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  • Manitoba Association of Women's Shelters

MAWS provides information only. If you are in danger call 911. If you or someone you know is being abused, call the confidential 24/7 provincial toll-free crisis line at: 1-877-977-0007

Transforming Together

Transforming Together is a four year (June 2019-May 2023) domestic violence/family violence system change project hosted by the Manitoba Association of Women’s Shelters (MAWS) and funded by Women and Gender Equality Canada (WAGE).  The project is using a collective impact approach to engage and empower stakeholders to re-think and re-energize the collection of services operating within the sector, to amplify the voices of those with lived expertise and to address the causes of domestic and family violence rooted in the behaviours and structures of oppression (racism, colonialism, nationalism, sexism, ageism, ableism, heterosexism, etc.).

Meet The Team!

Colleen is the Project Manager for the Transforming Together and Human Rights projects. She recently retired from the practice of law in Ontario and relocated to Winnipeg where she grew up. Colleen’s legal career started when she articled with the Manitoba Department of the Attorney General. Since then she worked as an Assistant Crown Attorney in Ontario prosecuting child abuse, sexual assault and domestic violence cases and heading up a community legal clinic funded by Legal Aid Ontario. At the legal clinic, Colleen practiced human rights law and other areas of law impacting the low income community including housing, income security and employment law. Public legal education and community development were a large part of the work as well. Working for the Manitoba Association of Women’s Shelter is a way of using her skills and experiences to continue to contribute to the well being of the community.

Amber is a Project Specialist for the GBV Human Rights project, who brings a wealth of experience, knowledge, and skills in the violence against women (VAW) field. She has worked in the sector for eleven years in both rural and urban residential settings and brings an understanding of the unique circumstances dependent on the shelter’s geographical location. Amber has a social work background and is experienced in risk assessment, safety planning, and counseling, working with women and families experiencing complex trauma, addictions, mental health concerns and illnesses, poverty, human trafficking, issues with the justice system, and sex work. Amber also brings experience working with newcomer settlement and community development. Amber comes with a diverse education background in the Humanities. She is currently completing her PhD in Education, looking at the impact of art on traumatic experiences with war and conflict.

Sally is a Project Specialist for the WAGE Transforming Together project. Her areas of interest include gender based research with focus on women and children, racism and human rights issues, as well as policy development. Also, Sally brings experience from her work which focuses on Black, Indigenous, People of Colour (BIPOC), immigrants/newcomers as well as applying intersectional and feminist approaches on projects. She is currently completing her PhD in Sociology, looking at the predictors of successful economic integration among refugee women in Canada and holds a CIHR-funded postdoctoral fellowship (2022), working with an international team examining the effects of COVID-19 on the social, economic and mental health of newcomers to Canada.

For more information on the project please use our contact form if you have questions about how to support or engage in the work of the project.



February 2020

June 2020

June 2021

BOARD GOVERNANCE – training for non-profit boards

MAWS has completed a concise manual and is presently setting up online training for boards to use to ensure new and renewing board members understand their roles and contribute in a positive manner.  The training will have a nominal fee attached to it and will include the manual.


“This guide by the Manitoba Association of Women’s Shelters Inc. is part of “Transforming Together – A Project to Re-envision Family Violence” to build the capacity of the domestic violence shelter system in Manitoba. Funded by Women and Gender Equality Canada, a department succeeding Status of Women Canada, it is intended to create opportunities for safe conversations by board members to enhance the security they feel in their governance role.

A board may choose to work through the topics in order as part of a regular board meeting, or discuss topics of particular interest and concern in a series of board meetings. Each section of the guide includes reflective questions to prompt conversation and sharing of the wisdom in the room. Tips and tools are included where appropriate. An extensive list of references is attached to enable a deeper dive.

With strong governance, shelters will be better equipped to meet the challenges of change necessary to meet the increasingly complex needs of the women and children who access their services to escape violence.” (Transforming Together – A guide to Governance of Boards by the Manitoba Association of Women’s Shelters 2020)   

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