Children First Canada Founder Sara Austin Recognized by WXN as one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women for Third Straight Year

TORONTO, November 23, 2016 – Children First Canada founder Sara L. Austin has been recognized as a 2016 Women’s Executive Network (WXN) Top 100 award winner for the third year in a row. The Top 100 Award recognizes women who have made strong contributions to their organizations, their fields of endeavour and their communities.

Sara was chosen as a winner of the KPMG Professionals Award for her accomplishments as a passionate champion for women and children, and as an established senior leader with nearly 20 years of experience in the non-profit/charitable sector.

The award comes less than a week after Sara publicly launched Children First Canada, a new non-profit with a bold and ambitious vision to make Canada a world-leading country where all kids thrive. While there are many effective children’s organizations already in place, Austin saw a gap that needed to be filled. Unlike other children’s organizations, the goal of the new non-profit is to advocate and hold the federal government accountable to meet the needs of its youngest citizens, and to mobilize public awareness and action for children by engaging a wide range of united stakeholders. Rather than acting alone, Children First Canada is uniting and leveraging Canada’s leading children’s charities, research institutions, corporations and community leaders to speak with a united voice for Canada’s children

Prior to forming Children First Canada, Sara was Director of the President’s Office at World Vision Canada. In that role, she was the chief advisor to the President and Board of Directors; she also led strategic initiatives for the wellbeing of children and advanced workplace equity, diversity and inclusion. 

Sara has helped change the lives of the world’s most vulnerable children. Her leadership of a global campaign to strengthen international laws resulted in the UN General Assembly adopting ground-breaking legislation which allows children or their advocates to file complaints against their government for violations of their rights. She drafted the protocol during her graduate studies at the University of Oxford, and her efforts culminated in April 2014, when Sara delivered a speech at the UN Headquarters in New York as the law went into effect.

Children First Canada would also like to congratulate fellow Top 100 recipient Kathleen (Katie) Taylor, Chair of the Board of RBC, Chair of the Board for Sick Kids Foundation, and a key member of the Council of Champions Children First Canada.

Several past Top 100 award winners are key supporters of Children First Canada on the Advisory Board and Council of Champions, including some of Canada’s most iconic women trailblazers: Mary Jo Haddad (Board Director of Telus and TD Bank), Rhiannon Trail (CEO of the Economic Club of Canada), Angela Simo-Brown (Head of Social Change Strategy and Innovation at Air Miles Loyalty One), and Ilona Dougherty (Youth engagement expert and Co-Founder of Apathy is Boring).

About Children First Canada

Children First Canada has a bold and ambitious vision to make Canada a world-leading country where all of our children thrive. By harnessing the strength of the many organizations committed to improving the lives of Canada’s children, we will take the lead in building public awareness and promoting public policies that ensure our children’s wellbeing.

As a strong, effective and independent voice for all children – we are working to change attitudes, perceptions and outcomes and ensure every child in Canada has the means to reach their greatest potential.

This goal cannot be achieved without the support of dedicated partners such as children’s charities and hospitals, research centres, corporations, community leaders, and children themselves.

About the Women’s Executive Network (WXN)

Founded in 1997, WXN is Canada’s leading organization dedicated to the advancement and recognition of women in management, executive, professional and board roles. WXN is led by CEO Sherri Stevens, owner of the award-winning, multi-million dollar workforce management company Stevens Resource Group Inc., which she established in 1990. In 2008, WXN launched in Ireland, followed by London, UK in 2015, creating an international community of female leaders.


For media inquiries, please contact:

Andrea Chrysanthou
Senior Consultant, Public Relations
Global Public Affairs