Board of Directors

  • Chanae

  • Nicole

  • Meaghan

  • Erica

  • Leticha

  • Sue

  • Patricia

  • Catherine

  • Cara

  • JJ

  • Ardath

Interested in joining the board?

Click to learn more and apply.


Nicole Blinn. Nicole is a Master’s of Health Promotion student at Dalhousie University, researching Indigenous women, girls, and Two-Spirit people’s health with and for her community. Stemming from her lived survivorship experiences, education, community-identified priorities, and professional experience, Nicole is committed to relational governance from a feminist, trauma-informed lens to support Avalon Centre clients, staff, other board members, and broader community.

Dr. Patricia Celan. Patricia is a resident physician in postgraduate psychiatry training. She has a particular interest in treating complex trauma; she is passionate about supporting survivors of intimate partner violence, sexual violence, and other forms of abuse.

Erica Clausen. Erica is a former infantry soldier, with family ties to the Canadian Armed Forces, and is passionate about the change the CAF is making to protect service members from sexual harassment and abuse. Erica is a Search & Rescue Volunteer, a sexual abuse survivor, an advocate to help children who were sexually abused as kids and a passionate feminist ready to uplift minority groups.

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.

Meaghan Norris. Meaghan is from St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, and relocated to Halifax this year. She holds a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Toronto and has spent the last six years holding positons in mental health and addictions, including direct clinical experience, and management positons. She has spent time working in rural and remote communities in northern Labrador, and is currently a social worker at the IWK Health Centre in the Mental Health and Addictions program. Meaghan is interested in helping groups and communities with capacity building and strategic planning, and works from feminist, intersectional and trauma-informed perspectives.

Chanae Parsons. Chanae is from the Black heritage community of Lucasville, and a loving mother to her son Cairo. She holds a Bachelor of Social Work degree from Dalhousie University and is pursuing a Masters of Education focused in Adult Education, Women’s Leadership and Community Development from St. Francis Xavier University. She is the Coordinator of Youth Initiatives and Projects with the Delmore “Buddy” Daye Learning Institute (DBDLI), and participates on various provincial boards and committees, including the African Nova Scotian Sexual Violence Advisory Committee, African Nova Scotian Employment Innovation Lab, and GameChangers902.Chanae is also an active member of the Nova Scotia Association of Black Social Workers and a Co-Founder of the community based organization ACCE (Arts, Community Culture and Economics), where she provides support to a wide range of African Nova Scotians in vulnerable positions.

Cara Pfeffer. Cara is a Financial Analyst and has over a decade of experience in the industry. Auditing not for profits  inspired her to lend expertise to boards. A particular volunteer highlight in her old community of Brandon Manitoba includes Treasurer on the board of a Women’s Resource Centre that encourages a governance with respect, diversity, transparency, and equality with a feminist perspective. She currently serves on two other boards within HRM as Treasurer.

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.