Women in Defence and Security Honoured with Memorial Scholarships
Honouring the women who are Canada’s defence and security pioneers.
OTTAWA, ONT., MARCH 8TH 2017 – The President and Executive Committee of Women in Defence and Security (WiDS), joined by the Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, were pleased to announce the recipient of the 2017 Women in Defence and Security’s (WiDS) Memorial Scholarship at a breakfast awards ceremony held today, on the occasion of International Women’s Day, at the Shaw Centre in downtown Ottawa.
Each year, WiDS presents this award in memory of a Canadian woman who has made the ultimate sacrifice in service to her country. This year, in recognition of the 100th anniversary of Vimy Ridge and Canada’s 150th, the executive committee looked back in history and is proud to honour First World War Nursing Sister Katherine Maud Macdonald, of Brantford, Ontario. The first Canadian woman killed in World War I.
This year, the scholarship committee selected Sarah Dobson, a fourth-year undergraduate student studying International Relations and Economics at Dalhousie University from the more than 50 applications that came in from across the country to receive the $5,000 award. The winning candidate was assessed on her academic standing as well as on her leadership abilities.
“We are very pleased to be able to recognize Sarah's academic pursuits and to encourage her to continue her studies in defence- and security-related industries,” said WiDS Executive Vice-President Kristine Osgoode. “It is fitting tribute to the bravery and lasting legacy of Nursing Sisters like Macdonald that we are recognizing her selfless contribution during Canada's 150th celebrations, the 100th anniversary of the Battle Vimy Ridge, and on International Women's Day.”
The ceremony brings together leaders in Canadian defence and security organizations from both the private and the public sectors, including law enforcement, policing and first-responders. The event will be attended by more than 250 participants, including several VIPs from military, security, policing and defence industries as well as Dr Melanie Morin-Pelletier, First World War Historian at the Canadian War Museum and author of “Briser les ailes de l'ange: Les infirmières militaires canadiennes (1914-1918).” Dr Morin-Pelletier’s current research interests focus on human experiences of the war, whether on the battlefield, in military hospitals or on the homefront.
The scholarships are made possible thanks to the generosity of the WiDS ceremony sponsors, including gold-level sponsor THALES Canada, bronze-level sponsors HPE and Babcock, exclusive sponsors Lockheed Martin and Via Rail as well as founding sponsor CADSI. Thanks also go to the dedicated sponsors who played for a great cause at the annual WiDS / CADSI / CANSEC golf tournament held in May at the Hylands Golf Club.
WiDS is a volunteer organization comprised of women and men whose goal is the advancement of women pursuing careers in defence and security. From just a few members in 2005, WiDS has grown to more than 2,500 members and supporters, many of them prominent in their respective fields.
Biographical information follows. For more information about WiDS and the Memorial Scholarship, please visit www.wids.ca or follow WiDS on Twitter (@WiDS_Canada).