NSASW award recipients-2014

Sharon Murphy, MSW

Recipient of the CASW Distinguished Service Award - 2014

Sharon has a long career in social work during which she worked in the mental health field and volunteered to a great extent.   She was active in the NSASW, particularly in the social justice realm.   She was involved with council for about 20 years and chaired the social justice committee for five years.   She has done much advocacy work on poverty and family violence issues.

 Sharon has a strong reputation amongst the social work community for her passion and commitment to social justice.   She has been a tireless advocate for disadvantaged people writing opinion pieces for the media, researching social problems and participating in various Boards and coalitions.

Sharon chaired the Amherst Poverty Action committee for 15 years and was on the Board for the Transition House for 18 years. She was on the Board for the Cumberland African Nova Scotian Association and the Board for Family and Children’s Services.   She represented Nova Scotia on Canada Without Poverty for six years, and also on the Canadian Council on Persons with Disabilities.

More recently, Sharon has been a member of the Community Coalition to End Poverty in Nova Scotia; the Community Advocates Network; Halifax Solidarity, and Kairos.   Kairos works on issues for poverty and the environment.   She is on the Board of the Affordable Housing Association of Nova Scotia, and of the Basic Income Canada Network.   She recently received the Courage to Give Back Award from Family S.O.S.   Sharon also volunteers with serving meals at churches twice weekly.

As Sharon has demonstrated immensely her capacities for compassion, leadership, high ethical standards and commitment to social justice; has furthered social work in her social action and community organization work; and has served the NSASW on Council and in Committee.   She amply fulfils the requirements for the Distinguished Service Award.

(Adopted from CASW Website)



Recipient of the Ronald Stratford Memorial Award - 2014

Established in 1984 in memory of Ron Stratford this award is given to a social worker who (1) through volunteer efforts makes a significant contribution to preventative or community based social service programs or (2) is involved in research surrounding a community based social service program or (3) makes an outstanding contribution to establishing and/or sustaining a self-help group or functions as a consistent and strong advocate for expanded preventive or community based social service programs.   It is fitting that the 2014 recipient of the award is Jacqueline Barkley.

Graduating from the Maritime School of Social Work in 1986, from the beginning of her career as a community organizer in North End Halifax, Jackie has dedicated herself to advocating for persons who are marginalized and disenfranchised by society.   During the course of her career she has worked in various capacities such as a member of the IWK Child Abuse Team, the Choices Adolescent Treatment Program, the Short Stay Mental Health services at the Nova Scotia Hospital, New Options alternative school for youth in the Uniacke Square community, the Geriatric Assessment Team at the QEII, with Corrections Canada and in private practice.   Her volunteer endeavours have been as wide ranging and varied as her formal employment and have included involvement with Dalhousie Legal Aid, Community Social Justice, North End Daycare, the Housing for People Coalition for a Non-Racist Society.   She also found time to be both manager and singer of the a capella group Four the Moment.   In addition she has been a regular commentator on social issues on CBC Radio, an author, a presenter and speaker at various workshops and symposiums.

Multi-talented, energetic, dynamic, articulate are all words that can be an integral part of any description of Jacqueline Barkley.   She is truly a social activist and advocate who does whatever she undertakes with vibrancy and passion.   As one of her supporters for the Ron Stratford Memorial Award stated:   “ Ms. Barkley offers a critical perspective on social issues and always considers prevention and development from a community perspective as a means to implement an idea and to advance a cause for positive change”....and “give of herself and her time in the promotion of social justice and prevention”.

C urrently Ms. Barkley is a member of Cultural Clinical Consultants, a group of mental health clinicians from several professions such as social work, psychology and law who ensure their services are culturally competent and inclusive in meeting the needs of their diverse client population.   As the recipient of the Ron Stratford Memorial Award, Ms. Barkley exemplifies the intent and expectations of those who established the Award, follows and enhances the path of the social worker in whose name it is given.



Recipient of the David William Connors Memorial Award - 2014

The David William Connors Memorial Award was established in 1997 by the NSASW Council at the behest of David's friends and colleagues.   A man who stressed the importance of respect, caring, empathy and dignity toward others, David's special interest and career focus was children and youth.   This Award is bestowed annually on a member of the Nova Scotia Association of Social Workers who exemplifies those attributes and works in direct practice with young people, especially youth.

The 2014 Award recipient, Betty Ann Rousselle, graduated from the Maritime School of Social Work in 1986.   Following graduation she spent seventeen years in the area of Child Protection with the Family and Children's Services of Cumberland County.   For the last eleven years, up to and including the present, she has worked with Addiction Services which is part of the Cumberland District Health Authority.   Her caseload has consisted of both youth (six years) and adults (seven years).

As the first Addiction Services worker with a caseload dedicated to adolescents Ms. Rousselle built strong relationships with external agencies, services and schools in an effort to create a caring community for adolescents in the early stages of alcohol and drug dependence.   With a firm commitment to her clients, she is imaginative and innovative in her approaches to helping them move forward.   Barriers to treatment and/or progress are viewed as challenges to overcome and, in spite of systemic and structural road blocks that may be present, Betty Ann is both creative and flexible in assisting her clients to not only seek but find their own paths to healing.

Always ready to expand her own education and knowledge to better help her clients address their needs and issues, Betty Ann is a humble person with a self-depreciating sense of humour who is unaware of the positive impact she has had on her clients and co-workers.   Recently, she has accepted responsibility for the opiate recovery program in Cumberland County to which, like all her endeavours, she will bring her knowledge, expertise and all encompassing sense of commitment.

People First, Integrity in Action and Excellence in Services are the underlying components, values and philosophy of Addiction Services.   The colleague who nominated Ms. Rousselle for the Award said of her:   “Betty Ann has demonstrated these values daily in her work.   She has a deep respect for her clients, understands what might have led them to addiction and walks beside them as they heal .... through her caring and laughter she has a deep connection with them.”   In all she does Betty Ann Rousselle truly represents the essence of the David William Connors Memorial Award and the legacy he left.