I am a white settler of English, Irish and Scottish ancestry, living and working in Victoria, BC on the traditional territories of the Lekwungen peoples of the Esquimalt and Songhees Nations. After completing my master’s degree in public health at the University of Victoria in 2014, I worked as a Healthy Communities Planner for the Capital Regional District. I then moved on to work as a Community Well-being Specialist at BC Healthy Communities Society, working with local governments and community groups across BC to support them in developing policies, processes and initiatives through a health and equity lens. In April of 2019 I accepted a position as a Research Officer with the Office of the Representative for Children and Youth. In this role I am working with provincial ministries, research organizations and service providers to improve outcomes for children, youth and families across BC; particularly for those children and youth who are receiving government services.
My work experiences have given me the opportunity to engage with diverse partners, including local, Indigenous and provincial governments, health authorities, educational institutions, community funders, local businesses and community organizations. I strive to build strong relationships with community partners and work with them, rather than for them, to identify opportunities for collaboration and knowledge sharing, and to develop strategies that better support community needs and interests. I am always working to better understand my white privilege, decolonize my personal and professional practices, and work in a way that is culturally humble, agile and safe.
My recent projects and experiences in public health include:
- Developing an Active Communities Action Guide and Healthy Housing Action Guide for local governments in BC (2018 – 2019)
- Overseeing the Active Communities Grant Program in the Interior and Island Health regions, supporting 17 local governments with healthy communities work (2017 – 2019)
- Co-presenting on equity in planning at the Canadian Institute of Planners conference in Winnipeg, MB (July 2018)
- Co-presenting on metrics for healthy communities at the Planning Institute of BC conference in Victoria (June 2018)
- Providing a health and equity lens to the Strathcona Housing Needs Assessment project, ensuring community engagement, data collection and reporting processes were healthy and equitable (February – June 2018)
- Coordinating and chairing a multi-sectoral stakeholder group called the Regional Outcomes Monitoring Collaborative to track progress towards desired health and well-being outcomes in the capital region (2014 – 2017).
- Developing an online geographic information system (GIS) mapping resource to support municipal planners and service providers to better plan for diverse populations in the capital region (2015 – 2017)
- Representing the CRD on the Stewardship Committee of the Child & Youth Health Network of the capital region; a collective impact initiative (2015 – 2017)
- Drafting a Community Health & Wellbeing Plan for the capital region, focusing on actions the CRD could take to contribute to a healthy region (2014 – 2017)
- Working with Island Health to implement the CRD’s Clean Air (No Smoking) Bylaw throughout the region (2014 – 2017)