Vanya McDonell  ~ Co-Executive Director

250382-4604 or

Vanya’s work is driven by her passion for creating connections and building partnerships. She believes that people are at their greatest capacity when they are part of something larger than themselves: a community. Vanya has been in a variety of roles with the FGCA since 2008. She holds her BSc and Master of Public Administration, both from UVic. She currently serves on the Board of the Sara Spencer Foundation and volunteers regularly in other capacities in the community. Vanya’s areas of focus at the FGCA are community development, communications, and fund development.

Debbie Banerjee ~ Co-Executive Director

250-382-4604 or

Debbie is committed to building an inclusive, connected community for the Fairfield and Gonzales families. She holds an Early Childhood Education (ECE) with Infant Toddler certificate and a Bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature. For 14 years she worked in YMCA of Okanagan in various position and as childcare manager overseeing multiple childcare centers, and mentoring educators and planning training programs. Debbie truly believes children’s experiences in the first few years of life help shape how their brain develop. She brings experience and immense interest in building a community of early years programs that nurture a place of joy and curiosity for the children. In October 2023 Debbie moved into her role of Co-Executive Director at the FGCA, focusing on child care programs and human resources.

Kristina Wilcox ~ Co-Executive Director (Currently on Leave)


Kristina is eager to have a meaningful and powerful voice in the delivery of service for children and families. She was drawn to education by a motivation to make a difference in her community, and values the role a community organization can play as an effective and wide ranging tool for positive change. Shortly after moving to Victoria in January of 2013, Kristina joined the FGCA team. She brings with her many years of experience working with children in a variety of educational, recreational and athletic settings. Kristina graduated from Simon Fraser University in 2011 as a BC Certified Teacher and since then has taught in London, England and Greater Victoria. Kristina’s areas of focus at the FGCA are child care programs and human resources.

Thomas King ~ Recreation & Facility Coordinator

250-382-4604  or

Thomas began his journey with the FGCA in 2007 as an out of school care leader in the mornings. Since then, Thomas has worn nearly every hat imaginable at the centre and has been wholly committed to the FGCA’s mission to develop and deliver inclusive and effective community-focused programs and projects.


Maggie Spencer ~ Early Years Coordinator

250-382-4604 or

Maggie began working with children in a childcare setting in 2016 and received her Early Childhood Education Certificate in 2018 from CDI College in Edmonton. She has worked as an Educator, Support Worker, IT Room Lead, and as a Primary Consultant for families who have children with autism. Maggie loves doing anything outside and enjoys being able to do that with the children every day as well. She loves exploring, playing, and learning alongside children and believes that every child is capable of doing anything they put their mind to! She looks forward to connecting with you all!

Coral Clay ~ Administrative Assistant

250382-4604 or

Coral joined the FGCA team in April 2022. Although the majority of her career was spent running her own in home daycare here in Fairfield, she was given the opportunity during the last two years to get her feet wet in the nonprofit sector and has enjoyed it ever since. Not only is she thrilled to be a part of an amazing organization in her neighborhood , she is also overjoyed to be able to see some of her old daycare families that now use the FGCA services.

Pippa Davis ~ Office Manager

250382-4604 or

Pippa has been with the FGCA since 2008. Through work, education and luck, Pippa has collected an assortment of office skills and enjoys being resourceful. When not kept busy at the FGCA, she practices resourcefulness with her family and friends.

Ashley Chun ~ Community Development Coordinator

250-382-4604 or

Ashley has been on the FGCA team since February 2023. After graduating with a BSc in Geography & Environmental Studies at UVic, she jumped into the non-profit world to develop and deliver programs that serve community needs. Ashley is passionate about environmental and humanitarian initiatives and hopes that her work will always go toward a meaningful cause.

Evan Pepper ~ Child Care Coordinator

250-382-4604 or

Evan joined the FGCA as a leader in the Out of School Care program shortly after moving to Victoria in 2013 and in August 2017 moved into the role of Child Care Coordinator. He has worked with children of all ages and taught Preschool age through Elementary. After establishing a French program at the local Independent school, he decided to take that mindset and experience back to the FGCA. Through his education, workshops, and experience, Evan is very knowledgeable with children both typical and non typical. While working at the FGCA, Evan held multiple jobs as an EA, TA, Teacher, Activity Coordinator, and as a Behavioral Interventionist offering ABA Therapy to children with multiple diagnoses. He is passionate about community and program integration for people of all ages and backgrounds.

Ute Von Salzen ~ Margaret Jenkins Out of School Care Manager

250-592-8800 or

Ute started working at our Five-Points preschool in 2007, began facilitating the Thursday morning Parent & Tot drop-in program in 2013 and most recently moved to managing Margaret Jenkins Out of School Care in 2017. Working at the FGCA has been extremely rewarding for Ute. She enjoys connecting with all families and believes the community centre can be a central point for building meaningful relationships for families. It is Ute’s great pleasure to follow our families’ journey through the joys and difficulties of parenting and growing. She holds an Early Childhood Education (ECE) certificate and a Bachelor of Social Work from Germany, her native country. Having worked in many different roles with children and families over the years and being a parent of teenagers herself, she brings a great variety of practical knowledge to the FGCA

Gabrielle Coburn ~ Fairfield (Sir James Douglas Elementary) Out of School Care Manager

250-382-2065 or

Jeanine Demmler ~ Huckleberry Lead Educator

250-382-4604 or

Jeanine graduated from the Early Learning and Care program at Camosun College in April 2020. She has been involved with the FGCA as a volunteer since moving to Victoria in 2000 and is so thankful to be a part of the Huckleberry team since it opened in 21020. Her first career was as a Speech-Language Pathologist working primarily with preschool-aged children. Jeanine loves to be outside exploring outdoor environments with children.

Rob Buckler ~ Camas Early Years Centre Lead Educator

250-382-4604 or

Rob is a member of the Camas team at Fairfield Gonzales Community Association. He has been working as an Early Childhood Educator since 2012. He completed his diploma in Early Childhood Education in Halifax and then moved to Vancouver in 2013 where he worked at UBC Childcare Services. Rob first worked at a multiage center that offered care to children aged 18 months to 5 years. From 2019-to 2021 he was the lead educator at a toddler center providing care for children aged 11 months to 3 years. Rob and his family relocated to Victoria in 2021 with their two children, Ellie who is 5, and Albie who is 2. “As an educator, I strive to ensure children have the opportunities to have their individual needs met each day. I love spending time outside, and believe that nature brings great value into our children’s lives.”

Madeleine Godfrey ~ Moss Rock Preschool Lead Educator

250-382-4604 or

Madeleine has been supporting children and their families for over 5 years in community-based settings, school-based settings, and in the private sector. Madeleine graduated from UVic with a Bachelor of Child and Youth Care with a specialty in the Early Years and obtained her Early Childhood Educator (IT/SN) certificate. Over the years, Madeleine has found her passion working with preschool age children and continues to create an inclusive classroom environment so that every child feels that they belong.

Adam Rayburn  ~ Youth Programs Manager

250382-4604 or

Adam has been serving youth since he was a youth himself.  At the age of 17 he started a free, youth-oriented music festival that still runs today!  Adam believes that youth need to be given opportunities to take on greater responsibilities in their own programming and care.  He has worked with many different age groups in summer camps, youth centres and even building soap boxes.  Adam specializes in music, active recreation and one-on-one mentorship.  Adam oversees the youth programs at the FGCA.

Ton Tran ~ Community Garden Volunteer Coordinator

250382-4604 or

“I am enthusiastic to start my journey at the FGCA and its team! Currently, on the verge of completing my Bachelor’s degree in Education, I come equipped with a background steeped in advocacy and lobbying, particularly in the realms of sustainable living and alleviating food insecurity. As I step into this new role, I hope to extend my knowledge and impact. I thrive to cultivate an educational environment that not only nurtures communal responsibility but also ignites a passion within individuals to participate in manners that wholeheartedly adopt sustainable practices.”

“I tell everyone that I am proud to work here. It’s a place that creates community, respect, and care.” – Former staff