Women Sexual Assault Centre
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Board of Directors

The VWSAC Board of Directors would like to welcome you to the Victoria Women's Sexual Assault Centre (VWSAC)!

For over 25 years, VWSAC has been a leader and innovator in the field of trauma counselling, and the Board of Directors has the good fortune of working alongside a dedicated team of staff and volunteers. Serving on the Board is a great way to get involved in the movement to end sexualized violence, to develop new skills and to work with a creative and energetic team. To find out more about opportunties to serve on our Board, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator at volunteer@vwsac.com.


Heidi Exner - Co-chair

Heidi Exner was born and raised in the traditional Coast Salish Territory of Victoria, BC, the first daughter of new German/Austrian immigrants. In her professional life, she has worked in the field of HIV/AIDS prevention and awareness for over 10 years. She has worked with the centre as a member of Project Respect, and currently continues her involvement as a proud VWSAC volunteer, both serving on the SART team and now in her second year on the Board of Directors. She is a passionate believer in the mission of the centre, and deeply admires the dedication that she witnesses in its staff and fellow volunteers. She is grateful for the opportunity to continue to support the centre?s critical work as long as she is needed.

Sally Gose - Co-Chair

Formerly served for many years as WSAC's Manager of Direct Client Services, retiring in 2007.  Sally received her M.S.W from Carlton University in 1986.  For over 20 years, Sally has worked toward ending violence against women through her clinical work, creating and strengthening community partnerships, and informing police and research.  Sally worked in Ottawa for 12 years as a counsellor and advocate for women who had experienced abuse, and in Victoria she worked for 10 years in the field of sexualized violence. 

Kimberly Brown - Treasuer

Kimberly earned her Bachelor of Commerce Degree from UVic. She works as an Investment Advisor and Certified Financial Planner at Canaccord Wealth Management. She puts her financial skills to use at the Centre by assisting with the development of finance initiatives and fundraising. Kimberly is committed to contributing to the community in which she lives and is passionate about women?s issues.

Kelly Branchi - Secretary

I received my degree in nursing from UVic in 2002.  I have been working in Emergency for the past six years and was introduced to the VWSAC and SANE programs.  Four years ago I took the SANE training at BCIT and since then my passion for the program has grown.  I applied for the Board of Directors position to gain a community perspective, rather than just a medical.  Outside of nursing, my true love is yoga.  I did my yoga teacher training two years ago and practice as often as I can.

Emily Arthur - Director

Emily Arthur joined WSAC in 2010 as part of the sexual assault response team. She has an undergraduate degree in sociology (minor in women?s studies) as well as a master?s degree in sociology focused on sexual identity, discourse and online communities. Through volunteer work with different agencies, Emily has attained valuable experience working with clients across the lifespan who are dealing with complex issues related to mental illness, problematic substance use, interactions with the justice system, unstable housing, and experiences of trauma. In combination with professional experience with policy analysis and development, Emily has gained first-hand understanding of the needs of diverse populations, the impacts of social policy and programming, and the critical interplay between multiple agencies working to serve vulnerable populations. Emily is passionate about the development of client-centred approaches and innovations in service delivery, which work to empower the women accessing services and the surrounding community.

Julia Denley - Director

Julia is a pre-med student at UVic studying biochemistry/microbiology and English. She is passionate about fundraising and giving back to the community; she started UVic Hope, a humanitarian fundraising group that has conducted fundraisers for a variety of causes, including a benefit concert, silent auction, and raffle for the Victoria Women's Sexual Assault Centre. She thoroughly enjoyed serving on the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes organizing committee of 2012, and also volunteers as a SART worker; she is proud to contribute to WSAC and is a big supporter of all the work that the Centre does for survivors of sexualized violence.

Sean Dhillon - Director

Sean Dhillon is a finance professional with CIBC Bank with expertise in residential and construction financing across Canada.  Sean is an award winning finance professional and is a long time resident of Victoria attending both high school and University here. In addition to helping Canadians reaching their financial goals Sean actively volunteers in the community with numerous non-profit agencies. Sean is also trainer and lecturer on Social Media Best Practices and has been recognized for such work by speaking at small and large scale conferences.  Sean has been a supporter of WSAC for the past 4 year and recently helped organized the ?Walk A Mile In Her Shoes? event.  In his spare time Sean is a ?weekend warrior? whereby he participates in Soccer, Running and Cycling.

Yvonne Haist - Director

Yvonne teaches in the School of Social Work at the University of Victoria. She also has a private counseling practice which centres on trauma work and is deeply informed by many years of training in somatic integrative work. Her passion is to unify the political, the spiritual and body wisdom in social work practice.

In her spare time Yvonne loves to sing, to kayak, to drum and to explore new places.

Debra Scarfone - Director

Debbie earned her BA from UVIC in 1984, majoring in Anthropology. She has spent many years working & studying in the Social Services sector and is especially interested in childhood trauma and its effects as a person grows into adulthood. After graduating from UVIC Debbie concentrated on developing a career in business and has gained in-depth experience in Accounting, Budgeting, Human Resources and Management. She now works in private practice, providing bookkeeping and other business services to small & medium sized businesses.