The Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Social Workers is pleased to announce that the recipient of the Canadian Association of Social Workers Distinguished Service Award for 2012 is Wanda Lundrigan BSW, RSW.
Wanda began her career as a social worker in the community of Bell Island in 1980. This experience laid the foundation of a life and career dedicated to social justice. According to her first social work supervisor, “Wanda began practice with a keen awareness and empathy concerning the social factors impacting the well being of children and families. Her leadership skills were immediately evident".
Wanda moved to the field of corrections, initially as a probation officer bringing a restorative justice lens to all aspects of the work. She was well respected for her candour and willingness to go the extra mile for her clients and co-workers. She became Chief Probation Officer and under her outstanding leadership, the Community Corrections Branch of the Department of Justice was transformed. The Victims Services and Electronic Monitoring programs were developed and new risk assessment tools and practices were implemented. She became a leader at federal/provincial/territorial tables where she shaped progressive correctional policies and was affectionately referred to as the “Queen of Justice”.
Wanda’s natural leadership abilities prepared her for a move to Executive Council within the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. She assumed director positions with the Departments of Works Services and Transportation and Government Services.
Recently, she accepted the position of Assistant Deputy Minister with the newly created Department of Child, Youth and Family Services. Wanda’s superior leadership skills will be instrumental as the department transforms it programs and services to benefit the children and youth of this province.
Throughout her career, Wanda Lundrigan has consistently maintained and displayed a strong commitment to the advancement of the profession. From President of the Social Work Student Society in the 1970s to President of the Newfoundland Association of Social Workers in the 1980s, to previous representative on the Canadian Association of Social Workers Board of Directors and current member of the NLASW Disciplinary Panel, Wanda’s involvement speaks to her continued commitment. She is a passionate, skilled and determined advocate with an approach grounded in the ethical foundations of our profession. She exemplifies leadership and social work excellence and is truly a deserving recipient of the Canadian Association of Social Workers Distinguished Service Award.