Board of Directors
The VWSAC Board of Directors would like to welcome you to the Victoria Women's Sexual Assault Centre (VWSAC)!
For over 25 years, VWSAC has been a leader and innovator in the field of trauma counselling, and the Board of Directors has the good fortune of working alongside a dedicated team of staff and volunteers. Serving on the Board is a great way to get involved in the movement to end sexualized violence, to develop new skills and to work with a creative and energetic team. To find out more about opportunties to serve on our Board, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Heidi Exner - Co-chair
Exner was born and raised in the traditional Coast Salish Territory of
Victoria, BC, the first daughter of new German/Austrian immigrants. In her
professional life, she has worked in the field of HIV/AIDS prevention and
awareness for over 10 years. She has worked with the centre as a member of
Project Respect, and currently continues her involvement as a proud VWSAC
volunteer, both serving on the SART team and now in her second year on the
Board of Directors. She is a passionate believer in the mission of the centre,
and deeply admires the dedication that she witnesses in its staff and fellow
volunteers. She is grateful for the opportunity to continue to support the
centre?s critical work as long as she is needed.
Gose - Co-Chair
Formerly served for many years as WSAC's Manager of Direct Client Services,
retiring in 2007. Sally received her M.S.W from Carlton University in
1986. For over 20 years, Sally has worked toward ending violence against
women through her clinical work, creating and strengthening community
partnerships, and informing police and research. Sally worked in Ottawa
for 12 years as a counsellor and advocate for women who had experienced abuse,
and in Victoria she worked for 10 years in the field of sexualized
Kimberly Brown -
earned her Bachelor of Commerce Degree from UVic. She works as an Investment
Advisor and Certified Financial Planner at Canaccord Wealth Management. She
puts her financial skills to use at the Centre by assisting with the
development of finance initiatives and fundraising. Kimberly is committed to
contributing to the community in which she lives and is passionate about
Kelly Branchi - Secretary
received my degree in nursing from UVic in 2002. I have been working in
Emergency for the past six years and was introduced to the VWSAC and SANE
programs. Four years ago I took the SANE training at BCIT and since then
my passion for the program has grown. I applied for the Board of
Directors position to gain a community perspective, rather than just a
medical. Outside of nursing, my true love is yoga. I did my yoga
teacher training two years ago and practice as often as I can.
Emily Arthur - Director
Arthur joined WSAC in 2010 as part of the sexual assault response team. She has
an undergraduate degree in sociology (minor in women?s studies) as well as a
master?s degree in sociology focused on sexual identity, discourse and online
communities. Through volunteer work with different agencies, Emily has attained
valuable experience working with clients across the lifespan who are dealing
with complex issues related to mental illness, problematic substance use,
interactions with the justice system, unstable housing, and experiences of
trauma. In combination with professional experience with policy analysis
and development, Emily has gained first-hand understanding of the needs of
diverse populations, the impacts of social policy and programming, and the
critical interplay between multiple agencies working to serve vulnerable
populations. Emily is passionate about the development of client-centred
approaches and innovations in service delivery, which work to empower the women
accessing services and the surrounding community.
Julia Denley - Director
is a pre-med student at UVic studying biochemistry/microbiology and English.
She is passionate about fundraising and giving back to the community; she
started UVic Hope, a humanitarian fundraising group that has conducted
fundraisers for a variety of causes, including a benefit concert, silent auction,
and raffle for the Victoria Women's Sexual Assault Centre. She thoroughly
enjoyed serving on the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes organizing committee of 2012,
and also volunteers as a SART worker; she is proud to contribute to WSAC and is
a big supporter of all the work that the Centre does for survivors of
Natasha de Klerk - Director
Natasha has a BA in Justice Studies and a diploma in Business Management. She became a member of the team in 2008 and has since moved to Nanaimo, but continues to be involved with VWSAC. Natasha contributes with her background in finance, policy development and experience with non-profit organizations.
Sean Dhillon - Director
Sean Dhillon is a finance professional with
CIBC Bank with expertise in residential and construction financing across
Canada. Sean is an award winning finance professional and is a long time
resident of Victoria attending both high school and University here. In
addition to helping Canadians reaching their financial goals Sean actively
volunteers in the community with numerous non-profit agencies. Sean is also
trainer and lecturer on Social Media Best Practices and has been recognized for
such work by speaking at small and large scale conferences. Sean has been
a supporter of WSAC for the past 4 year and recently helped organized the ?Walk
A Mile In Her Shoes? event. In his spare time Sean is a ?weekend warrior?
whereby he participates in Soccer, Running and Cycling.
Yvonne Haist -
teaches in the School of Social Work at the University of Victoria. She also
has a private counseling practice which centres on trauma work and is deeply
informed by many years of training in somatic integrative work. Her passion is
to unify the political, the spiritual and body wisdom in social work practice.
her spare time Yvonne loves to sing, to kayak, to drum and to explore new
Holland - Director
Elizabeth is a relatively new Victoria resident, having moved here from
Vancouver with her husband just under 2 years ago.
She has a private counselling practice in downtown Victoria, where
she works with individuals and couples, adults and teens. She has also
worked in groups and individually with women healing from sexual assault
trauma, and has volunteered with the Vancouver Crisis Centre as both a crisis
line counsellor and a trainer for new volunteers. Elizabeth
currently works as a Research Coordinator with a Traumatic Brain Injury study
based in Vancouver as well. She has volunteered with the Walk A Mile In Her
Shoes event for the past 2 years, and looks forward to contributing further to
the VWSAC as a board member.
Renay Maurice -
Renay moved to Victoria with her two daughters
in August 2010 to pursue her BA: Women?s Studies/Creative Writing at UVic. She
is a self-identified/defining woman, survivor and mother. Renay has worked
extensively on her own healing and integration processes to overcome the
effects of severe historical violence. Renay is a student advocate and
community organizer. She is grateful and excited for the opportunity to serve
the Women?s Sexual Assault Center, and hopes her feminist analysis, skills and
lived experiences will be of service to the Board and community members.
Debra Scarfone -
Debbie earned her BA from UVIC in 1984, majoring in Anthropology. She has
spent many years working & studying in the Social Services sector and is
especially interested in childhood trauma and its effects as a person grows
into adulthood. After graduating from UVIC Debbie concentrated on developing a
career in business and has gained in-depth experience in Accounting, Budgeting,
Human Resources and Management. She now works in private practice, providing
bookkeeping and other business services to small & medium sized businesses.