The Board is currently comprised of eleven Directors. Six are from WSC’s Advisory Council and five are Public Directors. The Board’s role is to ensure that Women’s Shelters Canada is meeting its legal and fiduciary obligations, ensuring its sustainability, and setting WSC’s strategic plan.
Amy S. FitzGerald
British Columbia / Co-Chair
Amy S. FitzGerald is the Executive Director and formerly the Director of Training & Programs at the BC Society of Transition Houses (BCSTH). In BC, Amy has also been a policy analyst. She has been a public interest lawyer for over 20 years serving as the domestic violence Assistant Attorney General at the Vermont Attorney General’s Office working on unsolved homicides and domestic violence litigation, policy, training and legislation, a Legal Services lawyer and Public Defender in Vermont and NYC. Amy was the founding chair of Vermont’s Domestic Violence Fatality Review Commission and served on Vermont’s Child Fatality Review Team.
Ontario / Co-Chair
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. Marlene is the executive director of the Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Houses (OAITH).
Tsungai (Sue) Muvingi is the Associate Provincial Coordinator with the Manitoba Association of Women’s Shelters (MAWS). Her background includes a B.A. in Psychology, post-graduate diploma in International Management, and extensive work with non-profit organizations.
She was born and raised in Zimbabwe where she started volunteering with charitable organizations from a young age. Tsungai is passionate about advocacy and working with organizations that support vulnerable people in local and international communities including family violence, intimate partner violence, and gender-based violence.
As a member of Conquer Academy, a performance development coaching academy, Tsungai challenges herself in all areas of her life to grow in leadership, integrity, mental toughness, and service to others.
Her various roles and previous work have included event planning, fundraising, emergency disaster services, poverty alleviation, peace literacy and peace initiatives, coaching and mentoring adults, residential support work, and travel across Canada, the USA, and Europe.
Dan Meades is originally from St John’s, Newfoundland, where he studied English and Business at Memorial University before starting his career in community development and poverty reduction. Dan’s work has led him throughout Canada, Europe, the United States, and West Africa; all the while, his focus has been on poverty reduction, housing, and homelessness. Dan currently serves as the Provincial Coordinator of the Transition House Association of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Michelle Parsons is Yukon First Nations, a member of the Daklaweidi Clan of the Carcross/Tagish First Nation. She is the Executive Director of the Yukon Women’s Transition Home Society, which includes a transition home (Kaushee’s Place) as well as second-stage living units (Betty’s Haven) in Whitehorse, Yukon. The Society practices an intersectional feminist response-based and dignity-preserving philosophy in assisting women (and those who identify as women) who are ready to leave abusive relationships. Michelle also coordinates the Yukon Women’s Coalition.
Michelle holds a Masters degree in Social Sciences and has worked in the area of social justice and advocacy for women and Indigenous rights the last 20+ years. She brings with her a wealth of senior leadership experience with an extensive background with federal and territorial governments. More recently, Michelle helped to advance the position of Self-Governing Yukon First Nations with the federal and territorial governments during her term as the Executive Director of the Carcross/Tagish First Nation.
Mathilde Trou is one of the political advocacy coordinators and the communications manager at the Regroupement des maisons pour femmes victimes de violence conjugale (The Housing Network for Women who have Experienced Domestic Violence). After being passionate about political issues for many years, she decided to make it her field of study and obtained a master’s degree in political science. After a few years in a large communications and public affairs agency in Paris, she worked briefly at the Regroupement des maisons pour femmes victimes de violence conjugale (The Housing Network for Women who have Experienced Domestic Violence) before joining a federal government agency as a communications consultant. A few years later, wanting to reorient herself towards a community-based organization and pushed by her feminist activism, she rejoined the Regroupement des maisons pour femmes victimes de violence conjugale (The Housing Network for Women who have Experienced of Domestic Violence) in September 2018.Upon receiving her University degree, Louise began her career in the VAW field working at a shelter for women victims of domestic violence. She was then active in various community groups for approximately ten years.
Lyda was the Executive Director of YWCA NWT for more than 20 years. She has been with three YWCAs across Canada – all of which have run shelters for women experiencing violence – for more than 30 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.
Nola Mahingen is First Nations from Cowessess First Nation in Saskatchewan. She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from SIFC, now known as the First Nations University of Canada. Nola has worked with the Yorkton Tribal Council since January 2002. Most of those years were in the Justice Unit. Positions she held were South Justice Coordinator and Southern Court Worker. In January 2005, she was successful in the position of Director of Justice. In December of 2014, Nola moved over to Safe Haven, a Women’s Shelter, working as an In-House Counsellor and Family Violence Outreach, where she became the Director of Safe Haven to 18 employees.
Saadia Muzaffar is a tech entrepreneur, author, and passionate advocate of responsible innovation, decent work for everyone, and prosperity of immigrant talent in STEM. In 2017, she was featured in Canada 150 Women, a book about 150 of the most influential and ground-breaking women in Canada.
She is founder of TechGirls Canada, the hub for Canadian women in science, technology, engineering, and math – and co-founder of Tech Reset Canada, a coalition of business people, technologists, and other residents advocating for innovation that is focused on maximizing the public good. She is part of Canada Beyond 150: Policy for a diverse and inclusive future‘s Feminist Government initiative, and an advisor to Government of Canada’s Economic Strategy tables for the Access to Skilled Talent working group.
Her work on modern leadership explores big ideas and impactful strategies that address growing challenges for business leaders in today’s connected & vigilant markets; and has been featured in CNNMoney, Fortune Magazine, Globe & Mail, VICE, CBC, TVO, and Chatelaine.
Saadia is also a Pushcart Prize nominated short fiction writer. In February 2018, her work joins that of Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid’s Tale), Gabby Rivera (America), Hope Larson (Batgirl), and Amy Chu (Wonder Woman) in Dark Horse Comics‘ new anthology featuring comic and prose stories. Recently Saadia and her team released Change Together: A Diversity Guidebook for Startups and Scaleups.
Beverley Wybrow C.M.
Public Director / Treasurer
Bev was President and CEO of Canadian Women’s Foundation, Canada’s public foundation for women and girls, from 1991 until her retirement in 2014. The Foundation works to empower women and girls in Canada to move out of poverty, out of violence and into confidence. Since 1991, the Foundation has raised money and supported more than 1,600 programs across Canada. It is now one of the ten largest women’s foundations in the world.
Bev is a founder and first chair of the 1985 inter-agency steering committee which led to the establishment of the Assaulted Women’s Helpline, an Ontario-wide 24 hour crisis line for women experiencing violence.
Her extensive volunteer experience includes Board Member and President of YWCA Toronto, Board Member of Global Women’s Funding Network and the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation. She is currently a Board member of the Assaulted Women’s Helpline; Board member of MCC Toronto, the church that performed the first legal same-sex weddings in the world, and that worked to legalize same-sex marriage in Canada; and Co-Chair of MCC Toronto’s LGBTQ+ Refugee Program Strategic Advisory Committee.
Bev received the 2007 City of Toronto’s Constance E. Hamilton Award and in 2009, a Women of Distinction Award from YWCA Toronto. On December 31, 2012, Bev was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada.
Julie Young is Professor at Humber College in the Bachelors of Community and Social Services Degree Program. She holds a PhD, Masters and Bachelors from Western University. Julie is known as a social justice thought leader with a passion for diversity and inclusion, social enterprise and community building.
She is a member of the National Advisory Council on Gender-Based Violence (Federal Ministry of Women and Gender Equality – WAGE) and a GBV Expert on the National Research Program conducted by the Centre for Research and Education for Violence Against Women. She has worked alongside women and survivors of violence in Canada, and also internationally in Rwanda and the Skid Row area of Los Angeles. She is the 2020 recipient of the Excellence in Brescia University College’s Teaching Award.
Her current research program addresses women’s empowerment, the financial and social inclusion of those experiencing poverty, and gender bias within the family court. She is the past Chair of the London Race Relations Advisory Council, the Royal Bank Equity and Diversity Council, and Londoners for Opportunity. She is known by her students as a professor with an interactive classroom that bridges the distance between the academy and the real world. She is most passionate about launching the next generation of do-gooders and game-changers.