connecting people and animals and putting their wellbeing on equal footing, we find that people start to experience the world differently.

Developing empathy for animals, people begin to open up, empathise with peers, are better able to understand and regulate their own emotions, and mutual wellbeing benefits can be realised. Both human and animal can grow and thrive together.

While the advantages of human-animal interaction are well documented, it is our ‘animal-first’ approach that makes us different. 

Our animals are ethically trained and cared for by our colleagues who understand animal wellbeing in its modern guise. Where the emotional and social needs of our animals are considered, along with the physical ones.

We call our animals ‘wellbeing dogs’, not ‘service dogs’; they are not servile in any way. We give our animals choice. They are not forced into a situation in which they feel uncomfortable. If our dogs show signs of not wanting to engage, we do not let them.

After all, the happier the animal, the more chance there is of a happy human. Because that’s what it’s always been about, and always will be about: reciprocity.

By establishing two-way empathy and creating real connection, both human and animal benefit.

To us, that is what brings unconditional love, to life.