The Board is comprised of ten Directors. Six are from the Network’s Advisory Council and four are Public Directors. The Board’s role is to ensure that the Network is meeting its legal and fiduciary obligations, ensuring its sustainability, and setting the Network’s strategic plan.
Joanne Baker began working in the anti-violence sector 25 years ago in the UK. She has worked in paid and unpaid roles at sexual violence crisis services, domestic violence shelters, transition houses and counselling programs in the UK, Australia and Canada. Joanne has also worked as a lecturer and researcher at universities in Australia in the areas of women’s studies, social policy and social work.
Alberta / Co-Chair
Whether contributing to society at large as Mayor of Edmonton, or as a private citizen, Jan Reimer consistently enables social development. As the Executive Director of the Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters (ACWS), she has been instrumental in improving shelter funding, supporting action based research to inform service provision and policy change and has been a strong advocate of the role women’s and seniors shelters can play in ending domestic violence and abuse. She was a key driver behind the first World Conference of Women’s Shelters held in Edmonton in 2008. Jan is one of the founding members of both the Global Network of Women’s Shelters and Women’s Shelters Canada (formerly the Canadian Network of Women’s Shelters & Transition Houses). Jan is a recipient of the Governor General’s Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case, the Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilee medals and was named one of the 100 Edmontonians of the Century.
Northwest Territories / Treasurer
Lyda has been the Executive Director of YWCA Yellowknife for the past 15 years. She has been with three YWCAs across Canada – all of which have run shelters for women experiencing violence – for the past 25 years. Through her work with YWCAs, Lyda has also pursued supportive housing for women and children, improved residential support for adults with disabilities, licensed child care programs, empowerment programs for girls, programs for children who witness abuse, and northern research on women’s homelessness.
The YWCA Yellowknife has received funding from the GNWT to assist with shelter capacity building in the Northwest Territories, which has allowed the five shelters to meet together in Yellowknife six or more times each year to support one another and share information. Shelters have also been able to respond to the GNWT standards and develop a common policies and procedures manual that meet the standards.
Lyda is a founding member of the Yellowknife Homelessness Coalition and the Coalition against Family Violence, as well as a variety of working groups related to the Family Violence Action Plans.
Ontario / Secretary
Marlene Ham has worked in Anti-Violence and Social Justice spaces and communities for the past fifteen years. Specifically, she has focused her energies on VAW, Harm Reduction, HIV/AIDS, and LGBTQ organizing utilizing an intersectional feminist framework. Through her various roles as a trauma counsellor, supervisor, consultant and coordinator, she has brought a variety of communities together to address issues and work together to achieve better outcomes.
Québec / Co-Chair
Manon lived in Europe and the Middle East for quite a few years, where she was involved with various women’s rights groups. As part of this work, she was exposed to the many problems surrounding parental abduction of children in her interactions with abused women who were in the process of searching for their children.
Upon her return to Canada, Manon continued her work on a provincial, national and global level. Inspired by her experiences, she completed a Masters degree in Social Intervention at the Unversité du Québec à Montréal in 2003, which focused on sociojudicial intervention concerning child custody in situations of domestic violence.
From 2003 to 2006, she was the regional coordinator of the Round Table of the second largest city in the province of Québec; the Table de concertation en violence conjugale et agressions à caractère sexuel de Laval. Since 2006, Manon has been the Provincial Director of the Fédération des maisons d’hébergement pour femmes. She works with her team to advance the mission of the Federation and its shelters/members, as well as the cause of abused women with social actors in the political community, through various forums, research and representation on regional, provincial, national and international levels. She also represents the Fédération as one of the founding organizations of the Global Network of Women’s Shelters.
Prince Edward Island
Ellen Ridgeway has been working to end violence against women for over 20 years. Ellen has served as a board member and volunteer at PEI Rape and Sexual Assault Center. In 1993 Ellen became Manager of Anderson House, the Provincial Shelter for abused women in PEI. Currently, Ellen is Program Manager forPEI Family Violence Prevention Services. She is developing a Program, ASPIRE, to assist and support abused women who are oppressed, marginalized, and living in poverty. Ellen is also the HIFIS Community Coordinator for PEI and oversees shelters’ data collection on homelessness.
Over the years Ellen has sat on various committees to advocate for women. Currently she sits on the Victims Services Advisory Board, PEI Community Advisory Board to End Homelessness and the Canadian National Network to End Violence Against Women.