Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta’s 8th Woman of Inspiration 2016-2017 Presented by Syncrude Announced

January 2017
Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta’s 8th Woman of Inspiration 2016-2017 Presented by Syncrude Announced


(Fort McMurray) Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta and Syncrude are proud to announce the 8th nominee for the Women of Inspiration series 2016-2017:


Vicki Gillingham

Vicki was born in Fort Chipewyan and moved to Fort McMurray as a teen to finish her education. She is a proud First Nations woman who has always taken a keen interest in promoting the rights of indigenous women. Vicki was a single parent to her daughter Waverly and she raised her daughter to be a strong, independent woman. Her daughter is a source of great pride for Vicki and she is encouraging her in her career goals of becoming an RCMP officer. Waverly like her mother wants a career where she can help others.

Vicki started her career at Suncor in December of 1989, just out of her teens. She worked in the Upgrader in those days, a male dominated work place. The job was physically demanding and being the only woman on shift was difficult at times. Her determination and strong work ethic kept her focused and she trained and qualified in several areas throughout the upgrader. Today Vicki is a Unit Leader in the off plots and is well respected by both supervisors and co-workers alike.

Vicki became involved in the Suncor union in 2004 and joined the Women’s Committee. She freely volunteers her time to a variety of activities in the committee and in 2013, she became the committee chair. Vicki is a strong supporter of other community organizations and works well with them to highlight issues facing women today. She attends as many of the Enbridge Famous Five Speakers events as she possibly can and is generous in providing tickets to other organizations, so that they can send their members to these events. Educating people about the accomplishments and barriers that have been overcome by women through history is important to Ms. Gillingham.

Vicki with others in the Women’s committee has organized many events around the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. The committee recognized the Montreal Massacre as a very sad instance of violence against women. Vicki is also deeply troubled by the Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women in Canada. She has been involved in organizing events that address this issue. She is aware of how close to home, this particular issue is as there are local aboriginal women who are missing. She sees the impact that the uncertainly has on families and wants to see an end to their anguish and suffering. Vicki is aware of several local women who are missing and she sees the anguish that the families endure year after year.

Ms. Gillingham is supportive of several local non-profits and has a rescue dog from the SPCA. As well she helps with fundraising events for Unity House.

Vicki follows her cultural traditions and after losing her dad to cancer last summer, she is observing a year of mourning. She like most of McMurray residents is working to put the bad happenings of 2016 behind her and is looking forward to tackling 2017. She will focus her energy and enthusiasm on making her community a great place to live, work and play. She draws on the support of her sister and family who live here and who share her love for this community.

Ms. Gillingham continues to advocate for equality in both the work place and in society. She has broken many barriers and is a strong voice for women being they indigenous or not. She has raised a strong daughter who aspires to be a leader just like her mom.

Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta and Syncrude will honour Vicki Gillingham 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