Brescia University College announces 2018 BresciaLEAD Award recipients

January 24, 2018

London, ON – On Thursday, April 19th, Brescia University College will honour three exceptional women leaders and one organization that embody the University’s values of leading with wisdom, justice and compassion at the 2018 BresciaLEAD Awards Event.

“Each of these deserving award recipients are outstanding leaders in their field and beyond, and their commitment and contributions to the betterment of society is inspiring.” says Erin Rankin Nash, Chair of the BresciaLEAD Awards. “We are honoured to celebrate and recognize these remarkable leaders, at what I know will be a fun and empowering evening.”

The University is proud to announce the 2018 BresciaLEAD Award recipients in four distinct categories:

The Lifetime Award will be presented to Maude Barlow who has demonstrated exceptional leadership throughout her lifetime. She is recognized as a leader in the women’s movement in Canada. Ms Barlow is a political activist, author, Founder and Honorary Chairperson of the Council of Canadians, the largest citizens’ advocacy organization, which works to safeguard Canada’s universal social security system and its water and energy heritage.

The Emerging Award will be presented to Abirami Kirubarajan who is a new and innovative voice, currently making an impact on her community. She is a first-year medical student at the University of Toronto, who has quickly made her mark in Canadian multicultural healthcare. Already recognized as a Cansbridge Fellow and a Queen Elizabeth II Scholar in Strengthening Health Systems, Ms Kirubarajan’s research and advocacy interests include refugee populations, innovation within surgery and health policy.

The Activist Award will be presented to Cheryl Perera who demonstrates an unwavering commitment to social justice, and has applied creative thinking to solve problems. She is the Founder and President of OneChild, the first organization in the world empowering children and youth to combat the commercial sexual exploitation of children, thorough education, advocacy, rehabilitation and reintegration, benefiting over 35,000 individuals in 15 countries.

The Distinction Award will be presented to Catalyst, which is a global nonprofit partnering with companies around the globe to change cultures, systems and processes to build workplaces that work for women. Founded in 1962, Catalyst supports organizations to remove barriers that drive change through pioneering research, practical tools and proven solutions to accelerate and advance women into leadership.

In addition to recognizing the outstanding award recipients, Brescia is also proud to present Emmy Award-winning journalist, former NBC News Network anchor and international correspondent, Ann Curry as the keynote speaker.

The event is more than 50% sold-out, however tickets for the April 19th event are still available to the public for $200 per person or $1,600 for a table of 8. To view the full award recipient biographies; for more information about the event or to purchase tickets, please visit:


 For more information, please contact:

Colleen Aguilar, Director, Communications & External Relations at 519-432-8353, ext. 28293 or at, or Caitlin Core, Communications, Marketing & External Relations Officer at 519-432-8353, ext. 28280 or at

Brescia University College, Canada’s women’s university college, is affiliated with Western University. The 1,500 women registered as either full- or part-time students at Brescia study a wide variety of subjects in the Schools of Behavioural & Social Sciences, Food & Nutritional Sciences, Humanities and Leadership & Social Change in an empowering, compassionate, student-centred and invigorating environment. Degrees are granted by Western. The Catholic University College welcomes students from all backgrounds and values diversity.