Keynote Speakers

Robin Grille


Robin Grille is a father, psychologist in private practice and a parenting educator. His articles on parenting and child development have been widely published and translated in Australia and around the world. Robin’s first book: ‘Parenting for a Peaceful World’ has received international acclaim and led to speaking engagements around Australia, USA, UK and New Zealand. His second book, ‘Heart to Heart Parenting’, was first published in Australia and is now available in an updated USA edition. Robin’s work is animated by his belief that humanity’s future is largely dependent on the way we collectively relate to our children.

Born in Uruguay, South America, into a multicultural family, Robin is fluent in Spanish and English, and haltingly conversant in French and Romanian. He feels a strong affinity for a broad span of cultures, across the universal human family. 

Robin’s experiential, skills-based and informational parenting courses have helped many people to embrace parenting as a transformative, personal growth journey. Drawing from 25 years’ clinical experience and from leading-edge neuropsychological research, Robin’s seminars and courses focus on healthy emotional development for children as well as parents; while building supportive, co-operative parenting communities.   

To find out more about Robin Grille’s work, his books, articles and seminars visit:  and 

Conference Speakers

Gary Anaka

 Anaka Gary Anaka is the top Brain-based Learning facilitator in BC today.  He is a Learning Assistance specialist with over 32 quality years of classroom teaching experience.  He has presented professional development workshops to thousands of teachers, care givers, parents and children all over BC and across Canada since 1997.  His energetic and lively sessions model meaningful and practical support for helping children to reach their potential.  Gary’s sessions are always filled with humour to grow the brain and optimism to support teachers, care givers and parents to help children to become life long learners.  He is a motivational speaker and teacher whose engaging sessions have been called, both professionally and personally, life changing.  Gary is the author of two books:  Your Magical Brain How It Learns Best, a resource book for teachers and parents, and Brain Wellness The Secrets For Longevity.  The scope of his work can be viewed

Jennifer Gibson

  Jennifer Gibson, MA, Coordinator of Community Education Services with Island Sexual Health is a professional sexual health educator whose knowledge, sense of humour, enthusiasm, and comfort level give her the unique ability to make sexual health education accessible and easy to relate to. Most often referred to as “The Sex Lady” by youth participants, Jennifer believes effective education combines factual information with humour and pop culture. Jennifer is passionate about creating space for every person to become comfortable with and knowledgeable about sexual health. These principles form the foundation for all of her workshops.

Monique Gray-Smith


"Monique Gray Smith, the Founder of Little Drum Consulting has an exceptional capacity to walk in many lands. As an Aboriginal woman she sensitively interprets First Nation sensibilities and gives us context specific information.  Her experience working with governments and in the field of early childhood development make her an exceptional communicator between not for profits and government. She is well trusted and respected by the business community, the Aboriginal community, government and not for profits such as Roots of Empathy. Monique’s history of heading up  Aboriginal Head Start in BC, her leadership position on Boards, her long history of community development and her reputation for building peace bridges is well known."

Mary Gordon —
Founder and President
Roots of Empathy

Sydney Massy

  I love teaching. I’m fascinated with food, cooking, how people eat and how this relates to health. And I love growing food. How fortunate I am to have found this position at the BC Dairy Association, at the crossroads of nutrition, education and agriculture. I have been working here for over 30 years, first as a nutrition educator, and now as the Director of Nutrition Education. My Masters degree in Public Health prepared me well for this job.

I’m proud of the many great projects I’ve been part of, from developing the Calcium Calculator, to the FoodTrack series of nutrition resources, to pioneering the important role dietitians can play in supporting and promoting the use of local food, and most recently, to promoting eating together through the Better Together initiative.

I grew up in New York City, and while I still love it and visit my large, boisterous family often, I am happy to live in Vancouver where I can enjoy city life, grow some of my own food and tangle with a jungle of a backyard, where my husband and I satisfy our curiosity for how things grow.

Brenda Neary


Brenda Neary has a Masters degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology (MSPA) and has been a Self-Regulation Interventionist for over 25 years. She has worked from pre-kindergarten to grade 12 in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, and the Northwest Territories. She follows a tiered approach to self-regulated learning where the focus is on building strong Tier One Universal Self-Regulated Learning Strategies first at the whole school and in the classroom. She believes strongly in a strength-based capacity building model.

Dr. Richard Stanwick


Dr. Richard Stanwick is a specialist in pediatrics, public health and preventive medicine. Formerly a University professor, he is the Chief Medical Health Officer for the Vancouver Island Health Authority. Dr. Stanwick has contributed to the fields of injury control and smoking prevention as well as promoting healthy public policy at the local, provincial and national levels.


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