Connecting Humanity: Best Practices in Humanitarian Communications Conference


An interactive conference focussing on successes, challenges and getting ahead in a diverse, complex, and fast-changing world. 

Humanitarians have powerful stories to tell. Every day they’re providing relief to those in need. They help people who are living through incredible hardship, often fleeing violence, recovering from disaster, or facing health challenges like HIV or Ebola. It’s up to humanitarian organizations to help bring those stories home to Canadians.

Please join us for Connecting Humanity: Best Practices in Humanitarian Communications. Hear from experts who have worked internationally to increase awareness and engagement around humanitarian issues. Humanitarian studies, and communications students, as well as working professionals are invited to the half-day conference at Royal Roads University in Victoria, B.C. on Friday, Jan. 26, 2018. Be part of the discussion, sharing best practices around imagery and digital media.




Friday January 26, 2018

Time: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Centre for Dialogue
Learning and Innovation Centre (4th floor)
Royal Roads University
2005 Sooke Road
Victoria, BC

Cost: Free (Please register to attend in-person)

Livestream sessions: Registration not required
  • Overview of Humanitarian Communications
    8:10 a.m. – 9 a.m. PT watch here
  • Panel: Humanitarian Communications in a diversified, complex and changing world
    11:10 a.m. – 12 p.m. PT watch here
Featured Speakers:
  • Michael Young, Director of School of Humanitarian Studies, Royal Roads University
    Dr. Michael Young is the director of the School of Humanitarian Studies, and program head for the Master of Arts in Justice Studies. Since joining Royal Roads in 2008, Dr. Young’s research interests in social and criminal justice has expanded to addictions and mental health and homelessness. Theoretically, he emphasizes phenomenological approaches in research and believes that the solution to vexatious social problems can be achieved only with the involvement of the people experiencing those problems. Dr. Young completed a PhD under Special Arrangements at Simon Fraser University (2006). His dissertation examined the attitudes and experiences of social workers in the U.K. toward euthanasia and assisted suicide. He also holds a Diploma, Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Criminology.
  • Nathan Huculak, Deputy Chief Communications Officer, Canadian Red Cross
    Nathan Huculak has worked in communications with the Canadian Red Cross for the past twelve years, currently as the Deputy Chief Communications Officer, leading teams in disaster and emergency communications in Canada and abroad. He brings more than two decades of experience to his work in media relations, crisis communications, issues management and public engagement. Prior to joining the Red Cross, Nathan worked in education and culture, following a career in theatre, film and broadcast media which included work with CBC, PBS, and independent festivals and productions. Nathan holds a MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia and lives in Victoria, BC, with his wife Michelle and daughter, Madeleine.
  • Angela Hill, International Communications Delegate, Canadian Red Cross
    Angela Hill is an international communications delegate with the Canadian Red Cross. Recently while on mission in Bangladesh, Angela shared moving and inspiring stories of people overcoming extreme hardship through photos, videos and blogs. She is a journalist, photographer, and consultant with more than a decade of media experience across Canada and internationally including Uganda, South Africa and South Sudan. She’s excited to talk about humanitarian storytelling at this conference. 
  • Marko Kokic, International Humanitarian Photographer
    Over the last 20 years, Marko Kokic has devoted his photographic work to humanitarian organizations, covering war, natural disasters and poverty in 50 countries. He has worked for International Committee of the Red Cross as its staff photographer and commissioning photo editor. He has also worked for the World Health Organization, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the American Red Cross and the Canadian Red Cross. He currently works as a freelance photographer and communications consultant. He lives in New York City with his spouse and toddler twins.
  • Arndell Florent Leblanc, Digital Communications Specialist, Medecins Sans Frontieres Canada
    Arndell  Florent LeBlanc is the Digital Media Communications Specialist for Médecins Sans Frontières Canada based in Montreal.  Using audio visual media, Arndell works to increase MSF’s public engagement through online and social media platforms.  He also provides audio video production training to humanitarians working in the field.  He got his humanitarian start, by working logistics and documenting recovery efforts after Hurricane Katrina and the earthquake in Haiti.  Before becoming an aid worker, Arndell was a photographer and radio journalist and was also involved with Journalists for Human Rights while at Concordia University
  • Nicole Robicheau, Communications and International Operations Manager, Canadian Red Cross
    Montreal-based Nicole Robicheau has been an aid worker with the Canadian Red Cross since 2010.  She specializes in communications but also sits on the Canadian Red Cross operations manager roster.  She has worked in various places around the world including Haiti, Rwanda, Costa Rica, Nepal and the Philippines.  Before moving into humanitarian work, Nicole spent time as a radio and television journalist with CBC Montreal. 
  • Jean Ong, Public Affairs Officer – Digital Specialist, Aga Khan Foundation Canada
    Jean is currently a Public Affairs Officer- Digital Specialist with Aga Khan Foundation Canada, based in Ottawa. In this role, she supports all facets of digital content creation, and provides input into the development and implementation of public engagement campaigns and strategies. Her work focuses on increasing awareness and engagement with the work of AKFC and its partners within Canada and overseas.  Prior to joining AKFC, Jean worked in various media and public relations roles in Ottawa. She graduated with a BA in political science from Carleton University.
  • Tamara Plush, Postdoctoral Fellow, Royal Roads University
    Dr. Tamara Plush is a Postdoctoral Fellow with the ResiliencebyDesign Research Innovation Lab at Royal Roads University and the Canadian Red Cross using Creative Action Research to connect the voice of young people to disaster recovery and resilience-building efforts. She has a PhD in Communication for Development and Social Change with a focus on participatory video and photography. She has worked with UNICEF, CARE, ActionAid, Plan International, Save the Children, Sonke Gender Justice, Right to Play, World Vision, the Institute of Development Studies in Cambodia, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Kenya, Mozambique, Nepal, South Africa, Tanzania, the UK and Vietnam. For info on her projects: ( and
Keynote Address: Overview of Humanitarian Communications (livestream)
  • Use of Imagery in Humanitarian Communications
  • Digital Media in Humanitarian Communications

Program Change:  Unfortunately, we are not able to offer the session “Reaching the Most Vulnerable through Technology.”  The topic will be touched on in the keynote address by Nathan Huculak with the Canadian Red Cross.  All registrants will be able to attend each of the remaining sessions. We apologize for the program change.

Panel Discussion: Humanitarian Communications in a Diversified, Complex and Changing World (livestream)

Conference Agenda: Click here to view

For more information, please e-mail


Thanks for your interest in this event. Registration is now closed.