I’m an Australian Social Worker, who had the privilege of visiting SWOVA as part of my Churchill Fellowship – a scholarship supporting me to travel to Canada and the USA to investigate Family Violence and Sexual Assault prevention programs, approaches and evaluations.

As I travel around, my intention is to learn about unique and promising practice, to then share when I return home. I was inspired by Lynda, Christina and Sharyn who shared details about SWOVA’s Respectful Relationships program, training and youth engagement. I was particularly interested to learn about the Youth Team as I’ve not heard of such an established youth-leadership component in any program back home. I loved that the focus was on providing further enrichment and opportunity for the participants, as much as supporting them to co-facilitate future programs.

I was also interested to hear about the strengths and challenges of SWOVA’s online, module style training which allows the program to reach more young people in more parts of Canada. This is perhaps something for Australian’s to consider, given our equally large and expansive country.

Given that Salt Spring Island is relatively isolated, I was amazed that the SWOVA team has achieved so much.

Thanks for having me!

by Ellen Poyner

If you would like, you can follow my Fellowship blog – ellenpoyner.wordpress.com

Ellyn with Lynda Laushway, Christina Antonick, and Sharyn Carroll

Ellen with Lynda Laushway, Christina Antonick, and Sharyn Carroll

Ellyn with Cynthia Gillis (Chair of SWOVA board)

Ellen with Cynthia Gillis (Chair of SWOVA board)