I arrived in Canada in 1970 after being raised and completing studies in Clarinet and Music Education in the Netherlands. Over the next thirty-plus years, I worked in Education, both as a teacher, a coordinator and guidance counsellor. While working as an educator, I also served in the Canadian Forces as a Music Director for twenty years. My Last eight years I worked with cadets all over Canada. Considering that most people serving in the forces wear multiple hats, I was also involved in career planning, personel selection and budget preparation.
Over all those years I was able to assist many young people with problems brought on by family conflict. It did not surprise any of my friends that I prepared to start yet another career.
Conrad Grebel College at the University of Waterloo was my first stop and I successfully obtained my Advanced Diploma in Conflict Resolution. Still taking course, I qualified for my QMed designation from the ADR Institute followed by an Family Arbitration qualification. As my interest, as always, was in working for the best interest of children, I became accredited through the Ontario Association of Family Mediation (OAFM) as a family and child protection mediator. However, I also participated in Elder Mediation training through Family Mediation Canada. Shortly thereafter I provided Information Referal Services in Toronto, Hamilton and now in the Kawarthas, Peterborough and Northumberland regions while also mediating in private practice. in 2012 I was invited to take up a position with the Newfoundland Supreme Court, although it was supposed to be a short-term position, it turned into permanent appointment for the next 5 years. Although I loved the position, the desire to return to our home and family in Ontarion made me leave in March 2018. All mediators providing services in court settings must take a variety of courses on a yearly basis. In 2020, I took Family Group Conferencing, On-line Dispute Resolution, New Ways for Life ( a followup to the New Ways for Families course by the High Conflict Institute) and Child Inclusive Mediation/Voice of the Child courses. Curently, I am taking an Indigenous Course through the University of Alberta and I just finished three days of Anti Racism training.