Board Members

Louise Adongo, Chair. Louise is Manager of Policy and Corporate Supports at Housing NS. Unafraid to try new things or do old things differently, Louise has worked on projects in program development for public and not-for-profit sectors in Nova Scotia and parts of Africa. During her first community development experience, she discovered her passion for social justice and equitable resource use. She has previous Board experience and has worked in various research, policy and evaluation roles in provincial government for over a decade. She has a keen interest in supporting communities to better themselves, volunteering as a Board member at the Health Association of African Canadians, with the Halifax Local Immigrant Partnership (HLIP) and was a founding Board Secretary for the Freetown Initiative (now Help2Overcome) . 

Catherine Crossley. Medical admin staff in emergency dept. Former client of Avalon, committed to advocating for women’s and victims’ rights.

Sue Goyette, Vice Chair. Sue is an artist, educator, and activist who is currently studying complex trauma and the impact of sexual violence and abuse in Saint Mary’s University’s Women and Gender Studies Graduate Program 

Leticha Lucas, Staff Representative. Leticha is the Intake and Initial Response Support Counsellor at Avalon. Often the first point of contact to those calling to request service. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a counselling focus. She has many years of experience working with youth and families from marginalized communities. Leticha values the opportunity to have a direct impact on ensuring that those in need receive the services they deserve.

Hilary Murphy, Treasurer. Hilary holds a B.A in criminology and sociology, and works for Coverdale Courtwork Society. They are starting Grad School in Addictions and Mental Health, are on the board of directors for the Youth Project and are the Treasurer for the Anchor City Rollers Club. Hilary is a derby skater, is trauma informed, and passionate about honesty and helping people make positive changes in all the spaces they exist in. Being inclusive and accessible is what Hilary fights for.

Martha Mutale. Martha Mutale is a graduate of Saint Mary’s University who studied Sociology and History. She was on the 2016 slam team representing Halifax at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word, and also attended Canadian Individual Poetry Slam in Vancouver in 2017. Martha is a poet and community organizer. She has written, performed and collaborated on pieces for many years and works to involve youth in her work to offer networking opportunities as well as help them build their brand. Martha helped co-found a small poetry series called Poets for Progress which offered a space for artists to use their series as a platform to tell stories. In 2018 she organized and planned the Viola Desmond Poetry night during Viola week. As someone who grew up away from home, her goal is to find ways to support those who need it, newcomers and local members of the community. She uses her talents as ways to build community, expand her networks, challenge her own perceptions, and to hopefully find ways to help those who are new, and experienced to co-exist together without judgement and conflict. She currently works at a Parent Resource Centre and emergency shelter, and also runs her own Hair Business and has a few upcoming projects on the go that will help her better identify her next steps in the next phase of life. She is looking forward to getting back into volunteering.

Anita Smith. A SMU alumni holding a MACP and BA, Anita Smith has been a Counsellor II A with Child Protective Services for over 11 years.  Anita brings experience as former Fund Development Coordinator at Bryony House, past Board member and past Chair of Women’s Employment Outreach and current Board member of Coed Volleyball Nova Scotia.  Anita is also a kickboxing instructor at 30 Minute Hit and enjoys playing volleyball in her spare time. 

JJ Steeves. Home grown on a farm in Nova Scotia, JJ Steeves (JEI) has been working with her hands all her life. Fiercely dedicated to bringing art solely out of the realm of formal institutions and into a space for anyone of any background, JJ’s aim with her art is to touch and stir the emotions of her audience. To treasure the mundane and foster intimacy between art and viewer is especially important to JJ as she documents those aspects of her life which provide sustenance and warmth through autobiographical comics, street art, and still life works.

Dr. Ardath Whynacht. Ardath is a professor and researcher with more than 15 years experience working with both survivors and offenders of intimate partner, family and sexual violence. She currently holds two research grants for projects related to trauma and violence. She is a regular consultant for news media and non-profit organizations working with survivors and offenders on issues of gender, rehabilitation and the effects of violence in institutional contexts.

Kate Wright, Secretary. Born in New Brunswick, Kate Wright (BA, BSW, SWC) has held non-profit positions in the Maritimes for over ten years with a focus on women and youth. She now works as a social worker in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia.