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From Trauma to Triumph: Jill Edgington Kirby's Inspiring Work with Vulnerable Newcomers


Meet Jill Edgington Kirby, the program manager at CCIS’ Center for Refugee Resilience (CRR).

Our CRR program supports immigrants, refugees, and their families with healing and recovering from the effects of traumatic events in their past.


When Jill started at CCIS 15 years ago, the program looked quite different. She was a one-person team in a program supporting refugees affected by trauma. Thanks to Jill’s incredible work and exceptional leadership, the program has now grown to 18 staff members in the last six years.

She says, “I am proud of the opportunity to gain leadership skills and to work with the incredible team I’ve built. I’ve learned a lot about leading as a woman and leaning into the feminine qualities of leadership that come naturally to me. This includes a democratic, empathetic, and relational style.”


Over the past five years, Jill’s team has maintained a high level of commitment to client care and that’s what makes her proud the most.

Seeing the resilience in her immigrant clients throughout their healing journey was always her source of inspiration. “I am honoured I got to be a part of their healing journey, even if it was just a moment in time.” She is constantly working to improve mental health care for immigrants and refugees in Calgary, as part of a bigger goal of seeing them thrive in Canada.


Her message to women in leadership roles is to be authentic to their personal leadership style. In her own words, “The world needs more leaders (of any gender) who embrace matriarchal approaches. It can be incredibly effective to lead through empathy, relationship, coaching, and a growth mindset.”


Away from work she enjoys doing outdoor activities with her family. She loves hiking, skiing, skating, kayaking, biking, swimming, and camping. When she’s not out in nature, she volunteers in her community to promote food security and reduce poverty. When she is not outdoors or volunteering, she spends quiet evenings at home doing crochet.


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