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July 10, 2017
Creative and Courageous Alumnae Celebrated
We were thrilled to recognize two inspiring alumnae at Reunion 2017.

The 2017 Alison Roach Alumna Award went to filmmaker Andrea DORFMAN'87 and the Young Alumna Achievement Award went to advocate and family lawyer Sarah CLARKE'97.

Andrea DORFMAN'87 was nominated for this award by fellow alumna Fiona SAMPSON'81, CEO of the charity The Equality Effect.

Andrea has been making films since 1995. Her animated NFB film Flawed was nominated for an Emmy and her video poem, How to Be Alone, became a viral hit on YouTube with over five million views. Andrea masterfully tells stories about outlier characters who move towards their greatest fears, challenging themselves and others along the way.

Her films have met with great critical acclaim and have been featured in film festivals around the world, from TIFF to the International Film Festival of India.

Andrea's global influence stretches to rural Kenya, where she has documented innovative human rights work in support of child rape survivors with The Equality Effect.

"At Branksome Hall, I learned to value and create community and I learned how community can create me," she said to an attentive crowd in the Allison Roach Performing Arts Centre (PAC). "I credit the origin of my critical thinking to Branksome, which taught me to challenge and debate."

Sarah CLARKE'97 is a family lawyer with extensive experience advocating for First Nations in child welfare and adoption proceedings. She was nominated for the Young Alumna Achievement Award by her mother, lawyer Pat Robinson. Pat is an admiring supporter of her daughter's work as an advocate for the rights of First Nations children on reserve.

Sarah defended the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society in the case of Caring Society v. Canada. This led to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal finding, in January 2016, that the federal government had underfunded First Nations child welfare programs, thereby discriminating against aboriginal people. It has been described as "groundbreaking" from both legal and social perspectives.

L'expert Magazine awarded Sarah a Platinum Zenith Award and Canadian Lawyer Magazine rated her one of the Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers in Canada.

Sarah says that her Branksome experience built her confidence and enabled her to launch her career. "At Branksome Hall, people respected my opinion as a human being, not as a child," she said. "It's hard work being a girl and Branksome was there to support me by giving me so many outlets that paved the way to the person I have become."

Congratulations to our two remarkable alumnae on receiving these very special awards.

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