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Partner Spotlight: Amy Maddess, Community Development Coordinator

August 2, 2023 |

Partner Spotlight: Amy Maddess, Community Development Coordinator

Can you explain to us a little bit about what your role is?

Sure! As community development coordinator for both the DART group and Ingamo Homes, I wear many hats. I arrange meetings for DART by selecting the best date/time to accommodate members, setting the agenda, and taking and distributing meeting minutes. In addition to these administrative responsibilities, I am in charge of conceiving some of the public education efforts and ensuring that they run successfully. I also manage the website and social media profiles!

What inspired you to get into this role? When did you start?

I've been in this position since January of this year. The majority of my professional experience has been in social services, and the continual nudge to move further upstream to prevent the violence that so many of my clients faced drove me to pursue a master's degree in public health at the University of Waterloo. It was suggested to me during a meeting with my university's career advisor about how to transition my social work expertise into a career in public health that I look for community development possibilities. At Ingamo Homes, a position as community development coordinator was available, and everything appeared to fall into place!

What is your favourite thing about your job?

That's a difficult question to answer because I enjoy every aspect of my profession! I enjoy meeting new people, writing speeches and workshops, creating public education initiatives, and being able to express myself creatively when promoting events. The best aspect of working in community development is knowing that I am a part of the history that makes my community a safer place for families to live free from violence.

What are some misconceptions that people have about what you do, or about working to prevent gender-based violence in general?

          There are many misconceptions regarding my role, owing to the fact that it is made up of so many distinct complex elements. I also frequently find myself dispelling myths about gender-based violence, intimate partner violence, and family violence in general, as some people may not understand what these terms mean or how they differ. One of my favourite aspects of the job is educating others within and outside of my community about the causes of violence and why, when, and how it occurs. It leads to some very interesting conversations!

Where should people go to learn more about available resources?

          I guess I'd start by encouraging folks not to be afraid of learning more, because not knowing as much as people who work in the area isn't necessarily a bad thing. Of course, as community development coordinator, I am obligated to encourage individuals interested in learning more to attend our upcoming events, which are listed on our website, or to follow us on social media!

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