About the Presenters

Stephanie Townsend is co-owner of Clannad Counselling and Consulting in Kentville. Connecting through relationship and supporting individuals in their own healing journey has always been a passion of Stephanie’s. Her work has lead her from community development work to grass roots community-based counselling. The common thread has been about building relationships. Recognizing the importance of relationships, Stephanie has been drawn to attachment-based therapy that offers her a framework that matches her interest in human connection and how our relationships influence our development in childhood and throughout our lives. Stephanie’s experience over the last 12 years includes working with military families, children, youth, veterans, and couples. She utilizes a variety of therapeutic modalities including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Emotion Focused Therapy for individuals and couples, Circle of Security Parenting ©, and is a certified Equine Assisted Psychotherapist involving the use of horses in the therapeutic session. Stephanie has supported people experiencing challenges with anxiety, depression, trauma, addiction, relationship breakdown, parenting, child and youth behaviours, post-partum psychosis, and various exceptionalities.


Charnell Brooks holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Social Work Degree from Dalhousie University and she is currently pursuing a Master of Social Work Degree. Charnell is the first African Nova Scotian Social Worker to be employed by the Nova Scotia Legal Aid Commission. Prior to working at Legal Aid, Charnell worked at the Department of Community Services as a frontline Child Protection Worker (CPW). As a CPW she was dedicated to helping families while at the same time ensuring the safety of children. Charnell’s goal is to continue to be an advocate for those who cannot advocate for themselves, especially for individuals from historically disadvantaged African Nova Scotian communities.

Crystal Hill is a Registered Social Worker employed as the Indigenous Social Worker with the  Nova Scotia Legal Aid Commission. Previous to this, Crystal worked in Mental Health for more than 15 years and has been instructing Basic Mental Health First Aid since 2007.


Steve Young, BA, MSW, RSW is a Clinical Social Worker in the Regional Family Therapy Program with the Department of Community Services. He and a colleague work together in the Western Region providing counselling to clients involved with Child Welfare, Adoption, Foster Care, Income Assistance and Employment Support. Steve has attended camp for the past 4 years and has enjoyed participating in workshops, learning about painting, sculpture, lava beads and so much more and now he looks forward to offering you the opportunity to use your powers of deduction, observation and cooperation to solve a few riddles and hopefully have some fun along the way.


Cassie of Mooncoast Yoga first stumbled upon her yoga journey looking for a physical getaway and ended up taking on an adventure of a lifetime. Her yoga practice serves her not only on her mat, but in every aspect of her life. As an addictions counsellor and family and community resource worker, Cassie uses yoga to help herself and her clients learn new beginnings while being mindful and staying in the moment. Cassie uses her knowledge she has gained from yoga in other activities in her life that she thoroughly enjoys such as hiking, kickboxing, being by the ocean, spending time with friends, family and her kitties, house renovating, being crafty and so much more. “Yoga has helped me become who I am and has certainly built on my present self: patience, confidence, being goal-orientated, creativity and more. This is something one can practice on a daily basis without even having to get on their mat; to help find peace in the most difficult of times or to take on the happiest of moments, in the moment.” 
Cassie wants nothing more than to pass this great fortune onto others. 

Ceramic artist, Andrea Puszkar has been making and teaching pottery in North End Halifax for nearly 20 years.  She is the founder of Turnstile Pottery Cooperative and now runs a small studio out of her home called Union Street Pottery. She makes and sells her work at various locations throughout the HRM and has collaborated on a number of community art projects; working with the Halifax Regional Municipality, Nocturne Art at Night, 4Cs Foundation and the Community Foundation of Nova Scotia. Her community art sparked an interest in social work and in 2015 she graduated from Dalhousie School of Social Work.  Born and raised on the prairies, Andrea is also NSCAD-U graduate and a mother of two awesome kids.


Dr. Wanda Thomas Bernard is a highly regarded social worker, educator, researcher, community activist and advocate of social change. She has worked in mental health at the provincial level, in rural community practice at the municipal level, and, since 1990, as a professor at the Dalhousie School of Social Work, where she also served as director for a decade. In 2016, she was appointed Special Advisor on Diversity and Inclusiveness at Dalhousie University and she is the first African Nova Scotian to hold a tenure track position at Dalhousie University and to be promoted to full professor. Dr. Thomas Bernard has worked with provincial organizations to bring diversity to the political processes in Nova Scotia and teach community members about Canada’s legislative process and citizen engagement. She is a founding member of the Association of Black Social Workers (ABSW) , which helps address the needs of marginalized citizens, especially those of African descent. As a former member of the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women, and as its past Chair, was instrumental in the development of advice to ministers regarding frameworks for gender violence prevention and health equity. At the national level, she has served as a member of the National Coalition of Advisory Councils on the Status of Women. She has served as an expert witness in human rights cases and has presented at many local, national and international forums. Dr. Thomas Bernard has received many honours for her work and community leadership, notably the Order of Nova Scotia and the Order of Canada.


Judy Lipp is the Director of Flying Squirrel Adventures a Valley-based outdoor program for all ages that connects people to nature (both nature within and nature all around) through outdoor activities, naturalist skills and mindfulness techniques. The Flying Squirrel is a symbol of being curious and having fun in nature!  Also, the flying squirrel is active all through the year, and is very social and hangs out in groups.   https://valleyflyingsquirrel.wordpress.com/


Anne Bishop has been an activist for four decades in organizations dedicated to local, international, environmental, food, fibre and LGBT justice. She is the co author of five books and author of two: Becoming an Ally: Breaking the Cycle of Oppression in People and Beyond Token Change: Breaking the Cycle of Oppression in Institutions. Under the Bridge is her first novel.

Sparklensign has been offering workshops and fundraising events for the past 3 yrs. It is locally owned and operated in the Annapolis Valley. Pat Hines will be our teacher for this event.

Lisa Messervey is an MSW that has been working in the field for 20 years. Her recent endeavours include work in Remote Communities in Nunavut. Her experiences in NU include working in Residential Care, Mental Health and Addictions with children, youth and families. Her current position is the Territorial Mental Health Specialist for Children and Youth. This opportunity has presented a wealth of knowledge, but not without its challenges which build the foundational context for working in Northern Indigenous communities. Prior to coming to the North, you may have recognized Lisa from her work in NS at the QEII Emerg, MHMCT, SchoolsPlus, Wood Street Centre or her many years in Child Welfare.


Shandelle Warford is originally from Newfoundland and has been a Registered Massage Therapist for 10 years. She has been working for 5 of those years in the Town of Berwick where she  is “her own boss”.  Shandelle is also an avid axe thrower and becoming known in the area for her skills at running Trivia Night! We welcome her back for a second year with us!


Kayla O’Hearn received her Master of Social Work in 2019 from Dalhousie University. Prior to pursing a graduate degree, she spent three years working with marginalized children, youth and families through a variety of programs at Family SOS. She then spent a short time working as a women’s counsellor at Bryony House where she supported women and their children seeking safety and refuge from intimate partner violence. Kayla is currently working as a School Social Worker, where she supports students and families experiencing acute situational stressors. Kayla is a firm believer that learning from clients is the foundation of social work practice.

Yousef Al-Nasrallah received his Bachelors and Masters of Social Work from Dalhousie University. Throughout his career, Yousef has worked in various roles within The Nova Scotia Health Authority. During his MSW placement, he worked in the Emergency Department. After graduating he worked in the Rheumatology Clinic and the Cancer Care clinic. Yousef is currently working as an Adolescent Social Worker with the Mental Health and Addictions Team at Colchester East Hants Health Centre. Yousef’s main focus in the field includes raising awareness regarding barriers stemming from racism and xenophobia while promoting culturally sensitive practice for working with the marginalized population. 

Laura Cormier is the founder & CEO of Workplace Therapeutics. She is also a 2011 graduate of the Canadian College of Massage & Hydrotherapy specializing in Deep Tissue Therapy and Myofascial Cupping Treatments. “Balancing work and the rest of your life is no easy task. I'm hopeful that in offering my workplace massage services, your work-life balance becomes easier to achieve, making life less stressful and easing all those aches and pains. I’m really excited to be providing massages again at this year’s Social Work Camp 2020 and hope that you can book a massage and truly enjoy your weekend. See you all there!”