Logo: Assualted Women's and Children's Counsellor Advocate Program

The AWCCA Faculty

Mandy Bonisteel

Mandy Bonisteel has worked as an advocate, activist, consultant and therapist in the anti-violence movement for over 20 years with a primary focus on adult survivors of child sexual abuse. She has worked with both survivors and perpetrators of violence and has created numerous anti-violence training programs for police, child welfare, and various community groups. She has also worked on a variety of international projects in Bosnia, Kosovo, Namibia, Azerbaijan, Mexico, India and Samoa. She is the Board Chair of the Griffin Centre in Toronto, an agency serving high needs youth, and she is a Community Research Associate with the Centre for Research on Violence Against Women in London Ontario. Mandy is a recipient of the Ontario Medal of Citizenship.

Marilyn Oladimeji

Marilyn Oladimeji is a graduate off the AWCCA program who has also been teaching in the program for the past 11 years. Marilyn has been active in the anti-violence movement as a counselor, advocate and community activist. She has taught courses on group facilitation, cross-cultural communication, the psychology of women, and feminist action and community development. Marilyn is the president of the Provincial Coalition of Sexual Assault/ Rape Crisis Centres.

Marilyn McLean

Marilyn McLean has been active in anti-violence activism and sexual violence support work since the early 1980's. Marilyn works in a feminist rape crisis centre and has taught in the AWCCA program since 1994. Courses taught have included; group leadership and facilitation, feminist theory and activism, as well as anti-oppression theory and practice. Marilyn is also involved in research on how feminist collectives develop anti-racism and other anti-oppression policies and practices.

Anna Willats

Anna Willats has been questioning authority and confronting the abuse of power since she was teenager in Milton, Ontario. She has a long history in the women's anti-violence community in Toronto and is the proud lesbian mom of two teenagers. She is also self-employed as a consultant and educator. In 2006 she was named Toronto's Best Activist by Now Magazine. Teaching in the AWCCA since 2000, her current work includes an anti-oppression course, co-developed with PARC (Parkdale Activity Recreation Centre). The program was awarded a human rights award by the city last year. Anna also manages the weekly email newsletter, Rise Up!

Carol Nicholson

Carol Nicholson is a 1998 graduate of the AWCCA program. For the past three years, she has been working in the working with women and children involved in the Criminal Justice System at the Victim/Witness Assistance Program. As a part-time professor she brings her work experience to the classroom.

Dahlia Nicholson

Dahlia Nicholson is a graduate of the AWCCA program. She has worked with the domestic violence program developed by the woman Abuse council of Toronto and is currently working with ANS to develop a youth transitional housing project. Dahlia believes that the transmission of knowledge is important in working with women surviving violence, she teaches several courses in the program.

Nadine Sookermany

Nadine Sookermany is a community literacy worker and works from a community-based holistic, critical and social perspective at Parkdale Project Read in Toronto. This approach to literacy fits with her work in the community on various boards of directors, and advisory committees relating to research and programming. Nadine has worked as an English as a Foreign Language instructor in various countries including Taiwan, Turkey, Israel, France, Hungary and Italy and has also worked as a front line counsellor in the violence against women sector. She is presently working towards her Masters of Education at OISE (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education) at the University of Toronto.

Margaret Alexander

Margaret Alexander has been an anti-violence activist, advocate, and educator for almost 18 years. Her experience includes frontline shelter and rape crisis centre work as well as active membership in several coalitions that seek to end violence against women through social policy change — including: OAITH (Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Houses) and OCRCC (Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres). Margaret has developed a number of Feminist anti-oppression, anti-violence training intiatives and published several policy and training manuals. She also participated in the production of five training films for feminist, anti-violence workers including: Safe for All and For Her Own Good: Emotional Resiliency after Abuse.

Chris Rahim

Chris Rahim has a background in Women's Studies, Counselling, and Community Development. Chris has been active in the anti-violence movement, prison abolitionist groups and anti-oppression education for the past 20 years. She has worked in women's centers/shelters with women and young people exiting the prison and psychiatric systems.

Simone Hammond

Simone Hammond has taught in the AWCCA Program for the last 7 years. She teaches courses such as Introduction to Feminist Counselling, Group Process, and Field Seminar. She is delighted to have the opportunity to educate and mentor women who are about to enter into the field of providing community-based social services with a focus on the prevention of violence against women and children. Simone brings over 25 years of experience as a counsellor, front-line worker and administrator working with women who have experienced violence. Whether the situation involves program and policy development, advocacy and community relations, management/supervision, or finances and fundraising, Simone thrives on the challenge of delivering services that make a meaningful difference within our society.


You can read Mandy's paper "Measuring Empowerment - The Application of an Empowerment Model to Nursing Development in Bosnia and Herzegovina"


I entered this program, not knowing what to expect, but knowing what I wanted to learn from it and do when I graduated. The incredibly knowledgeable and supportive faculty from the Assaulted Women's and Children's Counsellor/Advocate program, prepared me beyond my expectations. I now have the job of my dreams, I am confident in my skills as a Crisis Intervention Counsellor at a shelter for abused women and their children. There is never a day that I don't look forward to going to work. I have the program and the teacher's to thank for this!

Jennifer Leworthy,
B.A., E.C.E., AWCCA,
Crisis Intervention Counsellor
Halton Women's Place