Child and Youth Advocacy Centres (CAC /CYAC)

Next  Steps Meeting,  April 11-12,  2013


Presenter Biographies
(in alphabetical order) 

Shelley Bykewich 

Shelley Bykewich joined the Edmonton Crowns’ office in 2002, just after her articles with Alberta Justice. In 2003, Shelley became part of the Family Protection Unit of the Edmonton Crown’s Office. The section focused on intimate partner violence, elder abuse, and child physical and sexual abuse. During her time in the Family Protection, her primary focus has been on child cases. Shelley has completed Dr. Yuille’s training and other courses on child forensic interviewing and has attended a number of international conferences on abusive head trauma. Shelley is now an Assistant Chief Crown Prosecutor who, though not directly in the section any longer, continues to carry child physical and sexual abuse cases.  Shelley has presented at Alberta’s Crown School and trained the EPS, RCMP, and Alberta Human Services (Children’s Services) members on child witnesses and investigations. Shelley has had the pleasure of being part of several panels presenting on the multidisciplinary approach at the Zebra Child Protection Centre.



Paula Donnachie

  • Graduated from Dalhousie Law School in 1992
  • Articled in Vancouver with a small predominantly criminal defence firm
  • Worked with a small defence firm for about two months after articling before moving  to Victoria to work with the Crown
  • Have been there since
  • About 25 lawyers
  • have done everything from bail to murder,  including acting in an administrative role.
  • one of two crown members on the CAC committee in Victoria (ORCA) since its inception
  •  resource counsel  for branch for “Victims and Vulnerable witnesses”
  • director on VBA executive



Jay Kaufman, MA, BA

Jay Kaufman is President of KTA Inc., a public sector focused consulting firm. Jay is a former Ontario Government Deputy Minister of Finance, Secretary to Treasury Board and Assistant Deputy Minister of Health responsible for policy and planning, and hospital and long term care services in the province. Prior to that, Jay had a long career with the Manitoba Government, highlighted by his appointment as a Deputy Minister responsible for Health Reform.

Jay’s consultancy specializes in strategic planning, governance improvement, public policy and strategy development, and organizational change. Jay’s knowledge and experience cover a broad field including health and social policy, public sector management, public finance, economic development, and intergovernmental and Aboriginal affairs.

Jay has been working as an advisor/facilitator on the development on the planning and development of the Toronto Child and Youth Advocacy Centre since 2011.


Cathy Mann, CFRE

As the President of Cathy Mann & Associates Inc, Cathy helps clients develop the infrastructure and culture of philanthropy required to build sustainable development programs.  In her role as Academic Coordinator and an instructor at Ryerson University’s Fundraising Management Certificate program, Cathy breaks down complex matters into achievable actions.  During her 5-year tenure as Executive Director, Frontier College Foundation received the 2007 Award for Excellence in Fundraising for Small Shops from the International Association of Fundraising Professionals. Cathy is an active volunteer with the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Greater Toronto Chapter, having held many roles:  V.P. of Professional Development, mentor and founder of the Diversity Committee.


Susan McDonald

Susan McDonald is a lawyer and is currently a Principal Researcher with the federal Department of Justice in Ottawa where she leads a team of researchers on numerous topic areas . Her primary areas of responsibility include victims of crime, public confidence, and access to justice. Susan completed her M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of Toronto in Adult Education focusing on public legal education, victims of crime, and the impact of trauma on learning. Her work has been published in numerous academic journals and books. She has many years of volunteer experience working with different community organizations on immigration and refugee issues, victim issues, and violence against women.


Sandra Pribanic

Sandra Pribanic, PhD, is a clinician at Boost Child Abuse Intervention and Prevention, where she provides assessment and intervention services to children and their families. Sandra also offers psychotherapy services to individuals, couples and families at her private practice in Toronto.

Before moving to Canada, Sandra lived and worked in Switzerland, where she received her PhD at the Institute for Physiology, University of Zurich. During that time she also completed training in psychodynamic counseling and body-centered psychotherapy. Her training then continued in New York, where she studied clinical psychology, with an emphasis on trauma.

Her approach is holistic, and integrates her professional background in early childhood development, early relational and collective trauma, body-centered psychotherapy, neuroscience and mindfulness.


Pearl Rimer

Pearl Rimer, Dip.C.S., M.E.S., is the Manager of Research & Training at Boost Child Abuse Prevention & Intervention. She designs and conducts award-winning training for community service providers, children and youth, and has also developed and implemented training programs across Canada for high-risk home visiting programs. Pearl has dedicated 30 years to the fields of child care, child abuse and children’s mental health as a consultant, instructor, trainer and research coordinator. Pearl designed and implemented the first child abuse course to be offered in an Early Childhood Education Program in Ontario, and co-authored the first Canadian textbook on child abuse.  Pearl was the recipient of the Stand Up For Kids Award in 2012.

Jill Witkin
Jill Witkin is Deputy Crown Attorney of Toronto and manages the trial courts at Old City Hall. She was previously the manager of all of the specialty courts, including child abuse, domestic abuse, mental health, drug treatment and the Aboriginal Persons court. Between 1994 and 2009 she worked as an Assistant Crown Attorney in the Toronto office and prosecuted all types of cases in both the Ontario and Superior Courts, with a particular specialization in child abuse and domestic abuse. She was a former Team Leader of the Toronto Child Abuse Team. She has been a past director of various courses run by the Ontario Crown Attorneys Association including the course “Sexual and Domestic Violence”.  She speaks regularly on various aspects of criminal law and procedure at a variety of educational conferences and at Osgoode Hall Law School. In addition, Jill completed her Master of Laws in 2002 in Melbourne, Australia, where her thesis focused on evidentiary, procedural and constitutional issues surrounding videolink and closed-circuit television. In the community, she is a Director and past Chair of the Board of the Regent Park School of Music and a past Director  of Boost (Child Abuse Treatment and Prevention).