National Capital Symposium
Sheldon Kennedy skated for three teams in his eight-year NHL career but is best known for his courageous decision to make a complaint to police about the abuse he suffered over a five year period. His Major Junior Hockey League coach was charged with sexual assault.
Sheldon has become an inspiration to millions of abuse survivors around the world and a committed, outspoken child advocate. His life story was made into an award winning movie, he has appeared on Oprah, ABC's Nightline, W-5, and The Fifth Estate, and was named Canada's newsmaker of the year in 1997. In 1998, Sheldon in-line skated across Canada to raise awareness of child abuse and donated all proceeds ($1.2M) to the Canadian Red Cross - Respect ED program. In 2006, Sheldon wrote Why I Didn't Say Anything, a riveting account of the many psychological impacts of abuse. He has received several awards for his tireless work including the Scotiabank Humanitarian Award, an Honourary Doctorate of Laws Degree from the University of the Fraser Valley, the 2012 Calgary Citizen of the year, the 2014 David Foster Foundation Humanitarian Award and, in 2015, Sheldon was named Member of the Order of Canada. He has influenced changes in Canadian law and has taken his message to the International Olympic Committee and the US Senate. Sheldon serves on the Board of the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre, a centre offering wrap-around services for victims of child abuse.
Sheldon continues to influence social change through Respect Group, the company he co-founded that provides empowering on-line education for the prevention of abuse, bullying and harassment in youth-serving organizations, schools and the workplace.
Patricia Hung is the Victim Witness Support Coordinator for the Toronto Police Service, a certified From Heartbreak to Happiness coach, author, keynote speaker, and is on numerous Advisory Committees.
As the mother of a murdered teenaged daughter, Patricia founded "Coaching Joy," an organization dedicated to helping others who are struggling with their own grief. As a speaker, Patricia speaks candidly to organizations across Canada about her daughter's homicide, challenges along the way and the difficult lessons learned.
Her work has been published in Canadian Family Magazine. She is the author of Seven Helpful Ways to Support Those Who Grieve and is a contributing Author in the best-selling book series Adventures in Manifesting.
Megan Walker is the Executive Director of the London Abused Women's Centre (LAWC), a position she has held since 1997. She is a strong and passionate advocate on behalf of abused, prostituted and trafficked women and girls. Included in the many cutting edge projects initiated by Megan and the LAWC team are the highly successful Shine the Light on Woman Abuse and the Ontario Silent Witness projects. The agency is recognized internationally for its efforts to end men's violence against women and girls.
Megan served two terms as a London City Councillor where she campaigned on a platform of social justice and women's equality rights. After choosing not to seek re-election, she remained politically active and has worked collaboratively with all levels of government. Her work has led to numerous policy changes at the judicial and legislative level.
Megan is a former radio talk show host and is a much sought after expert by local, national and international media not only on women's issues but on many other social justice issues. Her leadership has thrust the agency onto the international stage on issues of intimate partner violence, prostitution, pornography and harassment.
The London Abused Women's Centre's success in the field of intimate partner abuse has allowed the agency to expand its reach and help women throughout the world.
Megan has a keen interest in the criminal justice system and served as a founding member of the Domestic Violence Advisory Committee. She is a graduate of the London Police Citizens Academy.
Megan is a breast cancer survivor. She and her partner are parents to three adult daughters and a son-in-law.
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