Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta’s 5th Woman of Inspiration 2016-2017 Presented by Syncrude Announced

October 2016

Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta’s 5th Woman of Inspiration 2016-2017 Presented by Syncrude Announced


(Fort McMurray) Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta and Syncrude are proud to announce the 5th nominee for the Women of Inspiration series 2016-2017:

Cathy Payne

Cathy Payne has been a resident of Fort McMurray for over 30 years. She has raised her 2 children here and considers Fort McMurray to be a great place to live, work and raise kids. It has always been one of her goals to foster the ‘volunteering spirit’ in her children at an early age. She believes strongly that everyone should see the value of volunteerism and understand that a helping hand goes a long way. Her family has been involved with the Salvation Army, Santa’s Anonymous, the Fort McMurray Football League and the Slave Lake fire relief.  Volunteering has been a family tradition. Cathy has also been a Guide Leader and has been involved with Sparks as well as being involved in ringette.  ”I know it can be difficult for working families to find time to volunteer, but the time spent certainly pays off in the end for me and my family.”

Cathy is a graduate from the nursing program at Keyano College and has studied at the University of Alberta. She worked for the Alberta Health Services for 20 years and personally contributed over 500 hours of volunteer time over the years.

Currently Cathy works for Primary Care and she loves her job there. In 2006 every family physician in the community joined together to form the Primary Care Network in order to develop and deliver additional programs and services to provide comprehensive care. Primary Care Network’s team includes nurses, dieticians, pharmacists, mental health therapists, exercise specialists and respiratory therapists as well as physicians. This team based approach to primary care ensures every patient can get the right care from the right provider at the right time. This philosophy on health care is very important to Ms. Payne.

One of the important lessons that Ms. Payne has learned from her career in nursing has been that ‘there are no guarantees” and that you shouldn’t put off what you have a burning desire to do. She tries to live this and recently hired a guide, boated up a fiord in Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland and climbed a mountain in Western Brook Gorge. She said it was exhausting and she is sure that she slowed down the other climbers but she finished the climb in 10 hours and it was well worth the effort. Her next goal is to fly in a helicopter.

Cathy works in the outlying First Nations communities as well as in Fort McMurray and loves working with the residents and goes above and beyond by working to provide to the community things that will benefit one and all. She will work to bring in other organizations to provide programming for children as she believes that children deserve support and the opportunity to flourish. She is an advocate for “growing Strong Girls” and is the first to encourage girls to go outside their comfort zone and try new things. A comprehensive approach to helping others is a big part of her life and she is an excellent at connecting others. Ms. Payne is a strong advocate for girls and an excellent role model in demonstrating what you can accomplish if you give it your all.

Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta and Syncrude will honour Cathy Payne and 11 other nominees, at the Women of Inspiration Celebration which will take place in June, 2017

The Women of Inspiration is a partnership between Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta and Syncrude, with a goal to recognize women throughout the Wood Buffalo region who inspire others, break new ground or old barriers and help create change. The series also aims to show local girls positive role models who live right here.

To nominate a woman of inspiration, please visit our website at or contact the Girls Inc. office at 780-790-9236.

For more information, please contact:
Ann Dort-MacLean
Executive Director – Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta
Phone: 780-790-9236