Marie-Noël Campbell – Executive Director and Lawyer Marie-Noël Campbell is a practising lawyer called in both New York State (2011) and British Columbia (2016). She holds a Master’s Degree in Business Law from Paris Nanterre University and a LL.M in American Business Law from Tulane Law School. She also attended UBC Law School during an exchange year. She worked in the Human Resources department of a multinational in Paris’ Business District, and at a NY-based law firm in Brussels. She passed the New York State Bar shortly before moving to Canada. She started her legal career at a non-profit organization in Vancouver where she launched and managed pro bono programs to represent low-income individuals appearing before various provincial tribunals, and was later appointed an adjudicator for one of them. Marie-Noël Campbell is honoured to now serve BC’s seniors as we navigate through the COVID19 pandemic.
Marie-Noël is currently on maternity leave until May 2022, and Alison Brewin is the interim executive director during this period. Visit Alison’s website here: https://alisonbrewin.ca/.
Edith Szilagyi – Lawyer
Edith began her legal career in Australia, where she was called to the New South Wales Bar in December 2009. In November 2010, Edith decided it was time to come home, to Coquitlam, as she wished to be settled here with her young family. In May 2014, Edith was called to the British Columbia Bar. Having practiced law in two law firms, opportunity came to start her own practice in 2016. Edith chose to do so in gorgeous Port Moody. Over the years, Nova Law has become a successful law firm that is highly regarded. Edith’s main practice area is family law and estate planning and litigation.
In addition to running Nova Law (on a part time basis) she now also puts the skills she has gained through her legal career to good use by advising lawyers as a Practice Advisor for the Law Society of British Columbia.
Edith joined Seniors First BC in September 2021. She finds the work fulfilling – she is able to educate, counsel, and empower clients to make informed decisions about their cases in a personal and compassionate way.
When she is free, she loves spending time with her husband, Gavin, her son, Sebastian and daughter, Inara. She loves crocheting. Everyone in her family gets a crochet gift for Christmas, every year, whether they want it or not. Reading is something she does every time she has a minute to spare. She thoroughly enjoys sci-fi and is a big fan of Star Trek and Doctor Who.
Garwa Kong – Lawyer
Garwa Kong was called to the British Columbia Bar in 2011. He received his Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) from UBC Sauder School of Business, and his Juris Doctor from UBC Peter A. Allard School of Law, where he was the recipient of the Bruce H. McColl prize in ADR. After articling for the Honorable Justice Jay I. Solomon, Garwa worked in various roles in public and professional legal education, including as a curriculum designer and instructor at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law, a publisher of print and digital legal texts at Emond Publications, and a practice management advisor at the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council. He is an ADRIBC accredited Mediator and Arbitrator. Outside of work, Garwa enjoys reading, writing, drawing, swimming, table tennis, photography and graphic design.
Nighat Afsar – Legal Advocate
Nighat has a law degree and practised law for 15 years in Pakistan. As a Britannia Chevening Scholar, she completed her Master’s degree in International Law from the University of Hull, UK. She also has a Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Colorado-Denver. Nighat works in the Legal Advocacy Program, providing information, referral and representation services to older adults.
Nataliya Ivannikova – Legal Assistant
Nataliya enjoyed studying English language and literature at Lviv State University (Ukraine). She completed a diploma in Tourism from International Air Transport Association (Geneva, Switzerland). She also successfully completed the Legal Assistant Certificate program at Vancouver Community College. She has worked as a Legal Assistant at various law offices specializing in Corporate, Personal Injury and Aboriginal Law.
Suad Seddiq – Office Manager and Administrative Assistant
Suad is the Office Manager and Administrative Assistant for Seniors First BC and the Elder Law Clinic. Suad has trauma informed training and leadership skills in dealing with vulnerable groups. She also has accounting education background. She has previously worked and volunteered in various capacities with marginalized communities in the Vancouver, Downtown Eastside including but not limited to volunteering with children, families, and seniors from all abilities, mental health states, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. She is passionate about giving back to community and serving elderly facing barriers, with dignity and compassion.
Tina – Manager of SAIL and Victim Services Program
Tina works on the Seniors Abuse and Information Line, with a particular lens on gender-based oppression and criminalization. She holds a Criminology and Political Science degree and a Legal Studies certificate from Simon Fraser University. Tina has volunteered and worked in areas such as community policing, corrections, crisis intervention, and domestic violence. She is committed to supporting vulnerable individuals and building a safer community.
Queen – Victim Services Worker
Queen is a graduate of the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and a graduate of the Vancouver Community College Community Counselling Skills Program. She has volunteer and work experience with the Multicultural Family Centre, YWCA, and Battered Women Support Services. Queen also has training in Community and Settlement Services, Crisis Line Intervention, Domestic Violence Intervention, Non-violence Intervention and Mental Health First Aid. Provides information, assistance, and emotional support to older adults who call SAIL line.
Sarah – SAIL Intake Worker
Sarah works for the Seniors Abuse and Information Line. She has completed training in Emergency Medical Call taking with the British Columbia Ambulance Service and a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from the University of British Columbia. Sarah has experience providing support and advocacy for older adults, in community and emergency settings.
Hannah – SAIL Intake Worker
She completed her Bachelor of Arts degree at Simon Fraser University with a major in Psychology and a minor in Counselling & Human Development. Her previous volunteer experience includes psychology research, crisis intervention, and peer mentorship. She is passionate about working with individuals to support their resiliency.
Jane – SAIL Intake Worker
Jane graduated from the University of British Columbia and Bristol University and has experience in the fields of social justice and poverty law. She is passionate about providing assistance to people of all backgrounds and ages. She is pleased to be working on the Seniors Abuse and Information Line.
Mara – SAIL Intake Worker
Mara works for the Seniors Abuse and Information Line. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Minor in Counselling from Kwantlen Polytech University. Her previous experience includes: crisis intervention and suicide prevention, counselling clinic intake services and administration, as well as volunteering with older adults in both community and assisted living settings. Mara is focused on fostering compassionate care, community connections, and supporting the strength of individuals.
Maggie – SAIL Intake Worker
Maggie served as the Seniors First BC office manager for six years and is thrilled to be back as part of the SAIL Team, doing meaningful work and supporting older adults across the province. Prior to this, Maggie worked for the federal government at the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for 29 years as a Citizenship and Immigration Officer and served as the citizenship judge coordinator for the BC-Yukon region. Maggie is fluently trilingual and has a BA from Concordia University in Montreal.
Angela – SAIL Intake Worker
Angela completed a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of British Columbia with a major in French and a minor in Psychology. She worked for the federal government as a Citizenship and Immigration officer for 30 years and enjoyed helping people from around the world to navigate government resources and processes. She is proud to be serving seniors through the Seniors Abuse and Information Line.
Justin Lee – Workshop and Outreach Coordinator
Justin is the Workshop and Outreach Coordinator at Seniors First BC. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of British Columbia (UBC), majoring in Philosophy. Justin has volunteered for Access Pro Bono as a Clinic Assistant, Grant Writer for Shelter Movers Vancouver, and started as a Public Education and Outreach volunteer for Seniors First BC. He is passionate about improving the lives of seniors in his community by providing information to the public about issues that seniors may face across the province of British Columbia.