• To support social and economic wellbeing for children, youth, families, and communities in ways that are equitable and sustainable.
  • To build bridges among researchers, policy-makers, and practitioners as well as across sectors in order to facilitate knowledge mobilization, cultivate effective partnerships, and engage in meaningful action.

 Janet Newbury

Dr. Janet Newbury

Dr. Janet Newbury is an instructor and researcher, and is involved in a number of community-based initiatives.  She teaches and does research in the Department of Human and Social Development at the University of Victoria, Canada (in the School of Child and Youth Care), and is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Faculty of Graduate Studies.  She has also taught at Vancouver Island University, where she is Adjunct Faculty in the Health and Human Services Department, and in the School of Communication and Culture at Royal Roads University.  She has worked in group homes, camps, an after-school program, an orphanage, and a family resource centre, and as family initiatives worker and family enhancement worker.

The focus of her research and practice has shifted to community engagement as it relates to health and wellbeing, decolonization, and democracy in general terms.  She has been involved in a number of projects through which she explores and pursues the connections between community-based approaches to economic and social development and the wellbeing of children, youth, and families.

Through this work she has participated as co-founding member of the Post Growth Institute, a research associate with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, an associate with the Taos Institute, and a member of the global Community Economies Collective.  She has also been a co-founding member of a local civic literacy group called PR Voices, president of the Powell River Diversity Initiative, and a board member of the Powell River Employment Program Society.  Currently, she is on the boards of the Sunshine Music Festival, the Powell River Division of Family Practice, and the Powell River Historic Museum and Archives, and is involved in a number of other community efforts that prioritize decolonization and intergenerational/ intercultural engagement.  Her writing has been published widely for both academic and popular audiences.



Many of the initiatives featured here have been done in collaboration with and/or with support and guidance from the following partners:

Marie Hoskins

Dr. Marie Hoskins

Dr. Marie Hoskins is a Full Professor in the School of Child and Youth Care (Faculty of Human and Social Development) at the University of Victoria, Canada.  She has served for several years as the Graduate Advisor and was recently the Interim Director for the school.  She has published her research in numerous academic journals including Mediation Quarterly, Qualitative Inquiry, The Journal  of Constructivist Psychology, Constructivism and Human Sciences, the Canadian Journal of Counselling, Qualitative Research, the Child and Youth Care Forum, to name just a few.  She has also co-edited, Working Relationally with Girls (2004) along with her colleague, Dr. Sibylle Artz.

Her teaching focus has been in the area of human change processes, girls’ identity challenges and various modes of interpretive inquiry. She has been the principal investigator on two large Social Sciences and Humanities Research Projects (SSHRC), one focused on eating disorders and processes of change, the other focused on the relationships among culture, substance use, and transformation.  She has been a board member on the BC Eating Disorders Association, Victim Services, the International Executive for Constructivism and the Human Sciences, a former member of the advisory team for the National Training Institute for Adolescent Health and a former member of the coordinating team for the Child Soldier Initiative led by Senator Romeo Dallaire.  She is currently an advisor  for the Taos Institute (an institute that promotes peace and conflict resolution in various contexts).

You can learn more about Marie’s work and how to contact her here.

Alison Taplay

In addition to instructing in Vancouver Island University’s School and Community Support Worker Certificate program (SCSW), Alison provides Coordination for the Human Service Programs offered at the Powell River campus including the Disability Studies Diploma, a second year opportunity that builds on the SCSW. She brings 30 years of experience in the community living sector in both BC and Ontario to her teaching practice as well as expertise in K-12 classroom settings. Her master’s degree is in Leadership. She is passionate about social justice and change processes and sees innovation and engagement as essential tools for advancing the well-being of organizations and communities.  She is currently conducting research funded by a Vancouver Foundation Grant matched by community organizations and enhanced by VIURAC.

Alison is new to post-secondary instructing but believes there is a unique synergy between her previous work and best practices for effective teaching and learning whether face to face, online, or using blended modalities. She sees herself as the curator of an effective and stimulating learning environment that is student centered, inclusive, relational, and process oriented. In this space responsibility for learning is shared, critical thinking is fostered, reflection is valued, and boundaries are eliminated so that new knowledge and ways of being can emerge. She believes that in this space we have the capacity to inspire and be inspired to become not only better at the work we do or hope to do, but better people and better citizens.

You can learn more about Alison’s work and how to contact her here.


  • School of Child and Youth Care, University of Victoria
      The School of Child and Youth Care offers a rich educational experience that supports practice and research with children, youth, families, and communities who are experiencing challenges.
  • Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, BC Office
      The CCPA is an independent, non-partisan research institute concerned with issues of social, economic and environmental justice.
  • The Taos Institute
      The Taos Institute is a community of scholars and practitioners concerned with the social processes essential for the construction of reason, knowledge, and human value.
  • Community Economies Collective
      The CEC is an international collaborative network of researchers who share an interest in theorizing, discussing, representing and ultimately enacting new visions of economy.
  • Powell River Employment Program Society
      The PREP Society acts as an umbrella organization providing administration for a wide range of community-based services and programs, such as employment, mental health, literacy, community resource, and parenting support programs.
  • Powell River Diversity Initiative Society
      PRDI creates, sponsors, and promotes diversity-related projects and programs that increase awareness of diversity, provide diversity education and foster an inclusive and safe community.
  • Powell River Voices
      PR Voices has a long-term vision of Powell River as a resilient community where the values of transparency, sustainability, and broad citizen participation prevail in civic governance.
  • Common World Childhoods Research Collective
      This international research collective promotes interdisciplinary research that focuses upon more-than-human childhood relations and pedagogies, and is motivated by ethical and political concerns.

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