Jan. 15, 2019

A Fond Farewell: Carmela Hutchison Retires from DAWN Canada Board



On behalf of the Board, Staff and Membership, it is with great appreciation for her many years of leadership and service that we announce the retirement of our President, Carmela Hutchison from the Board.

Carmela joined DAWN Canada as our Interim President in 2006 and was elected as President in 2007, a time when the organization was going through a major transition. She addressed governance issues within the organization by leading the process of establishing a national head office in Montreal, hiring a national executive director, and making DAWN Canada officially bilingual. These steps, along with renewed bylaws and sound financial management helped to stabilize DAWN Canada’s operations.

From this position, DAWN Canada has been able to significantly increase its capacity, including hiring more staff, securing more federal and provincial funding, and attracting more women with disabilities to the board.

Beyond governance, Carmela has led DAWN Canada’s board with a strong vision for the organization while maintaining a deep commitment to women with disabilities and Deaf women. She has led initiatives for policy change and advocacy on some of the most critical issues for women with disabilities, including violence prevention, housing, employment, and Medical Assistance in Dying.

Carmela Hutchison is one of the leading feminist disability activists in Canada. Her contributions to people with disabilities extend well beyond DAWN Canada. She has also served Canadians with disabilities as the president of the Alberta Network for Mental Health, and as an executive member of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities. Her volunteerism spans more than two decades and includes a broad range of complex and compelling issues. She has made further contributions through knowledge transfer and service in the areas of peer support and mental health, poverty, addictions, disaster planning and tourism.

Carmela’s legacy to Canadians with disabilities, especially women with disabilities will continue to be felt far into the future.

We wish Carmela a warm and fond farewell.