NSASW award recipients-2013



Recipient of the Distinguished Service Award for 2013

Augusta-Scott, MSW, RSW, is known internationally for his work with domestic violence and narrative therapy.   He has spent almost 20 years as the coordinator of Bridges – a domestic violence counselling, research and training institute in Nova Scotia , .   He has taught at Dalhousie School of Social Work and continues to be a guest speaker at the School on a regular basis.   Tod is on faculty at the Hincks Dellcrest International Training centre in Toronto .

has presented his work in every province and territory in Canada.   He has created a group manual for working with men who have abused that has been officially adopted by the Departments of Justice in New Brunswick , Newfoundland and the Northwest Territories .   He also works nationally as a consultant to the Canadian Forces on the issue of domestic violence. Tod has co-developed the Canadian Domestic Violence Conference and the Winds of Change Therapy Conference , which are presented every two years.

has also presented his work internationally in Asia, Europe, British Isles and North America . He has numerous academic publications. He is the co-editor and contributor to the critically acclaimed book Narrative Therapy: Making Meaning, Making Lives (Sage Publications, 2007). Along with working for other academic journals, Tod is a regular reviewer for the Journal of Systemic Therapies, Canadian Journal of Counselling, and Canadian Social Work.

Tod has created a cutting edge model of practice in the Men’s Intervention Sector in Nova Scotia. As a social worker, he applies a social justice approach to his work and is well respected in the field as an expert in Narrative Therapy. He has initiated many new approaches to working with people who have been affected by family violence and professionals in the filed highly respect him as a person and as a social worker.

His interest in Narrative Therapy has also led him to publish academically as well as participate in CBC radio documentaries on the colonial history of Atlantic Canada.   Particularly, he is interested in what people choose to remember and how this influences their identities and relationships with others.   Tod lives with his wife and two young children in Halifax.   He enjoys playing music and sailing off the coast of Nova Scotia .


Recipient of the David William Connors Award for 2013

The Medical Social Workers of the Cape Breton District Health Authority nominate Darlene Marie Hall to receive The David William Connors Award. We believe Darlene exemplified all of the qualities this award recognizes. Darlene passed away February 18, 2013. She was the consummate social worker who made us proud to be a social worker. Caring, calm, dedicated, conscientious, authentic are words capturing semblance of who she was and there was no disconnect between who she was as a person and who she was as a professional social worker.

Twelve years as a front line social worker at the busy Northside General Hospital, Darlene more than handled what came her way. From compassionately assisting the suicidal patient in the emergency department to comforting the dying patient at the bedside and everything in between Darlene did it. She dealt with patients of all ages, gender and life strata. She was a generalist with the skill of the specialist. Assigned to a whole hospital, not just a unit, she was versed in everything. She knew the ins and outs of home care services, nursing home placements, adult protection, child welfare, income assistance, pension applications, powers of attorney and public trusteeships. She definitely could navigate the system, or more appropriately, "the systems" that impacted the lives of her patients.

Colleagues and co-workers have commented on her meticulous and well organized notes, her ability to diffuse anger during difficult family meetings, her mediating and negotiating abilities, and her aim to always empower those she assisted. She was an excellent clinician. In her unassuming way she asked the right questions in the right way. She had a way of putting people at ease. One person she helped remarked “She was my grief counsellor after the loss of my son, she was great at her job and I always looked forward to our sessions”. Another commented, "Darlene was a wonderful support to me when I was going through a difficult time with a special friend's illness. She helped so many with her sincere compassion". Darlene was an exceptional advocate; diligent always in ensuring patients' needs were being met, but always respectful of those she had to approach on their behalf. Personnel from other agencies commented that even when advocating strongly she never took on a belligerent tone. Darlene worked in a busy and stressful environment with many competing and incessant demands. Nonetheless, she never became cynical or bitter. Although conscientious of the needs of the hospital where she was employed, she never wavered from her stance of being client centered.

A person of integrity with a high standard of professional conduct Darlene could be counted on to maintain the gold standard of confidentiality- even in the confines of a small community where pressures to breech it could be strong. Darlene was an active member of our District Health Authority's Ethics Committee, canvassed for our work place United Way campaign, and volunteered on many committees set up by fellow social workers to help better the lot of her colleagues and patients. She was more than willing to lend her expertise in co-facilitating any support groups we were undertaking. In the multi-disciplinary hospital setting she worked well inter-professionally. Colleagues appreciated Darlene for her tact, good judgement, work ethic and honesty.

Graduating with a BSW and MSW from Dalhousie University, Darlene, in 1999, began her career in medical social work. Prior to coming to the Northside General she worked at Cape Breton Transition House, where her passion for helping women inspired her to become a social worker. At Transition House, Darlene held the positions of senior staff person and assistant executive director. Consistently fair and nonjudgmental is how one colleague described her. Darlene understood not only the needs of her clients but of her co-workers, as well. Darlene was part of a group who helped form the first collective bargaining union for transition house workers in the province.

Darlene was and is a role model for us all. She had remained consistently true to the values of the social work profession. This nomination is a way of honouring the legacy of Darlene; it is also a way of inspiring us to continue her good works.


Recipient of the Freda Vickery Award for 2013

On May 16 th , 2013 Nadia Williams received the Frieda Vickery Award for her outstanding contributions to the field of Social Work. Nadia was nominated by co-workers Jane Andres, Tonya Grant, Teresa Johnson, Heather Prosser, and Corrine Suave. Nadia retired from her position as the Professional Practice Chief of Social Work at the IWK Health Centre in December 2012. Nadia worked and demonstrated leadership in the public system for 33 years of practice in a variety of roles including Addictions Therapist, Prenatal Social Work, Neonatal Social Work, Director of Social Work and as the Professional Practice Chief of Social Work. Over her decades of committed social work practice Nadia was involved in several projects and leadership initiates such as the Single Parent Program, chair of the first Family Centered Care committee, Swiss Air recovery, Critical Incident Stress Management Program, H1N1 response initiative, 2009 Social Work Review, Models of Care in Nova Scotia, Choice and Partnership Approach in the Mental Health & Addictions program and the Family Integrated care project in the Neonatal intensive care unit. Nadia was also involved in numerous committees and community partnerships to promote the standards of practice of social work. Nadia is an excellent listener and she has a reputation for going above and beyond to help out community members and fellow co-workers.

These are excerpts from her letter of support from her co-workers at the IWK Health Centre: “ Throughout her career Nadia demonstrated compassion, leadership, creativity, initiative and high ethical standards both in her front line social work practice and as a social work leader in health care……… Nadia’s commitment to patients and families was unparalleled. She provided the best care in terms of social work service to patients and families struggling with life threatening illness, premature birth, prenatal complications and bereavement support. Her kind, gentle spirit was recognized as a highly developed social work skill that translated into her ability to advocate, counsel and assist patients and families in making difficult health care decisions and transitioning home…………… Nadia’s busy door was always open to social workers who sought her counsel on numerous practice issues. She conveyed a strong ethical framework of social work practice and provided social workers with a safe place to discuss their concerns. It was obvious that she also cared for staff on a personal level and understood the stressors of social work practice in a health care setting. She had the ability to listen, probe, ask the right questions and assist staff in determining the best course of action”

Nadia was not able to attend the awards presentation on May 16 th . Her partner, Brian Tapper accepted the award on her behalf. Plans will be made to celebrate with Nadia sometime over the summer months.