Ten of Alberta’s top social sector leaders received The Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee Medal on Wednesday.

“I am so grateful for each of you, and the contributions you’ve made,” said Andrea Silverstone, CEO of Sagesse, the organization that nominated the individuals. “You’ve had a profound impact on communities across Alberta, and the country.”

Silverstone, who also received a medal earlier this month, presented the awards to the 10 recipients. 

The accolade honours people who have made a significant contribution to Canada, Alberta, their communities, or fellow citizens. Approved by Queen Elizabeth II prior to Her death, the medal commemorates the 70th anniversary of Her late Majesty’s accession to the Throne as Queen of Canada.

Join us in congratulating the 10 winners:

Brigitte Baradoy

Brigitte is being awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal for her outstanding service and citizenship in the social sector.

With more than 30 years of service under her belt, she has profoundly impacted the housing sector in Alberta. Brigitte is especially recognized for her work as the Executive Director of Discovery House Family Violence Prevention Society from 2004 to 2011.

Brigitte is the architect of many innovative housing models for those impacted by domestic abuse, including a housing-first community housing model and a safe-at-home model, which allows victims to stay in their home after the abusive situation.

She is also dedicated to collaboration, serving as co-chair of the Calgary Domestic Violence Collective, implementing innovative collaborative solutions and approaches to enhancing the system of care for domestic abuse in Calgary.

As a consultant in the social sector, she has contributed her wealth of experience and knowledge to supporting domestic and sexual abuse agencies to enhance their practice.

(Pictured top left to right: Joy Johnson-Green, Darlene Hyatt, Nicole Letourneau, Lisa Watson (on Zoom screen), Andrea Silverstone, Lana Wells, Brigitte Baradoy. Bottom left to right: Jeff St. John, Krysta Halfe, Deb Thomlinson, Chris Johnson)
(Pictured top left to right: Joy Johnson-Green, Darlene Hyatt, Nicole Letourneau, Lisa Watson (on Zoom screen), Andrea Silverstone, Lana Wells, Brigitte Baradoy. Bottom left to right: Jeff St. John, Krysta Halfe, Deb Thomlinson, Chris Johnson)

Chris Johnson

Dedicated to eradicating sexual violence in Alberta, Johnson has led significant changes in the social sector. Under her leadership, the Southeastern Alberta Sexual Assault Response Committee transformed into Sanare Centre, an organization that supports people who have experienced sexual violence in Alberta. In addition, Sanare has been growing their capacity for child advocacy and helping people not only in Medicine Hat, but throughout the region, to understand and address the real impact of social, sexual and domestic trauma.

As a co-chair of IMPACT Alberta and IMPACT Medicine Hat, and as the executive director of the Sanare Centre, she has ensured that the needs of the community are heard and met with collaborative intervention and prevention services.

Darlene Hyatt

Darlene Hyatt is senior pastor in Olds, Alberta, and a voice for growth and support in her church and her local community. As a pastor, she has worked to ensure her community has access to domestic abuse information and resources.

She is an outspoken leader within her community, willing to say the things that need to be said, even if it is hard. She was one of Sagesse’s first provincial partners in understanding how faith communities can and must play a role ending domestic abuse.

Hyatt’s guidance has served as a model for engaging communities across the province.

Deb Tomlinson

Deb Tomlinson is a master collaborator. She pulls disparate voices together and helps them to become one harmonious vision. This includes the development of Connect family and sexual violence network, an innovative initiative that has brought together the domestic and sexual violence sectors to collaborate in providing a unified entry point for all services.

In her role as the CEO of AASAS, Deb has supported the sexual violence sector in collaborating on initiatives that have created deep impact, such as the I Believe You campaign, which has taught Albertans how to best support victims of sexual violence.

She was awarded the medal for her leadership in ending sexual violence in our province.

Jeff St. John

Dr. Jeff St. John is a true original, who balances extensive research and learning with creativity and empathy.

As co-founder and Director of Men &, he is helping address a critical gap in the sector: effectively engaging men and boys in violence prevention, and providing intervention services that are non-gendered, effective and relevant.

His work will help drive a community understanding of violence that recognized its complexity but inspires action. Beyond his academic work, he was a special way of encouraging organizations, and their leaders, to recognize opportunities to grow and innovate.

Joy Johnson-Green

Joy Johnson-Green is a visionary in the social sector. She’s been a leader in our sector since, as she puts it, Jesus was a child. Working primarily to provide shelter for those fleeing abuse, she’s developed innovative programs and shared her understanding of best practice interventions to make sure women and children get the support they need to make positive change.

Her understanding of intervention and prevention work embraces the continuum of care, so no one is left behind. She has also employed a faith-based lens in a way that invites people into those communities, and invites those communities into the work.

Krysta Halfe

Krysta Halfe is the Director of Family Services at Native Counselling Services of Alberta. She has a keen and critical understanding of domestic violence, and how it impacts Indigenous people and communities.

Krysta calls people into difficult conversations in a way that eliminates shame and blame and invites collaboration. She has a vision for engaging Indigenous peoples in our sector, and for intervening to support those impacted by violence. She has brought this vision to the table as a Steward of IMPACT, the provincial collective action initiative to end sexual and domestic violence.

Lana Wells

As the Brenda Strafford Chair in the Prevention of Domestic Violence at the University, we’ve benefited from Lana Wells’ expertise through her work with IMPACT, and in many other arenas.

She has dedicated her career to violence prevention with a passion for bringing research to the forefront to inform how we make decisions in our sector.

Additionally, Wells has earned the Order of the University of Calgary this year, the John Hutton Memorial Award for Social Action and Policy from the Alberta College of Social Workers in 2016, and the Alberta Inspiration Award in Leadership in Family Violence in 2015.

Lisa Watson

Lisa Watson carries a lot of responsibility on her shoulders as Executive Director of the largest shelter in northern Alberta, called Odyssey House. With her vast expertise and empathy, she paints a picture of the diverse needs and the real resiliency of rural communities and families.

Watson’s career has included advocacy on all the important issues that impact the health and happiness of individuals and communities, including housing, equity, poverty reduction and supports, and violence prevention.

Now, as the co-chair of IMPACT, she brings people together to drive a collaborative vision for ending violence.

Nicole Letourneau

Nicole Letourneau is a creative, innovative and developmental researcher, who is unafraid to step into the unknown.

Dr. Nicole Letourneau, PhD, RN, FCAHS, FAAN, is Professor in the Faculty of Nursing and Cumming School of Medicine (Pediatrics, Psychiatry and Community Health Sciences) at the University of Calgary, where she holds the Alberta Children’s Hospital Chair in Parent-Infant Mental Health.

She is also the Director of RESOLVE Alberta and Principal Investigator of the Child Health Intervention and Longitudinal Development Studies Program, and APrON.