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Our Team

Staff Board
vanessa bui
community developer
Shayne De Wildt
Director
Romi Chandra Herbert
Co-Executive Director
Sarah Dobson
Director
Lydia Luk
Community Developer
Tara Taylor
Secretary
Robin McConnell
Financial Coorinator
Kira Yee
Director
Simran Sarwara
Youth Community Developer
iris yong pearson
co-executive director

Staff

vanessa bui

youth community developer

vanessa is a first-generation vietnamese youth who has spent almost their entire life on the unceded and occupied territory of the Coast Salish people. born on Lekwungen & WSANEC territory, they currently live on the territory of the Tsleil-Waututh, Musqueam, and Squamish nations. they are committed to grassroots organizing with anti-oppression and decolonization principles and believes strongly in the power of well-informed people–-that through the process of un/learning and healing we can empower ourselves to rise above.

vanessa first learned facilitation through co-facilitating workshops across canada and has since been honing their skills at PeerNetBC for the past three years. they are grateful to be a part of the team and for the opportunities for growth, connection, and community. favourite saying: we either get there together, or we don’t get there at all!

vanessa can be reached by email, vanessa @peernetbc.com.

Romi Chandra Herbert

Co-Executive Director

Romi Chandra HerbertRomi is in good company amongst the diverse South Asian diaspora in Canada. Seeking refuge from multiple coups in Fiji (which still continue to this day), he and his family fled in 1989 to find a new home. As a result, social justice practices and community mobilizing became central to his day to day life. In 1997, he helped establish the very first Gay/Straight Alliance in BC at his high school in Maple Ridge.

Over the past 16 years, Romi has had the honour of working and learning with diverse communities across the province and internationally. He was worked as a youth worker for queer and immigrant and refugee communities, both at a grassroots level and within established institutions. He has co-authored 4 resource manuals: HRSDC’s guide for queer youth employment (1999); PrideSpeak (2004), a helpful guide to presenting anti-homophobia workshops; Evolve: No One Gets Left Behind (2007), a train the trainers anti-oppression training manual; City of Vancouver’s citizenU: Anti-discrimination Training for Vancouver Youth, 2010; and Be the Change (2012), a leadership training manual for queer youth. His work was recognized by McCreary Foundation through their “Fostering the Youth Agenda” award and through City of Vancouver’s Youth Diversity Award as well as the Cultural Harmony Award. Romi finds his strength in helping others to help themselves. There is nothing else in this whole wide eco-system that Romi would rather be doing…except maybe doing all this on the beach!

Romi can be reached by email, romi @peernetbc.com.

Lydia Luk

Community Developer

Lydia has a passion working with diverse communities. From her volunteer experiences working with seniors to her extensive work with queer youth in the Lower mainland, Lydia brings her enthusiasm for community development and experience in community mobilization, engagement and development with respect to social justice and queer issues. As an alumni of Youth Facilitate This! Workshops of PeerNetBC, Lydia has truly come full circle to be part of the PeerNetBC team now as a community developer.

Lydia can be reached by email, lydia @peernetbc.com.

Robin McConnell

Financial Coordinator

Robin has been working in different non-profits over the last 15 years in a variety of capacities. Robin’s experience has ranged from starting out working with youth in the Downtown South, to a variety of youth advocacy projects, to more recently as a support worker in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Robin has a particular interest in substantive community engagement.

When not working in the PeerNetBC office, Robin can be found hosting the Inkstuds Podcast on the internet. Robin also had his first book, Inkstuds published in the fall of 2010 by Conundrum books.

Robin can be reached by email, info @peernetbc.com.

 

Simran Sarwara

Youth Community Developer

18034004_1232543046865811_2758302533567940006_nSimran Sarwara is a former Global Stewardship student at Capilano University with a strong as well as a diverse background in the participation of various grassroots initiatives. As she continues to do so, she expresses an ambition to develop and deliver youth empowerment workshops in various communities of marginalized youth, particularly among Indigenous and newcomer communities. She is currently working towards maintaining grassroots ties through youth empowerment-based work while also pursuing a career as a human rights lawyer for Indigenous communities within Canada. Simran hopes to be able to extend this work onto an international platform in various capacities. She envisions the implementation of multiple movements, projects, and campaigns around the world that will be able to support any youth to accomplish his/her/their goals in the same way she has been supported to do so

Simran can be reached by email, simran @peernetbc.com.

 

iris yong pearson

co-executive director

iris and fedoriris aspires to work and live in a society based on equity, free from discrimination, full of compassion and activism. She developed the People Power diversity training manual and co-authored Evolve: No One Gets Left Behind an inclusive leadership training manual. She brings with her experience in social justice – youth, diversity, inclusion and anti-racism work but does not believe that these are separate entities nor does she focus on these exclusively. She has a great love of hockey, the Oilers and gnomes. Despite The-Powers-That-Be, iris still believes…

iris can be reached by email, iris @peernetbc.com.

 

Board

Shayne De Wildt

Director

My name is Shayne De Wildt. I live in North Vancouver. I am 25 years old and have Cerebral Palsy. However, my disability does not prevent me from being very involved in my community. I’m on two committees which both address accessibility concerns for people with disabilities: TransLink Users’ Advisory Committee and the North Shore Advisory Committee on Disability Issues. I am also a member of the PeerNet board which does amazing work in communities throughout BC. I currently work part-time for the North Shore Recreation Commission overseeing pre-teen dances and have enjoyed spending time assisting seniors with troubleshooting and becoming familiar with their electronic devices. I enjoy a number of activities including PowerChair Football, Yoga, adapted skiing and kayaking and swimming. I am passionate about working in the Information Technology field and advocating for people living with disabilities.

Sarah Dobson

Director

Sarah Dobson is a grant writer, editor, and productivity coach for researchers and non-profit organizations. Her background is in population health and health systems research. Before starting her own business she worked in research management at universities across Canada. Sarah is also a co-founder of Basics for Health Society, a non-profit operating in British Columbia.

Tara Taylor

Vice-President

Tara’s currently project manager for Recipes for Success, a city funded initiative supporting employers to become supportive employers. Tara’s been working at a grassroots level in the non-profit sector for over 12 years. She has been an effective champion of sustainability; working and thinking across multiple disciplines and sectors to develop community systems that promote social justice alongside a balance of community development and community well-being. Working within queer theory and allyship, the majority of Tara’s work has been centered in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

 

Kira Yee

Director

Kira is an active community member engaged in creating equality for all walks of life. She is currently a member of Youth for Chinese Seniors which aims to improve the quality of life of Chinese seniors and families with an intergenerational approach. The group does this by addressing seniors’ needs and service gaps at individual and community levels. Part of this intiative includes events such as movie and cooking night. Cinema is the medium for human connection. Unstructured social interaction promotes creative self-expression and community building. Kira has been a background performer in the local television, movie and film industry since 2012. She was part of the crew in “Floating Away” by Ko Eto, winner of Best Picture at the New York Indie Film Awards and the LA Independent Film Festival Awards. She also had a minor role in the music video “Tear Down the Wall” by Kieran Strange which can be viewed on Youtube.

Kira is also a volunteer with Battered Women’s Service Society. She engages community by participating in outreach events such as the Gathering place, fair in the square, women’s safety fair and women’s memorial march.