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John Robinson Award

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In 1979, the London Family Court Clinic received a grant from the federal department of justice to review the police and court response to abused women. The grant required a local advisory committee to review the findings and implement recommendations. As a result, the London Coordinating Committee to End Woman Abuse was formed in order to jointly identify problems, share information, and provide seamless service to women experiencing violence.

3037854 In February 1981, the Committee released a research report that provided an analysis of the Criminal Justice system’s process, and also victims’ perceptions of the system and its gaps. Among other report recommendations put forth by the Committee, was the essential need for police to lay charges in all cases of woman abuse.

This was strongly supported by key figures within the London Police, most notably Inspector John J. Robinson, who had worked tirelessly to advocate for more effective protection and support for abused women. He championed a policy that lead to a 95% arrest rate for calls to woman abuse cases in the City of London. And, as a result of his considerable efforts, and under the leadership of then Chief, Walter Johnson, in May of 1981, a new policy on charging in wife assault cases was formalized. The policy instructed officers to lay charges of assault where there were reasonable and probable grounds to believe an assault had taken place, which took the onus off the victim to bring charges.

London was the first city in Canada to develop such a policy, five years before any provincial or federal directives. In gratitude for the tremendous impact that John Robinson made, in 1988, the LCCEWA established an award in his name to honour and recognize an individual or group who has promoted substantial change in the area of woman abuse.



2016 John Robinson Awards

2016 was an extraordinary year for the John Robinson Celebration with 7 awards granted to individuals who have made tremendous contributions to ending violence against women. Recipients were feted at a breakfast celebration held at the Hyland Country Club on November 24th

The Member Award was given to Émilie Crakondji, founder of Carrefour des Femmes, an organization that offers services to Francophone women who have experienced violence. Innovation Awards were granted to Heather Fredin from the London Family Court Clinic, and Lisa Heslop, formerly with the Family Consultant’s Unit of the London Police Service.

Receiving Lifetime Contribution Awards were Mary O’Sullivan of the Elgin Middlesex Detention Centre, Marg McGill of Daya Counselling, Judge Eleanor Schnall of the Ontario Court of Justice, and Constable John McDonald of London Police Service.

2016 John Robinson Award Winners
Lisa Heslop, John McDonald, Émilie Crakondji, Marg McGill, Eleanor Schnall, Heather Fredin, and Niamh O'Sullivan
who accepted the award on behalf of her mother Mary O'Sullivan

2015 John Robinson Awards

2015 was a banner year for the John Robinson Celebration with 6 awards granted to individuals who have made tremendous contributions to ending violence against women. Recipients were feted at a breakfast celebration held at the Hyland Country Club on November 26th.

Retiring and receiving Lifetime Contribution Awards were Wendy Acton from Vanier Children’s Services, Mary Huffman from the Middlesex-London Health Unit, Melanie Murphy from Women’s Community House, and Julie White from Unifor.

Receiving the Member Award was Patricia Verkley from Canadian Mental Health Association Middlesex, with the Innovation Award granted to Yasmin Hussain of the Muslim Resource Centre for Social Support & Integration.

2015 John Robinson Awards
Recipients: Melanie Murphy, Julie White, Wendy Acton, Mary Huffman, Patricia Verkley
2015 John Robinson Award Winner Yasmin Hussain
Yasmin Hussain was presented with her award in December as she was working in Germany and unable to attend the John Robinson Award celebration.

2014 John Robinson Awards

The 2014 John Robinson Awards were presented on November 13th at the London Music Club. This year’s recipients were Darlene Ritchie, Executive Director of Atlohsa Native Family Healing Services and Sister Sue Wilson, Director for the Office of Systemic Justice, Canadian Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph. Chosen for their exceptional contributions to ending violence against women, the 2014 John Robinson recipients have supported the most vulnerable women through compassionate and empathetic care. They have worked tirelessly through prevention, intervention and advocacy with issues around human trafficking, social justice, and the intersectionality of violence against women linked to homelessness, poverty, mental health, substance abuse, housing, child welfare, criminal justice and the legacies of colonization and oppression of First Nations peoples.

2014 John Robinson Awards
Recipients Darlene Ritchie and Sue Wilson

2013 John Robinson Awards

The 2013 John Robinson Awards were presented on November 21 at the London Music Club. This year’s recipients include Darren Couling, former Domestic Violence Coordinator, London Police Service; Kate Wiggins, Executive Director, Women’s Community House; and Joy Lang, Community Liaison Officer, Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women and Children. Chosen for their exceptional contributions in ending violence against women, the 2013 recipients have supported women at their most vulnerable through compassionate and empathetic care for abused women and their families through the criminal justice process, advocacy and responsiveness for women seeking the safety of shelters, and in helping empower women to transition to greater stability and safety in their lives.

2013 John Robinson Awards
Recipients Darren Couling, Kate Wiggins and Joy Lang

2012 John Robinson Awards

The 2012 John Robinson Awards were presented on November 22nd at the London Music Club. This year’s recipients include Louise Pitre, Executive Director of Sexual Assault Centre London, Sarah Scanlon, formerly with Sexual Assault Centre London, and Joanne Sherin, Executive Director of Madame Vanier Children’s Services. Chosen for their exceptional contributions in ending violence against women through activism, advocacy and public education, the recipients have helped to transform the social landscape, push boundaries, engender dialogue, and reach out to marginalized individuals who have experienced sexual violence including adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse, sex trade workers and the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgendered communities.

2012 John Robinson Awards
Recipients Sarah Scanlon, Joanne Sherin and Louise Pitre

2011 John Robinson Awards

The 2011 John Robinson Awards were presented on November 17th, 2011 at the London Music Club. This year’s recipients include Tim Kelly, Executive Director of Changing Ways, Dr. Mohammed Baobaid, Executive Director of the Muslim Centre for Social Support and Integration, and Sergeant Lorna Bruce, the Coordinator of the Persons at Risk project. Each of the recipients have engaged in innovative initiatives to end violence against women by working with men who engage in abusive behavior, creating resources and culturally competent engagement strategies for the Muslim community, and supporting vulnerable street-involved women leave the sex trade.

2011 John Robinson Awards

Past Recipients

  • 2018 – Colleen Kelly
  • 2018 – Patti Marshall
  • 2018 – Megan Walker
  • 2016 – Émilie Crakondji
  • 2016 – Heather Fredin
  • 2016 – Lisa Heslop
  • 2016 – Mary O’Sullivan
  • 2016 – Marg McGill
  • 2016 – Eleanor Schnall
  • 2016 – John McDonald
  • 2015 – Wendy Acton
  • 2015 – Mary Huffman
  • 2015 – Yasmin Hussain
  • 2015 – Melanie Murphy
  • 2015 – Patricia Verkley
  • 2015 – Julie White
  • 2014 – Darlene Ritchie
  • 2014 – Sue Wilson
  • 2013 – Darren Couling
  • 2013 – Kate Wiggins
  • 2013 – Joy Lang
  • 2012 – Louise Pitrie
  • 2012 – Sarah Scanlon
  • 2012 – Joanne Sherin
  • 2011 – Sgt. Lorna Bruce
  • 2011 – Dr. Mohammed Baobaid
  • 2011 – Tim Kelly
  • 2010 – Murray Faulkner
  • 2010 – Jeff Fielding
  • 2010 – Saundra-Lynn Coulter
  • 2010 – Shelley Yeo
  • 2009 – Maureen Reid
  • 2009 – Margaret MacPherson
  • 2006 – Patricia Hodgins
  • 2004 – Women’s Mental Health & Addictions Action and Research Coalition & the Middlesex-London Health Unit
  • 2003 – Nora Shanahan
  • 2002 – Arlene Timmins
  • 2001 – Susan MacPhail
  • 2000 – Larry Marshall
  • 1999 – Nathan Garber
  • 1998 – Margaret Buist
  • 1996 – Barbara Lent
  • 1995 – London Police Family Consultant Service
  • 1994 - Sandra Savage
  • 1993 – Lorne Ave, Public School
  • 1992 - Bob Gough
  • 1991 - Jan Richardson
  • 1990 - Marion Boyd
  • 1989 - Dr. Peter Jaffe
  • 1988 - Inspector John Robinson