VARJ Directors, 2017

Deno Hurst, President and Chair of the Vancouver Association for Restorative Justice

Frank James Tester B.Sc., D.Phil., M.E.Des., M.S.W. is a Professor of Social Work, School of Social Work, University of British Columbia. He has an interest in restorative justice as an alternative to the criminal justice system in Nunavut Territory in relation to reconciliation, healing and the restoration of Inuit to their families, communities and culture. Frank’s research interests include Inuit social history, the problem of young Inuit suicide and the social, cultural and environmental impacts of mining and mineral exploration in Nunavut Territory. He is a former chair of the Family Court/Youth Justice Committee, City of Vancouver, a former board member of CUSO and the Georgia Strait Alliance and was a research advisor to the Qikiqtani Truth Commission (2008-2010). He is the author of books and papers dealing with Inuit social history, Canadian social policy and environmental issues.

Jim Mandelin is a fully pardoned ex-offender, ex- gang member and recovered drug addict and alcoholic. Jim is 38 years clean and sober, public speaker, counselor and author and was the recipient of the 2015 Courage to Come Back Award for the province of BC. Jim has facilitated restorative justice conferences while working in the past with the John Howard Society of the Lower Mainland of BC.

Mary Etey is a registered massage therapist.  She has studied psychology at UBC and conflict resolution at the Justice Institute. She volunteers with the East Vancouver based community group “A Community Aware” to learn about and address social issues through education and action.

John de Haas Former president of VARJ since its creation in May 2007 to 2015.  John has a BA from UBC (psychology) and a Business Management Systems Certificate from BCIT, with an Associate Certificate in Mediation.  John is an Inspector with the Vancouver Police Department where he has worked as a police officer for 37 years — John is involved with VARJ in his personal capacity as a volunteer and is not acting in any way as a representative of the VPD.

M. Asadullah  PhD student at Simon Fraser University’s School of Criminology, M. Asadullah is a sessional faculty of Peace & Conflict Studies at the University of the Fraser Valley. His research interests include restorative justice, village court, peacemaking criminology, community policing, and indigenous justice. He has trained as a conflict resolution and restorative justice practitioner with Dr Howard Zehr, Dr Brenda Morrison and Cpl Jim Cooley.

VARJ Associates 2017

Ania Dwornik, is a Registered Social Worker working in health care.  Her interest in restorative justice is centered on restorative justice and mental illness, with specific emphasis on greater inclusion of individuals with mental illness in restorative justice practices.   She will be continuing her research on this subject matter while completing her PhD at the University of Victoria.

Caitlin Grisack is a restorative justice facilitator, trainer and advocate, specializing in providing service to at-risk youth and the victims of serious crime and trauma. Caitlin has a Bachelor of Criminology and Political Science from Simon Fraser University, is a certified Community Justice Forum facilitator trainer and has worked in diverse areas of law enforcement, including strategic planning and communication, victim services and alternative measures. Currently Caitlin coordinates the Burnaby R.C.M.P Youth Services Restorative Justice Program.

Evelyn Zellerer  Ph.D.  is founder and director of Peace of the Circle, as well as a professor at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Evelyn is a facilitator, trainer and speaker, working internationally with government agencies, businesses, non-profits, schools, police, corrections and communities. For more information visit