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Sara L. Austin is the Founder and President/CEO of Children First Canada. Sara is the passionate visionary behind this national organization which is dedicated to being a strong, effective and independent voice for all of Canada's children.

With over 20 years leadership experience in the non-profit/charitable sector, Sara is an expert in international human rights law, she has helped change the lives of the world’s most vulnerable children, through her leadership of global advocacy campaigns, by shaping major public policy efforts, and by launching philanthropic campaigns. She has learned multiple languages, and is fluent in the parlance of diplomacy. Her work has taken her into the top circles of power at the United Nations, government corridors and boardrooms around the world. Click here for more.


Advisory Board

The advisory board sets the strategic direction for Children First Canada and provides guidance to the execution of the strategy and plans. 

Robert Harding, Affiliated Director of Brookfield Asset Management, Trustee at the Art Gallery of Ontario, and former Chair of the Board of Governors at the University of Waterloo. Click here for more.

Angela Simo Brown, Head of Social Change Strategy and Innovation at Air Miles Loyalty One, and Co-Founder of Air Miles for Social Change. Click here for more. 

Terry AllenPresident of Pivotal Capital Advisory Group. Click here for more. 

Gail O’Brien, Board Director of Sick Kids Foundation, Trustee of the National Arts Centre, Co-chair of the Council for Canadian American Relations, and Former GM of Holt Renfrew Calgary. Click here for more

Mary Jo HaddadFormer CEO of Sick Kids Hospital, and member of the Board of Directors of TELUS and TD Bank Group. Click here for more. 

Shawn Cornett, Principal of Cornett Consulting and Chair of Boys and Girls Clubs of CalgaryClick here for more.

Julia Foster, Governing Council member of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council; Past Chair of the National Arts Centre and York University’s Board of Governors. Click here for more.

Christian WhalenDeputy Advocate and Senior Legal Counsel, Office of the Child and Youth Advocate of New Brunswick. Click here for more.

Ilona Dougherty, Youth engagement expert and Co-Founder of Apathy is Boring. Click here for more.


Council Of Champions

20 of Canada's leading voices for children have been invited to join a Council of Champions. This diverse mix of leaders from across the country will provide guidance on the strategic direction and key priorities for Children First, and will act as champions for specific projects and activities that promote the wellbeing of Canada's children. 

Youth Ambassadors

At the heart of Children First Canada are the voices of kids and we are pleased to have Youth Ambassadors who are working on the frontlines to make this a better country for all children. Our 2016-2017 Youth Ambassadors included: Sam Yacob, Hannah Ruuth and Sanaya Polobuto. 



Long-term, sustainable and positive change for the children requires collective action. We are 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. These are some of our dedicated partners:



We are grateful for the generous support of our founding donors who helped launch Children First Canada. Their commitment and support is helping make Canada the best place in the world for kids to grow up!


Gail B. O’Brien
Charitable Foundation

Delaney Family


Join us! Together we can make Canada the best place for kids to grow up!