Born in Ireland, Julian has over 35 years experience working in non-profit, government and private sectors in Canada, the UK, Indonesia and his country of birth. The vast majority of his working life has been spent at the margins of society — in particular in the inner city communities of London, UK, and Edmonton, Alberta — seeking to achieve some degree of social justice for those served through a combination of practical, needs-based programming and advocacy. He has been a frontline worker and a manager in a wide range of programs and projects over the years, which have included housing, poverty reduction, community engagement, HIV/AIDS, harm reduction, the differently abled, employment, youth services, social enterprises, health, education, and children and family services.
Michele is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and has held various financial leadership roles in the private sector over the past 20 years. Michele joined Our Place in the fall of 2022 bringing her private sector experience to the non-profit world as a way to contribute back to the community. Although she doesn’t work directly with our family members, she tries to embody the values that Our Place Society upholds everyday – Unconditional Love, Hope, Teamwork, Belonging and Safety.
Janice has recently moved home to Vancouver Island and brings years of fundraising experience, advocating for some of the most stigmatized populations – the unhoused and addicted. She wants to ensure that everyone has access to the resources and supports to rebuild their lives. Her last position was securing philanthropic support for a large Therapeutic Recovery Community in North Carolina. She has also worked for several international organizations over the past 25 years securing funding to protect endangered species, while educating and resourcing communities to live in more balanced ways. Her secret dream is to one day be a professional travel photographer. Her biggest love – and her biggest embarrassment – are her three very poorly behaved dogs.
Leah joined Our Place in 2014 with expertise in client care and case management as a Psychiatric Nurse. Coupled with experience in operating a small business and the ability to build strong relationships with family members, community and service agencies, makes this very unique role synergistic with her personal values and strengths. Leah looks forward to creating tangible opportunities for those Our Place serves to enhance lives and provide hope. Her desire is to continue championing Our Place Society’s core values, and address the gaps in our mental health and addiction systems, whilst changing the narrative of societal perspective and further the potential to affect system changes.
Jordan first began serving vulnerable people on the streets of Victoria when he was a teenager. With 15+ years of frontline, non-profit experience, Jordan has been instrumental in making sure vulnerable people are fed, washed and housed. Before moving into the Director of Services role, Jordan served as Our Place’s Outreach Manager for over 10 years.
Grant is a communications professional with an extensive career in journalism, including senior editorial positions with the Vancouver Sun and Calgary Herald. He is considered a local expert on issues surrounding homelessness and addiction. Grant is also an internationally published thriller & mystery novelist with Random House, Penguin Canada, Heyne Verlag Germany, Midnight Ink, Polis Books, and others. He has been shortlisted for both the prestigious Thriller Award (International Thriller Writers) and Shamus Award (Private Eye Writers of America), plus awarded a Praxis fellowship for screenwriting.
Marion believes that hope, ongoing support, and giving someone a chance is the way to a better life. She has been with OPS since 2013 and has seen people transform their lives through the support of the caring staff at Our Place Society. She is committed to recruiting the best people and supporting them to care for the vulnerable population on Victoria’s streets. Marion has over 20 years of Human Resources experience and has worked with many people over the years to provide employment opportunities for people to get them started on a new path.
Cheryl committed over 30 years of her career to supporting children, youth and families in the Edmonton area. For many of those years as an Executive Manager with Child and Family Services for the Alberta Government. Cheryl is passionate about working from a strengths-based and collaborative lens and has spent her career leading staff, initiatives and strategies from this evidence-based perspective. From 2018 until 2020 Cheryl joined the non-profit sector as the Chief Executive Officer for the Zebra Child Protection Centre in Edmonton. Her combined experience within both government and the nonprofit sectors will align well with the needs of the New Roads Therapeutic Recovery Community Centre.
Often motivated by food and snacks, Bob keeps all of the Our Place facilities in top ship shape.
From Hot Dog Soup to full-course Christmas dinners, Brian has seen – and cooked – it all in his over 34 years with Our Place. Managing a team of 20 over 6 sites, Brian brings compassion, humour and sparkling tastebuds to serving over 1,400 meals every day.
Dawn brings over 25 years of Volunteer Management experience to Our Place Society. She believes Our Place to be a magnet attracting people wishing to gain life experiences and make a difference in their community. Volunteers themselves have expressed feeling the impact of their volunteer work on their very first shift. Scheduling amazing people into available opportunities doing meaningful work is the recipe for success here at Our Place.
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Lee has committed much of her career to working with vulnerable populations. She brings with her, many years of experience in the non-profit sector as well as her own lived experience. She is passionate about recovery and supporting others on their recovery path. New Roads is very fortunate to have her as part of our team!
Courtney started volunteering at Our Place in 2012 after completing a degree in finance and moving back to Victoria. She kept bothering the volunteer coordinator for more hours until she joined the staff team in 2013, and has since held a variety of positions including Addictions Outreach at the Community Centre and Site Supervisor of Muncey Place. She will always be grateful to Our Place for taking a chance on her and giving her the opportunity to work with such an amazing group of family members and colleagues.
Aarmin’s dedication to Our Place began as a Support Worker in 2020. Evolving into a leadership role as a Site Supervisor, he has amassed invaluable first-hand knowledge of various housing and shelter locations. Now serving as the Operational Manager of Housing and Shelters, Aarmin’s leadership ethos, shaped by his sports background, centres on fostering a culture of teamwork. Aarmin feels privileged to serve and positively impact his community.