Welcoming New CEO Sara L. Austin to SKCAC

Welcoming New CEO Sara L. Austin to SKCAC

Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre announces new CEO

Sara Austin takes helm; SKCAC remains focused on uniting community to keep children safe from harm.

CALGARY – The Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre (SKCAC) Board of Directors is pleased to announce Sara L. Austin as their new Chief Executive Officer.

For the past 20 years, Sara has been a strong children’s advocate, working in leadership and executive levels for World Vision Canada, and more recently, as the Founder, President & CEO of Children First Canada; a national non-profit organization advocating for the wellbeing of children across the country.

“After a vigorous recruitment process that included many outstanding candidates, I’m pleased to announce that Sara Austin will join the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre as our new CEO in September,” said Debra Mauro, Co-Chair of the Board of Directors, Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre.

“Sara brings a wealth of experience from the non-profit sector. We are excited to welcome Sara to the Centre and to continue our mission to unite our community around a common mission to keep kids safe from harm.”

“I am deeply honoured to have the opportunity to lead the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre as the new CEO,” said Austin. I have spent my life advocating for the care and protection of children, and empowering kids with knowledge and skills to advocate for their rights. It’s exciting to be joining this groundbreaking organization in its mission to work toward the day when no child is abused.”

Sara is a recipient of the prestigious Top 25 Women of Influence, and Top 100 Canada’s Most Powerful Women awards. She is an accomplished public speaker and thought leader, and has been a lecturer in the Department of Child and Youth Studies at Mount Royal University.

Sara holds an MSt/LLM with Distinction in International Human Rights Law from the University of Oxford, along with a First Class Combined Honours BA in International Development and Women’s Studies from Dalhousie University.

“We are looking forward to having Sara Austin join our team in her role as CEO and furthering the critical work we do for children and families in our community.” said Sheldon Kennedy, Lead Director, Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre.

The Board would also like to take this opportunity to thank our inaugural CEO Bonnie Johnston. Her contribution to building the foundation of this organization is outstanding, and her leadership has been a true testament to the dedicated team working inside the SKCAC. Her passion and dedication to the families we serve, together with her depth of experience, has been instrumental to our success.

The Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre demonstrates every day what’s possible when professionals, corporate champions, community members and government work together to support children, youth and families impacted by child physical and sexual abuse, and to put an end to abuse. As the new CEO, Austin brings a wealth of skills and experience to the Centre and its groundbreaking efforts to offer hope, help and healing to children, youth and families impacted by abuse.  The Centre opened in March, 2013 with four founding partners: Calgary Police Service, Calgary Region Child and Family Services, Alberta Health Services and Alberta Justice Calgary Crown Prosecutors’ Office.  In 2014, the RCMP joined the partnership at the Centre.

The Centre was made possible, in large part, because of a wide community of support, including many individuals, corporate champions, government and partners. Today the Centre is considered one of the largest and most comprehensive Child Advocacy Centres in Canada.